Donna More: Candidate Profile

Cook County State's Attorney (Democrat)

Updated 2/9/2016 7:00 PM

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Chicago


Twitter: @DonnaMoreforSA

Facebook: Not Listed

Office sought:

Cook County State's Attorney

Age: 57

Family: Husband-Harry Englehart

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Daughter-Maizey Englehart (11 years old)


Education: Tufts University - BA

Northwestern University - MA

Georgetown Law - JD

Civic involvement: Not listed

Elected offices held: Not listed

Questions & Answers

How concerned are you about police and prosecutors' treatment of black suspects in Cook County? What would you change?

My concern is people are losing faith in the prosecutor's office because it lets outside influences dictate how and when cases are handled. I'll make certain we prosecute crimes no matter who commits them whether perpetrators wear uniforms, business suits or gang colors. The culture of the office I run will put justice ahead of politics and replace secrecy with transparency. We'll charge based on evidence and we'll tell people what we are doing. This will apply especially to police-involved shootings where the community's confidence in the justice system is critical to our safety and security.

How would you have handled the case of Laquan McDonald differently, in hindsight?

I believe the video evidence was so compelling that we should have charged and indicted the case in a matter of weeks. The key for me was the witnesses and the 14 rounds fired after Laquan was downed. The latter showed me intent and thus a chargeable offense. By taking prompt action, we would have given the community assurance of our integrity and by now we would have been in court in front of a jury. Look at the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore: the incident tool place in April is now in court.

Is the state's attorney's office biased toward police in cases of possible police misconduct? What evidence supports your opinion? If yes, how would you eliminate that bias?

The appearance of bias exists. I'll take a different approach to police shootings. [1] Have the cases handled by a select group of specially trained,

senior level felony assistants who work solely on these types of case. They'd be case law experts with police academy style training in the use of


force. [2] Have these dedicated prosecutors report direct to me and have different investigative teams assigned to each case. [3] Insist on real time flow of evidence. Video releases would be up to me, NEVER to police or mayors. It's evidence. [4] End the culture of secrecy.

List any relations (including those related to you by marriage, and nieces/nephews) who are on the public payroll in Illinois, their jobs and who they work for.


Please list any elected office you have ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?


What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Epidemic gun violence threatens our security and the moral fabric of our community. I'm the only candidate that has a plan for reducing gun violence. It includes a dedicated gun court, prosecution focus on people who traffic in guns and transfer them illegally, the use of grand juries to compel testimony that let us go up the food chain and get the worst offenders, Highland Park style legislation to expand gun registrations and limit semi-automatic weapons, and a county-wide Safety Alliance to get parents, pastors, police, teachers, socials service agencies, elected officials -- everyone -- engaged to reduce gun violence.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Hal Baskin, heads Englewood Task Force, helps black men find life after prison, mentors young to adulthood. No money, fanfare, agenda. Just community. True leadership.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Be fair and treat everyone with respect.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I'd buy the week I didn't talk to my Dad because he checked up on me. At 25, I mistook love for mistrust. Never again.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

History. Taught me that you can change events by changing actions. So, I use this concept when determining how to solve an issue.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Remember, doing the right thing isn't the easy choice. It is the only choice.

Don't be afraid to purse goals that seem out of reach. We become stronger and when we believe in ourselves and chase our dreams.