State's Attorney candidates

By Steve Hoffman

MONTICELLO – Two area attorneys have announced their intention to run for Piatt County State's Attorney next year. Kelly Griffith and Sarah Perry both say they will run on the March 17 Republican primary ballot.

The primary winner will be on the Nov. 3, 2020 general election ballot.

The office is currently held by Dana Rhoades, who has announced a run for resident circuit judge.

Kelly Griffith

Griffith currently is General Counsel for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. She also is a legal instructor at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute and the Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center.

Previously, her work has included nearly nine years as a prosecutor in the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“I would be honored and humbled to serve the citizens of Piatt County,” said Griffith. “As a prosecutor I handled hundreds of jury trials and thousands of cases including; murder, robbery, home invasion, sexual assault and sexual abuse. With almost 23 years of experience in the legal field and handling all types of cases, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to help continue keeping our streets and communities safe.”

Prior to her work as General Counsel, Kelly Griffith was a Police Training Specialist at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute. She also served as General Counsel at the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault in Springfield.

Griffith is a 1993 graduate of University of Illinois in Champaign and a 1996 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law.

She and her husband, Corbitt have been married for 19 years. Corbitt grew up in White Heath and went to high school in Monticello. He served in the United States Army and is a retired Champaign Police Officer. They currently live in Cantrall, but Griffith said she would move to Piatt County if elected.

Sarah Perry

Perry is a child advocate, current Champaign County Assistant State’s Attorney and Monticello resident.

“I enjoy the work. I enjoy my job very much now, and when Dana announced she was running for judge, I started thinking about it and thought it would be good to be close to home. I would love to serve my community and do what I do in Champaign here,” said Perry.

She added her experience in Champaign County has run the gamut.

“Right now I am back in the abuse and neglect cases. I’ve done misdemeanors, I’ve done felonies, I’ve done juvenile delinquencies, I’ve done abuse and neglect cases. Just about everything but traffic,” she commented.

A 1993 Monticello High School graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and law degree from the University of Illinois, Perry has spent a good bit of her career working on juvenile cases. That started with her first job out of law school, where she worked for three years as a guardian ad litem representing minors in abuse and neglect cases in Cook County.

Perry also worked in private practice and as a County Court Appointed Special advocate in San Diego before her family moved back to Piatt County in 2008.

After several years as a stay-at-home mom, Perry went to work form the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s office in 2013.

“I like being able to interact with people. I like being able to solve problems for everybody involving the criminal justice system, especially victims. I think I can do a lot of good here,” she added.

Perry and her husband, 1991 graduate Ryan Perry, have four children, aged 9 to 22 years old.