WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Republican Candidate for Winnebago County State's Attorney Glen Weber says incumbent Joe Bruscato is unqualified for the job because he dropped the ball in the case of Melvin Perkins.
Perkins was recently arrested for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death in her sleep. Weber says Perkins has a history of domestic violence, and the last time he was in court in 2010 for hurting a different woman, Bruscato's office should have made him serve time.
Bruscato says Weber hasn't done adequate research on this issue, and if he had, he would have discovered that Bruscato did the best he could with an uncooperative victim who changed her story.
"The victim in that case very clearly indicated to us that they wanted the charges dropped, that they didn't want us to pursue those charges," Bruscato says. "That we as an office on behalf of the people were able to secure a conviction even though we had a victim that really didn't want us to pursue this case - I think that shows initiative on behalf of our office."
Weber says he's not trying to negatively campaign - he's just giving people the facts.
"People don't know the facts of what's going on in that office, and that there's total lack of training and total incompetence in pleading this case to a misdemeanor when he should've gotten 6 years in prison."
Bruscato says he wasn't in office the first few times Perkins was charged with various domestic violence related incidents, and Weber should do his research.
Both candidates agree it can be difficult to get convictions in domestic violence cases, especially because victims often change their minds about pursuing prosecution.