George Ryan, 2 other former governors from Kankakee honored despite scandals


A controversial monument was unveiled Thursday in Kankakee.

The Kankakee ladies’s club raised greater than $30,000 to construct the wall they usually continue to boost cash by promoting bricks that sit in entrance.

“We just needed one thing nobody else had, and the factor we might provide you with was we had three governors from the town of Kankakee,” stated Dondi Maricle, the undertaking chairperson.

The phrases of two of the three governors, nevertheless, have been tarnished by scandal.

Lennington Small, who served from 1920-1929, was accused of embezzlement but later acquitted. His family members nonetheless personal the newspaper in town. Nice-grandson Tom Small nonetheless lives in Kankakee.

“He felt an affection for Illinois is virtually not recognized anymore, and for the city,” stated Small.

Former Governor George Ryan served more than five years in federal jail after being convicted on federal corruption costs.

Ladies’s club leaders brush off criticism that the plaques are inappropriate.

“It’s completed. We need to transfer on. We have to have fun the great in everyone’s life as a result of none of us are good,” stated Helen Defour, former ladies’s club president.

Ryan also achieved international acclaim and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after initiating a moratorium on executions in the state. The plaque under his picture makes no point out of that, or of his felony conviction.

“You possibly can look again and discover something anyone does not like, but I like to take a look at the constructive things,” stated Mary Archie, current ladies’s club president.

Ryan is never seen in public nowadays since his launch from prison in 2013.

Ryan got here out to assist his hometown dedicate a wall honoring him and the 2 other Illinois governors from Kankakee.

“I’m humbled by it,” he stated. “The individuals of Kankakee have been good to me through the years, every time I ran. My family was right here.”

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