Every election season, we encourage our readers to vote. But we also urge them to do their homework – to be informed voters so they can make the right decisions at the ballot box.
Prior to April’s Consolidated Municipal Election, voters in Hebron knew – or should have known, at least – that village president candidate John Jacobson was facing a charge of possession of crack cocaine stemming from a police stop in January.
Even with that information readily available, Hebron voters elected Jacobson over incumbent Frank Beatty by a significant majority. Jacobson received 61 percent of the vote.
The rumor mill circulated that perhaps Jacobson had been framed. He denied the charges, and told the Northwest Herald that he admitted to police that he possessed the drugs only because officers told him they would make the charges “disappear.”
Presumably, either the majority of Hebron voters thought Jacobson was framed or they simply didn’t care whether their future village president had possessed crack cocaine.
Last Wednesday, Jacobson pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of attempted possession of a controlled substance. With the guilty plea, the discussion about whether Jacobson was framed ends.
We’ve come to expect all kinds of poor character traits and bad decisions from our political leaders. But we usually learn about them after we’ve elected them, not before.
Although the initial charges were felonies, the reduced charge agreed to by the McHenry State’s Attorney’s Office and accepted by McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham allows Jacobson to remain village president for the remainder of his four-year term.
Voters in Hebron spoke at the polls in April. They’ll now have to live with their decision.