Attorney Chris McCall announced he’s running against recently appointed Peoria County State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos in the March primary.
McCall applied alongside Hoos to fill the vacancy left when former state’s attorney Jerry Brady died in June. Hoos was unanimously voted into office by the Peoria County Board last week, despite criticism about the appointment process from the Peoria NAACP.
McCall has worked for 15 years as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. He founded his private practice in 2005. Most of his work is in family law and criminal defense. He has also served as a hearing officer for Peoria Public Schools District 150.
At a press conference Sunday afternoon, McCall said he sees the state’s attorney’s office as an opportunity to break the chains of generational poverty.
“At current levels, it costs $180,000 in our county to incarcerate a child for a year,” he said. “The programs I am proposing to redirect would-be criminals, to offer parenting classes prior to foster care and to protect victims from further victimization would cost a faction of that cost, while making our communities safer places for all of us to live.”
If elected, McCall said he would hire a bilingual social worker focused on redirecting juvenile and non-violent, first-time offenders. He also plans to start a once-a-month evening court for petty offenses, so people don’t have to take time off from work to attend court during the day.
Another top priority: creating an Advisory Committee on Police Shootings to make recommendations about the legal response to such events.
“It is very important to have that commission so everyone realizes that justice is truly blind. This will not be the good old boys network,” McCall said. “But at the same time, good law enforcement officers need to have the confidence that when they make split-second decisions, the state’s attorney — when they’re decisions are justified — will stand behind them.”
The primary election takes place March 17.