CHARLES R. REA
FOR DEKALB COUNTY
Vote Republican March 15, 2016
Chuck has lived and worked in DeKalb County for over 25 years. Chuck was born in Douglas, Michigan on October 21, 1957. In the summer of 1971 Chuck went to Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN as a member of the summer horsemanship program. Based in part on his success in the Culver summer program, his enjoyment in caring for the horses and the rural setting at Culver, Chuck decided to try for a scholarship to Culver for high school. Earning the same, he entered Culver as a plebe (new cadet) in the fall of 1972.
While at Culver, Chuck was a member of the Black Horse Troop and was selected as a part of that group to ride in and lead the presidential inaugural parade of President Richard Nixon in Washington, D.C. in January 1973. Chuck also earned several varsity letters while taking a heavier than normal course schedule. Chuck was nominated as a member of the Blue Key Society (Junior Academic Honors) and was in the top 10 in his class when he was advised in January of 1975 that he was eligible to graduate one year early. Chuck graduated from Culver in June 1975.
Before graduation from Culver, Chuck had earned a President's scholarship to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. While at Wabash, Chuck simultaneously worked nights driving a garbage truck, afternoons pumping gas and weekends roofing houses to pay expenses not covered by his scholarship. Chuck graduated from Wabash in May 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English.
Thereafter, Chuck attended the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, again on scholarship, going to school in the evenings while working full-time during the day and part-time after school several nights per week.
For three years, while he was attending law school, Chuck worked at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Chicago. At this time Chuck also worked part-time for the Illinois Attorney General's Office in it's trial division, helping create guidelines for the, then new, Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
During his last year at John Marshall, under the provisions of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 Chuck began working at the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office, in it's Civil Division. Upon graduation from John Marshall in January 1985, Chuck took and passed the bar exam in Illinois and was formally sworn in as an Assistant State's Attorney in DuPage County in May 1985. Chuck remained in the Civil Division, representing the Highway Department and Health Department while also handling the Child Support Enforcement court call.
Thereafter, Chuck was transferred to the Criminal Division. Initially in the Misdemeanor Division, Chuck quickly rose to be the lead prosecutor in this Division, which included four trial courtrooms in the main courthouse and four satellite traffic courthouses handling over 1000 cases daily throughout DuPage County. At this time, the division included 13 assistant state's attorneys and their support staff, the same size as the current DeKalb County State's Attorney's office. As lead attorney in the Division, Chuck provided supervision, leadership and training for these attorneys and staff, and personally tried several dozens of cases. During this time Chuck was also a liaison between the State's Attorney's Office and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM), speaking at many of their meetings.
In mid 1986, Chuck was promoted to the felony trial division and was quickly assigned to the Major Crimes Unit. This unit was a small select group of prosecutors responsible for prosecuting the most serious felonies, gang-related and organized crime cases. During this time Chuck was assigned as a prosecutor handling all of the cases investigated by the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group (DUMEG), the Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for DuPage County. In this capacity Chuck prosecuted cases involving dozens of kilos of cocaine, hundreds of pounds of marijuana, millions of dollars and hundreds of illegal weapons. Chuck sent several dozens of drug dealers to prison for while working with the federal government to deport many of them. Chuck also authored dozens of search warrants and successful applications for eavesdropping orders. Many of the procedures and operations for these prosecutions were initiated by this unit at this time and are still in use throughout Illinois today. Chuck and his two partners were awarded the Illinois State Police Outstanding Narcotics Prosecution Award for 1988-1989, from the Illinois Metropolitan Enforcement Group Directors and Task Force Commanders Association.
The Major Crimes Unit also handled organized crime cases, gang crimes and violent crimes. As a part of his assignment to this unit Chuck successfully tried the first Syndicated Gambling case in DuPage County history to a jury. Chuck was also a part of the initial street gang task force in DuPage County and involved with the initial advising committee that set up the DuPage Children's Center. This center provided trained investigators for standardized prosecution of crimes against children. During his time in the State's Attorney's Office Chuck personally successfully tried over 160 Bench Trials and 60 Jury Trials for crimes ranging from DUI to Homicide.
The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office had an extensive in-house training program, which included yearly mock trial training competitions along with further specialized training within the areas of the Assistant State's Attorney's particular assignment. Along with this standard training, Chuck also had additional specialized advanced training. Chuck completed the 42nd Annual Short Course for Prosecuting Attorneys conducted by the Northwestern University School of Law in August, 1987 and the Controlled Substance Diversion Conference conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice in September 1988.
During Chuck's last year in the State's Attorney's Office he was an adjunct professor in Criminal Law at the College of DuPage. Chuck also taught a preparation class for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) for Bar/Bri for 3 years in DeKalb and at Waubonsee Community College.
In 1990, Chuck decided to leave the State's Attorney's Office to go into the private practice of law. While he was an experienced criminal prosecutor, Chuck felt he had much to learn about civil law and procedure that are the staples of a private practice. Chuck was lucky enough to spend a year learning this from Keith Foster and John Corneille in DeKalb before opening his current practice in 1991.
Chuck's practice has been a general practitioner representing clients in a variety of legal matters both in and out of court. As a criminal defense lawyer Chuck has represented thousands of clients charged with a variety of crimes, and has personally tried over 20 additional jury trials and over 250 additional bench trials during this time for offenses ranging from DUI to Homicide. Chuck has also appeared weekly in traffic court and juvenile court, and has appeared frequently before various school boards, municipal legislative bodies and the Illinois Secretary of State for hundreds of administrative hearings. From 1991-1996 Chuck was the Big Rock Township Attorney, handling a variety of matters for the township board and highway department. From 1991-1993, Chuck was also a prosecutor for the Illinois Secretary of State, handling formal administrative hearings twice monthly.
The majority of Chuck's civil practice has been in the areas revolving around families and family law. The majority of this has long been either pro bono (no fee) or at a reduced rate. Chuck has provided free legal assistance to hundreds of clients of Safe Passage and Mutual Ground (the domestic abuse shelters for DeKalb, Kane, and Kendall counties) since 1991, even being honored with special recognition for Outstanding Service in May 1996 by Mutual Ground.
Chuck takes multiple pro bono referrals from Prairie State Legal Services each year in both DeKalb and Kendall Counties. For over twenty years Chuck has also taken pro bono referrals from a number of churches and church groups, as well as through his contacts within the community. Chuck has also been a court-appointed pro bono attorney for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and has been a court approved mediator and Guardian Ad Litem since the inception of both programs. In addition to the free mediation/Guardian Ad Litem training from the bar associations, Chuck had further advanced training at his own expense. This advanced training was through the Aurora University Conflict Resolution and Divorce Mediation Institute, which was approved by the Illinois Department of Regulation and the Academy of Family Mediators, in the fall of 1997. Although he accepts appointments from the court to act as a mediator/GAL after family cases are in the courts, the majority of Chuck's mediation work is with families prior to litigation being initiated, often successfully saving the family. To further this, Chuck worked with a private licensed professional counselor to set up a not for profit family services provider to provide counseling, mediation and family legal services on a pro bono or sliding fee schedule.
Chuck has also set up numerous not for profit corporations for area youth sports, religious and civic organizations, at no charge to these organizations. Over the years, Chuck has also provided pro bono services for Open Door in Sandwich, assisting disabled adults and the Fox Valley Older Adults assisting seniors. Chuck has also provided pro bono, legal assistance to a number of veterans who have returned from their active service to changing family dynamics, in part caused by their service.
Chuck, as an attorney in private practice, over the years has worked with the Kendall County State's Attorney's Office and the Kendall County Juvenile Justice Council. Over the last several months they have worked to establish and implement a bullying/hazing program to present to local schools in DeKalb, Kendall and LaSalle Counties to educate students on complex consequences to involved in these types of actions.
Chuck has been active in his church, both with the local church and within the Northern Illinois Conference. In the local church in Hinckley, Chuck served on a variety of local church boards over the years, was the chair of the administrative council from 2005-2008 and has been the church's lay delegate to Annual Conference since then. At the conference level, Chuck has been a certified lay servant for over 10 years, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Retreat Ministries which oversees two church camps and numerous employees.
Chuck has also been a certified youth coach, and coached numerous youth teams in several sports for over a dozen years as his children grew.
Chuck has three daughters and one son. His daughter Amanda has her Masters in Secondary Education from DePaul University and works with the Chicago Public Schools. His daughter Alex earned her bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan, and just received her masters in Human Rights from the Adler School in Chicago. His son Trevor is majoring in business (with an eye towards law school) at Illinois State University. His daughter Miranda is a freshman at DePaul University where she is studying actuarial science in the Honors Accounting program, making the Dean's List for her first trimester. She is on scholarship for cross country and track.
On September 13, Chuck's daughter Alex and her husband Peter became the proud parents of their son, Oliver, Chuck's first grandchild.