Latiker received a pardon in 1999 before the current Governor, Rod Blagojevich (D) took office.
Three years later, on February 12, 2002, the Sun Times featured an article on Latiker that was rather sympathetic. It began, for example, by stating that she had acknowledged that she "made a huge mistake," that she has "gotten down on her knees and asked for forgiveness," made "restitution" and "gladly suffered the humiliation" for her crime. But, said the article, her past still controlled her future "like a traffic cop." The article went on to say, without many specifics at all, that Latiker was "one of three women" who were "swept up in a check-writing scam." In addition to describing her as having been passively "swept up," the article noted that she performed 1,000 hours of community service, she had fulfilled "all" of the requirements of her probation and worked for a "large, successful" campaign and that she had earned a Master's degree and was working on a doctorate.
So, maybe it seemed reasonable that, in August 2005, when Governor Blagojevich went a step further and formally expunging the offense from Latiker's record, the Sun-Times did not seem to even notice, even though, at the time, she had been an employee with the State since 2003. Indeed, it was three years after Blagojevich's expungement (March 14, 2008) when a Sun-Times editorial described the Governor's decision in this manner:
... Blagojevich had expunged the record of a woman, Sharon Latiker, who was gearing up to run against House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie. Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan are bitter enemies, so the expungement was seen by some as helping Latiker's campaign against Madigan's majority leader.Likewise, it was not until 2008 that a representative from the Better Government Association observed Ms. Latiker "ripped off the public" and complained, "It's one thing to give people who had a run-in with the law a second chance. But it's another when someone is accused of stealing from the public."
Regardless, a 2006 Sun-Times editorial recommended Currie, the 27-year incumbent in the 25th district, for the State House over Latiker. The Sun-Times argued Latiker did not "seem to have a keen handle on the issues facing the state." No reference was made to either the pardon or the expungement. The Chicago Tribune, on the other hand, "strongly preferred" Currie over Latiker and described Latiker as:
... a former city Law Department administrator who was convicted for writing bad checks. Latiker later won a pardon and expungement. She has few specific ideas for the state or her district.The same recommendation was made by the Sun-Times in 2008. The Chicago Tribune, again, "strongly endorsed" Currie over Latiker. But no mention was made of either the pardon or the expungement by either paper.
So, the question comes to this: How does the Sun-Times find the nerve to describe the Latiker pardon and expungement as being something like a recent "disclosure" in March of 2008? The Tribune knew about - and wrote about - both of the decisions in 2006. The Sun-Times has also recently reported that Blagojevich's administration has "allowed access to most of what was contained in executive clemency files at the Prisoner Review Board" since 2003. So, what has prevented the Sun-Times from "disclosing" this story for three years? Perhaps the Sun-Times should get a subscription to the Tribune?