By Steve Huff on 7/25/2006, 7:14am PT  

Guest blogged by Steve Huff

Introduction {by Winter Patriot}: The BRAD BLOG is pleased to introduce Steve Huff, of HuffCrimeBlog.com. Steve is not only a blogger; he's also a part of the investigative team for Court TV's Crime Library, crimelibrary.com.

Ripples of shock spread from the little Village of Green Oaks, IL, through the Illinois political establishment on Monday as the news spread: Mayor Tom Adams, age 68, had been arrested at his home on Anderson Drive, and charged with distributing kiddie porn over the internet.

If convicted, Tom Adams could face 15 years in prison for each person who received child porn from him via the web.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Adams was being held on $100,000 bail. The charges against Mayor Adams were over a year in the making, according to the Tribune.

Adams used multiple screen names to send the child porn, and he was first snagged when in 2005 he sent several images of child pornography to an undercover police officer in Florida.

Tom Adams told authorities he was addicted to child pornography.

He was mayor of a town with less than 4,000 people, but Tom Adams had some pull in Illinois politics.

No more demonstration of that was needed than a look at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus executive board, founded by Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley.

There on the page beside Daley's legendary name is Adams, who is listed as President of the Village of Green Oaks.

Adams's appointment was recent. From the Village of Green Oaks' Fall '05/Winter '06 newsletter:

Tom Adams has been on the Executive Board of the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus since its inception by Chicago Mayor Richard Daly in 1997. At the October 3rd meeting of the Caucus, our Mayor was elected Chairman of this regional organization representing all 272 municipalities within the Chicago Metropolitan area of six counties. This region, which includes the City of Chicago has a population of over 8.5 million persons and is a world class economic powerhouse...

It may not be proof of his status as a power broker in Illinois Republican politics, but Tom Adams was even a delegate to the 2004 National Republican Convention for the state of Illinois. The link takes you to a list of all the delegates posted at www.indymedia.org. Scroll about halfway down and you'll see his name.

The Harvard Crimson, though, got a word from Adams during the 2004 Republican Convention. For an article about beauty-queen and Illinois native Erika Harold, who was heading to her first year at Harvard Law after speaking at the Convention, staff writer Joseph M. Tartakoff wrote:

[Some] of the orange-clad delegates from her native Illinois did pay attention.

"She's very bright. I think she’ll be in politics one of these days," said Tom G. Adams, the Mayor of Green Oaks. "She represents a new Republican movement. She speaks for our party very well. [She should] come back to Illinois and run for Congress."

Before Monday, July 25, 2006, though, one of the few possible hints at something darker going on with Mayor Tom G. Adams was an article published in January, 2005, in the Waukegan, IL, News Sun, authored by Jim Newton. In it, a woman named Paula Hansen claimed that Tom Adams had harassed her:

A woman claims that Mayor Tom Adams harassed and frightened her on two instances last year by driving behind her and beside her while she walked with her dog along Atkinson Road.

Adams said the woman was creating a safety hazard for herself and others by walking in the street with her unleashed dog, and that he was trying to talk to her to explain that she should walk her dog elsewhere.

Lake County Sheriff Gary Del Re, who became involved after the woman, Paula Hansen, reported the incidents to the sheriff's office, said officials attempted to mediate the issue and that he has asked Adams to call the sheriff's office rather than confront the woman in the future.

Although there have been no incidents between the two since Nov. 27, Hansen called the The News Sun this week because she said she believes the sheriff's office did not act on her complaints because of Adams' position as mayor.

Hansen said that during the second incident, which occurred on Nov. 27, Adams followed her for 15 to 20 minutes in his 1997 Jaguar and that he didn't leave until she walked up to a neighbor's house on a side street. She acknowledged wearing headphones and that she did not hear what Adams was trying to say, but added he was driving "at me like he was trying to scare me."

"He intimidated me, he was acting in a threatening manner," she said...

Adams went on in the article to assert that as mayor of Green Oaks, he had "some authority on issues" when the safety of the public was involved.

Adams, a long-time insurance executive, made runs for other, higher offices than the one he held so long in Green Oaks, such as a 1996 stab at a State House Seat. He never succeeded, and maintained his position in his little Lake County hamlet through the auspices of the mostly well-to-do residents of Green Oaks, who seemed perfectly happy with him.

Until, most likely, yesterday.

Child pornography is not a victimless crime. It is illegal because for every instance where it propagates across the web, that is another instance where a child was victimized to make the porn. Distributing child porn as Tom Adams has been accused of doing makes the distributor another willing participant in the rape.

Not exactly anyone's idea of "traditional family values."