Rauner's first pardon goes to Champaign County case

Rauner's first pardon goes to Champaign County case

CHICAGO — In his first executive pardon, Gov. Bruce Rauner has given clemency to a 43-year-old man convicted of theft in Champaign County in his youth.

A release from the governor’s office Friday said the pardon for Neil Hebert, convicted in 1992 of a felony, allows him to seek enpungment of his criminal record in Champaign County. If the expungement is granted, Hebert’s record would be sealed.

The only other man to be pardoned by Rauner Friday was Michael Sullivan, convicted of burglary in Cook County in 1979.

Ranuer denied another 57 clemency petitions, according to the release.

“The 59 clemency petitions Governor Rauner acted upon (Friday) are part of dockets dating back to October 2008. Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police’s Law Enforcement Agencies Data System,” the release said.

Champaign County court records indicate that Hebert was 20 when he committed the theft in February 1992. Online court records don’t say what he took or from whom. In May of that year, he pleaded guilty to the Class 3 felony and was sentenced to two years of probation. He paid his fees and fines and was successfully discharged from his probation in May 1994.

Court records indicate that Hebert filed his petition for executive clemency in 2009.

Rauner’s office said it has developed a process to review clemency petitions regularly. The release said Rauner inherited nearly 3,000 petitions dating back six years.

When former Gov. Pat Quinn took office in 2009, he inherited about 2,500 petitions from Rod Blagojevich. During his entire term, Quinn reviewed more than 4,900 petitions, granting 1,795 and denying 3,133.
 

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