There has been a lot of commotion at the office of the Cook County State's Attorney, Democrat Kim Foxx, ever since one of her veteran prosecutors published his resignation letter. Jason Poje, who has more than 20 years of experience in the court, tendered his resignation and blamed the "stupid policies of the state's attorney" that turned the county and city of Chicago into a crime capital.
"I'm leaving. Why? Simply because of the fact that this state and county are headed for disaster," Poje explained in the email he sent to his colleagues at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. For Poje, state and county government policies have damaged the justice system forever. Poje said he does not want his son to grow up in a city like Chicago. "Now my son, who is only five years old, hears gunshots while playing in the park in our neighborhood, and a drug dealer is selling in the open air behind my house (...) I will not raise my son here," Poje wrote.
The unavoidable consequences are what we are witnessing in real-time, an increase in crime of all kinds, businesses and families pulling up the stakes, and bodies piling up; the whole time with a State's Attorney who insists there is nothing to see here, and if there is it must be someone else's fault.
The third prosecutor to resign in Cook County
Jason Poje is the third prosecutor to resign from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in just over a year. In July 2022, James Murphy also stepped down from his position as assistant Cook County prosecutor. Murphy mentioned that he stepped down because he didn't trust his superior and due to mismanagement. A few months earlier, in February 2022, Natosha Toller, another prosecutor for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, also resigned after 16 years of working there.
Along with these three assistant prosecutors, many more Cook County justice and safety workers have left their positions, including members of the police department. At the center of the controversy is Kim Foxx, the Cook County state's attorney. Foxx, who announced in April that she would not run for re-election, even clashed with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who, on the campaign trail, said Foxx "hands out certificates of innocence like candy."
The year 2022 was the worst year for crime rates in Chicago, which were up 41% compared to 2021. Until then, the total number of crimes had been going down gradually. Robbery, assault and battery offenses are the most common charges.