Illinois lawmaker resigns from leadership role after disrespecting fallen police officer and abusing her position


SPRINGFIELD, IL – An Illinois Democrat was forced to resign her leadership position in the State House after allegedly disrespecting a fallen police officer and abusing her position.

Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) abruptly resigned from her position as chairwoman of the Democratic conference amid multiple controversies.

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch announced the resignation last week:

“I am happy to announce that I have appointed Representative LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, as Majority Conference chairperson. Today, I accepted the resignation of Leader Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, from this position.

“I am grateful for the work she has done and will continue to do for the people of Illinois. I am eager to see the progress Leader Greenwood will make as she grows into this leadership role and the continued success of our Democratic caucus here in the statehouse.”

Ammons troubles began after it was discovered she allegedly stole a Coach purse from a hospital thrift store in January 2020.

She was charged, but the case was dropped in November when special prosecutor Patrick Delfino announced no charges would be pressed in the incident.

But the news media pursued the incident and obtained Freedom of Information Act copies of the Urbana Police Department’s police reports and security video from the Carle Auxiliary Resale Shop, where the alleged theft took place.

The reports had all names and identifying information redacted.

The police report stated that the incident happened at the resale shop on January 7 and was reported to police on January 10.

The report stated that a woman walked into the shop with a small clutch wallet and left with an $80 black Coach purse without paying for it.

Police said security video showed a woman reaching her hand inside of a purse, and later, a white object that had not been there before was found on the ground near it. The white object was later identified as the price tag.

Police then said that the woman went to the dressing room, paid for other items, and left the store.

The lawmaker claimed the incident was “misunderstanding” and race-related in a statement issued regarding the incident:

“As I stated previously, this was a misunderstanding, and I am pleased that the special prosecutor(s) saw what I said from the very beginning. I am aware that there are people in this community who have a very hard time accepting that I am a strong, outspoken, influential black woman in a position of power but that is a problem they need to resolve, not me.

“The fact that this baseless attack was shared with the press before I even knew there was an issue, is proof enough that this entire situation was designed to undermine the trust people have in me and the faith they have in my leadership.

“However, I will not be moved. I am preparing for the lame-duck session where the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will pass our legislative pillars that aim to remove systemic racism from the criminal legal system which is in the best interest of the people of the 103rd District and the State of Illinois.

The theft sparked a movement inside the Democratic leadership to remove Ammons from her leadership role, according to an Illinois House official who spoke with Breitbart News.

Annons made matters politically worse when she dishonored a fallen police officer while honoring his killer.

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LET UnityReps. Dan Caulkins (R), Mike Marron (R), and Ammons cosponsored a resolution in  May meant to honor fallen Illinois officer Chris Oberheim and create a moment of silence exclusively for the fallen officer.

Ammons represents the district containing the Champaign Police Department, where Oberheim served and died.

During a speech on the House floor to introduce the moment of silence, Ammons started out calling for an end to gun violence, and recognizing the fallen officer:

“Gun violence has plagued our community for far too long. And, this morning, we are standing in recognition of the loss of life of Officer Chris Oberheim.”

Had the Democratic lawmaker stopped there, things would have gone along fine. However, she did not. She then disrespected the fallen officer by recognizing the killer, Darion Lafayette:

“But 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 state.

And we have to do more to address the over proliferation of guns in our communities as well as to build better relationships between the police and the community.

“So, today, all of our families grieve. Champaign grieves. The state of Illinois grieves. This nation is actually grieving. And, so, I pray that we can come together to address what is actually driving the violence and the murder that is taking place in our communities.

We uphold these families, and we ask for solace for all of them and that there is some semblance of relief and pressure that is put on this issue so that we can address it once and for all.

“We ask the body to take a moment of silence for the loss of life that has taken place in Champaign. And thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the moment to recognize the families.”

Champaign Police Department Officer Oberham was shot and killed responding to a domestic disturbance on May 19. As he and another officer arrived on the scene, Lafayette opened fire. Oberham was fatally wounded. The other officer was also wounded but returned fire, killing Lafayette.

Officer Oberheim had served with the Champaign Police Department for 13 years and had previously served with the Decatur Police Department for seven years. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Reacting to the disrespect shown for the officer and his family by Ammons, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R) said:

“This is despicable. This was a moment of silence meant to honor a fallen hero.”

Co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mike Marron (R-Fithian) said Ammons’ words were “distasteful,” saying, “We wanted to do something nice to honor a fallen hero.”

Co-Sponsor Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) said. :

“I was stunned listening to her remarks concerning the shooter, the murderer,” Caulkins said. “I found it very inappropriate.”

Ammons has also been accused of abusing her office for the way she handled sessions, including removing the gavel from a lawmaker supporting a bill she opposed.  

Her removal from the leadership position is not simply an appearance and prestige punishment. The actions have real costs. 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 in her former leadership role.

Ammons issued “an open letter to the people of the 103rd district” on Friday:

“While I know I have not compromised my dignity or violated anyone else’s, on May 29, 2021, I was asked to take my folding chair to another table…

That reality was never a deterrent for me prior to being given a seat at the table of “leadership” and it will not be a deterrent for me going forward. I was taught that leadership is honest work and correct thinking and therefore can come from anyone at any time.

“As your Representative, I wanted you all to know that I remain committed to working honestly and being well prepared to offer the correct analysis of any bill I work on, or any relationship that develops while working on your behalf.

In short, I will continue to offer leadership whether my folding chair has a space at the table, or if I have to pick it up and move it to another location!”

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