At the Randolph County Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 2, a special award was presented to both Randolph County Sheriff Shannon Wolff and Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker.
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow was in attendance to present the Guardians of Liberty and Justice Award to both Wolff and Walker, as well as thank both for the parts they played in the investigation and prosecution of Drew Peterson for the murder-for-hire plot against Glasgow.
While Peterson was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, it was alleged that he had solicited another inmate to carry out a murder for hire plot against Glasgow, who was the prosecuting attorney in Peterson's trial for the murder of third wife Kathleen Savio.
After a weeklong trial at the Randolph County Courthouse, a jury found Peterson guilty on May 31, 2016 for solicitation of murder for hire and for solicitation of murder.
On July 29, 2016, Peterson was sentenced by Randolph County Circuit Judge Richard Brown to 40 years in prison.
Peterson is currently being held at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Glasgow stated that through the Illinois State Crime Commission, he had designed and created the Guardians of Liberty and Justice Award - which gets its inspiration from Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy."
"What happened here, what Jeremy and Shannon took part in, was nothing short of a miracle," Glasgow said, referring to the murder-for-hire case. "There's no way in the world that this case should have been made or wound up in a courtroom where a conviction was gotten."
Glasgow later credited Walker and Wolff for helping make sure his family is safe.
"The bottom line is these two gentlemen deserve these awards," he said. "These two gentlemen helped make sure my family is safe."
And while Peterson is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison, Glasgow said that he will not give up on continuing to prosecute him.
He is still working on the case against Peterson in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, Peterson's fourth wife. He said his goal is to "guarantee the public will be safe and he'll never get out."
In addition to the trophies, Wolff and Walker were each presented a certificate that explained their roles.
Wolff's noted, "Sheriff Wolff led a law enforcement team that secured the Randolph County Courthouse during the trial of Drew Peterson for his insidious murder plot against State's Attorney Glasgow. Sheriff Wolff worked closely with the Illinois Department of Corrections to run an airtight security operation, ensuring the defendant was safely situated inside the courthouse during the high-profile trial. Sheriff Wolff also helped to coordinate placement and management of the media as well as members of the public who had expressed an interest in the trial. His security initiatives resulted in a smoothly run trial free of glitches that could have jeopardized the legal process."
Walker's stated, "State's attorney Walker was part of a first-rate trial team that included Assistant Attorneys General William Elward and Steven Nate. They were an exceptional team, working long hours reviewing evidence, preparing witnesses, and litigating successfully at every state in the prosecution. They presented this complicated case with such remarkable skill that the jury arrived at its verdict in under 60 minutes, and Peterson was sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison."
Both certificates also commended the law enforcement professionals on the multi-jurisdictional team for their "extraordinary precision in a groundbreaking endeavor that required them to grapple with seemingly insurmountable odds."
• Randolph County Engineer Mike Riebeling reported that the Palestine Road repairs are going well and were actually ahead of schedule. He noted that the highway department had received a bill from Ameren Illinois for $1,400.
This bill was the result of replacing a pole that a highway department employee accidently bumped while oiling last summer.
• The Care Centre reported 68 residents. They are also still looking for a replacement for administrator Ken Slavens, who will be retiring in January.
• Health Department Interim Director Stephanie Martin noted that they are finishing up their flu vaccine clinics. Each Friday is a casual day at the department, where those that participate donate money for a cause.
Most recently they collected $75, which was donated to Southern Illinois Hospice.
• General assistance for the period was $500.