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What does a State’s Attorney do?

Written by on October 16, 2020

Photo courtesy to McLean County Facebook page 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- On the ballot this Election, Nov. 3, you may seen the race for State’s Attorney. But, as a voter, do you know the ins and outs of the position?

State’s Attorney Don Knapp will appear solo on the ballot, but he oversees the entire State’s Attorney office.

Photo courtesy to Don Knapp Facebook page

The office is comprised of two divisions: criminal and civil. Most people know what the criminal division does.

“That is prosecute crimes, assist law enforcement in activities to deter crimes,” said Knapp. “The civil division operates as the cooperate legal arm for McLean County.”

The enterprise is an 850 full-time equivalent position entity with a $104 million budget. Knapp oversees both divisions as State’s Attorney.

The office has 46 employees, 26 assistant State’s attorneys,  20 support staff and the office has over a $3 million budget.

“I administer the budget and oversee the day-to-day operations,” said Knapp.

Just in this year alone,  the office has done seven murder trials.

“We do all kinds of cases,” said Knapp. “Cases as minor as traffic violations all the way to murder.”

Knapp says the voters are most familiar with the prosecution, but there is two division.

“We act as the general council to McLean County, the county government, and then we act as the prosecutors throughout the county,” said Knapp. “It is complex, it’s never dull, never boring and each day presents new challenges and issues.”



Antonia Walker contributed to this story