Posted on | March 25, 2014 | 27 Comments
Political observers were puzzled last week when, the day after he was re-nominated to office in the Illinois primary, Democrat state Rep. Keith Farnham announced his resignation, citing health issues. Now that mystery has been solved in a surprising way:
Federal agents sought evidence of child pornography last week when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham, who resigned Wednesday, according to a search warrant released Friday.
In addition, a federal agent on Thursday took a laptop computer that Farnham used in the Illinois House chamber, and last week agents removed a computer from a legislative office building next to the Capitol, according to the documents and an interview with a state technology official. . . .
Farnham has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, said no charges have been filed and refused further comment.
Farnham handed in his resignation on Wednesday, saying he was “battling serious health issues for a number of years.” He had won the Democratic primary on [March 18], running unopposed. . . .
The federal investigation came to light last week when authorities acknowledged search warrants were executed at Farnham’s Elgin district office and home. Several computers and equipment were seized at Farnham’s district office, as well as a computer from his office near the Capitol, according to federal records . . .
An attachment to the March 7 warrant to search Farnham’s district office indicated agents were searching for “documents in any format and medium pertaining to the possession, receipt or distribution of child pornography” as well as computer files, copies and negatives of child pornography or any documents that depicted minors “engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
Illinois Democrats said they were shocked by news of the investigation targeting the 66-year-old lawmaker. Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican points out that Farnham had sponsored anti-child pornography legislation, so perhaps the legislator will try the “research” defense,” which no U.S. court has ever recognized. More at BizPacReview and Weasel Zippers.