Link measure gives ex-offenders a second chance at success

link 022817 314SPRINGFIELD – Waukegan School Board Member and former Township Trustee Jeff McBride was the top vote-getter in his school board race in April, but now his eligibility is being challenged because of a crime he committed nearly four decades ago.

In 1980, Jeff McBride made a mistake. He was battling drug addiction and stole a Cool Tote Air Conditioner from a J.C. Penney store. McBride was charged with felony theft and was sentenced to probation and court-ordered addiction treatment.


McBride paid for his crime. He has spent the past 30 years as a model citizen and an active member of his community, but now his work as a public servant is being threatened because of the decades-old crime.

A measure sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) would help give Jeff McBride, and others like him, a second chance.

Jeff McBride’s story is a criminal justice success story,” Link said. “Jeff was a drug addict who overcame obstacles, turned his life around, and is now, decades later, a dedicated public servant. He is a pillar of the community who brings a unique perspective to public office. We should be encouraging ex-offenders to turn their lives around like Jeff did instead of letting decades-old crimes stand in the way of their potential.”

Senate Bill 225 would allow individuals to run for local office if they were convicted of a felony more than fifteen years ago, have completed their sentences and haven’t committed a crime during those fifteen years. It passed in the Senate this week and now moves to the House for their consideration.


Sen. Terry Link

Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link

30th District

Years served:
1997 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Financial Institutions (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Subcommittee on Gaming (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.

Associated Representatives:
Daniel Didech
Rita Mayfield