Illinois Lawmaker Demoted After Allegedly Stealing, Disrespecting Fallen Officer and ‘Power Grab’ Attempt
Illinois Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) resigned suddenly from her state House leadership position last week after allegedly shoplifting in 2020 and then disrespecting a police officer killed in the line of duty last month.
In January 2020, Ammons allegedly stole a Coach purse from a hospital thrift store in Urbana, Illinois. Her husband, Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons, said the incident “is a non-story and a basic misunderstanding, and that’s all you’re going to get from me.”
The investigation was riddled with issues. As reported by the News-Gazette, “Judge Jason Bohm said attorneys for the Illinois State Police and Illinois State Appellate Prosecutor’s office ‘certainly appear to have violated the spirit’ of the code of professional conduct for lawyers by failing to give him information.”
In November 2020, the special prosecutor announced no charges would be filed against Ammons, but the police report was released via a Freedom of Information Act request and both the victim’s and the defendant’s names were redacted.
An Illinois House official told Breitbart News that after the purse incident, Democrat leadership began looking for a reason to remove Ammons from her position as “chairperson of the House Democratic Conference,” which made her part of the speaker’s leadership team.
In the instance of disrespecting the slain police officer, as reported by Breitbart News last month, “During a moment of silence meant to honor fallen Officer Chris Oberheim on the floor of the Illinois House, state Rep. Carol Ammons (D) spoke about the felon, Darion Lafayette, who died after allegedly shooting and killing Oberheim.”
The Champaign Police Department responded to a “domestic disturbance” involving Lafayette in May. As shown by body camera footage and testimony from Oberheim’s partner present at the scene, Officer Jeff Creel, Lafayette shot Oberheim after a brief struggle. Lafayette then shot Creel three times, emptying his Glock 9mm. Fearing Lafayette would shoot again and kill him and his partner, Creel said, “I immediately fired my sidearm numerous times into Darion until I felt we were safe.”
Lafayette has been charged with aggravated domestic violence of three different women as well as possession of drugs, including methamphetamine. Under Illinois law, Lafayette cannot legally possess a firearm.
Ammons, along with Reps. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) and Mike Marron (R-Fithian), cosponsored the resolution meant to honor Oberheim and create a moment of silence exclusively for the fallen officer. According to Caulkins, he and Marron wrote the resolution.
Because Oberheim was killed in Ammons’ district, Caulkins said, “I went to her and offered her a cosponsorship. I tried to not make it a partisan deal.”
When the trio went to the House floor to introduce the resolution, Ammons said, “We also have to call to the family who also lost a young man in this incident, Darion Lafayette. I don’t know what happened or what led to this incident. But I know that gun violence is plaguing our communities across the states.” She continued to speak about gun violence and how “families grieve” in her community.
Marron called Ammons’ actions “disrespectful” and “distasteful.”
“We wanted to do something nice to honor a fallen hero,” Marron said. Oberheim leaves behind a wife and four young daughters, one of whom graduated high school last week.
“I was stunned listening to her remarks concerning the shooter, the murderer,” Caulkins said. “I found it very inappropriate.”
As reported by Politico on Monday, Ammons misused her position on the House floor, again. Ammons took over the speaker’s gavel to discuss a bill on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) from a fellow Democrat. Ammons opposed the bill. In “an apparent power grab,” Ammons called Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), who also opposed the bill, to speak.
Politico reported, “Onlookers said Flowers was abusive and that Ammons allowed her to go on too long. Lawmakers said Ammons misused the podium and that the whole episode looked choreographed, though Flowers says it wasn’t.”
While the DCFS bill ultimately passed, Ammons resigned and Rep. LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis) took over as House majority conference chair with only two days left in the legislative session. This leadership change is an extremely rare move.
The News-Gazette reported on the financial repercussions that also came along with Ammons’ resignation:
Ammons’ loss of her position as chairwoman of the Democratic conference will be painful in several ways, including financial.
She was paid an additional $18,066 per year on top of her annual legislative salary of $69,464 and per diem expense payments of $151 per day when the legislature is in session.
An official in the Illinois Senate told Breitbart News that Ammons’ inappropriate behavior on the House floor was the major factor contributing to her dismissal from House leadership. After Ammons formally misused her power as the temporary speaker, it was apparently the final reason to have her demoted from Democrat leadership.
Ammons did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment before the publication of this article.