We're not sure what's more amusing about this story, the obvious and clichéd abuse of power or the retro charm of dialing the wrong fax number. C'mon, who even faxes anymore? We've gotten so used to people getting busted by accidentally e-mailing everyone in their address book or slipping up on Facebook that we almost feel sorry for the clerk in question, entangled by '90s technology. Almost.

Joann Reed, the records clerk for the sheriff in St. Clair County, Illinois, sent a three-page fax including a copy of a speeding ticket, with a handwritten note saying, "Dismiss this case" and "The guy is the son of one of our deputies." Ostensibly she meant to send the fax to the prosecuting attorney in the village that issued the ticket, but instead, she faxed the local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, which is where we heard about the story.

Apparently unaware that karma already had her number, Reed's next move was worthy of the worst of Illinois politicians. Indeed, when the newspaper started asking questions, the one-time mayoral candidate pulled a Blagojevich, fabricating a story about trying to help a college student get out of the ticket and denying that she was currying favor for a deputy. Problem is, the newspaper did some more digging and discovered that, indeed, the $175 citation for doing 43 in a 20-mile-per-hour zone was issued to the 18-year-old son of a sheriff's deputy. Who says investigative journalism is dead?

Speaking of investigations, Sheriff Mearl Justus says he'll be launching one, telling the newspaper, "I'll take some action."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 18 year old will learn nothing by having a ticket dismissed because he is the son of a cop. I am 22 years old and the son of a council member for my city. I would never want to put myself in the position of having my parent misuse their power to dismiss my mistake. The only ticket I have received was for use of a mobile device and having a light out which ran me about 200$. With that upon replacing my tail light I was told they were not DOT approved at my local substation. My car is custom and I have tear drop taillights built into the bumper. So I had to replace both of them as well and get a new harness to convert the wiring from four to three. So in total I had put in a little over 200$ to get a 200$ ticket signed off. Could I have pulled some strings with people? Maybe? But now I have a legal set of lights and I took care of it myself on my own dime as it should be.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The attention is on the clerk, but I wonder how many times the prosecuting attorney has obliged such requests in the past.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ding ding! My thoughts exactly. She wouldn't have faxed it if it wasn't common.
          • 3 Years Ago
      Mike K
      • 3 Years Ago
      HAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Good, serves 'em right.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sheriff Mearl Justus. Are. You. Serious. What a name. You couldn't script a name like that. Mearl Justus. Incredible. Where's Burt Reynolds and Bandit when you need 'em?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I wonder if there's any relation to Buford T Justus?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess there will be extra patrols around Belleville News-Democrat's building looking for cars going 1mph over the speed limit.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Police became so corrupted. Fixing their relative/friends' citation isn't surprising anymore. They are clearly above the law now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This happened in Illinois? Surely not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is anyone surprised by this? I figure the police and family members are always innocent of minor offenses. Just like celebrities and pretty women.
      Rick Intihar
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait, it's only a $175 for going twice the speed limit? I need to move to illinois.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        More than 20 over? That's reckless driving in most states! Suspend his license for 1 year!
      Robert Fahey
      • 3 Years Ago
      If he's related to Buford T, he's gonna fry yo' ass in molasses.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Illinois eyy? This is how it's done up there. Look at Obama. Lots of special favors, 500 million loans, etc for his buddies.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I live near Belleville not really a big surpirse.
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