Now, I have nothing personal against Mrs. Dixon. I have never met her nor had any dealings with her. I do have issues with the former Circuit Clerk, Brendan Kelly, because of the way he mishandled my criminal complaints against Fairview Heights Police. This post is merely a commentary on what I observed of Mrs. Dixon’s performance as Assistant State’s Attorney.
From the St. Clair County Circuit Clerk Website:
Mrs. Kahalah A. Dixon was appointed to the office of Circuit Clerk in January of 2011. She is the daughter of the late former East. St. Louis Fire Chief Bruce Hill, Jr. and Mrs. Reola Hill. Kahalah, a native of East St. Louis, attended elementary school at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in East St. Louis and Our Lady Queen of Peace in Belleville. Kahalah attended Althoff Catholic High School as a freshman, and completed her high school education at East St. Louis Lincoln Senior High School, graduating 5th in her class. Kahalah went on to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on academic scholarship. She graduated from U of I on the Dean’s List with a degree in Pre-Law/Speech Communication. Kahalah obtained her law degree from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis where she was a member of the prestigious Order of the Barristers. While attending law school, Kahalah worked as an Education Coordinator for the Indianapolis Urban League co-piloting their premier education program to #1 in the country. As a law student, Kahalah clerked for the Marion County Prosecutors Office, a boutique law firm in the area of labor and employment law, and she acquired the status of certified legal intern through the Indiana Supreme Court and participated in the Civil Practice Clinic representing economically challenged clients with their legal matters. As an attorney, Kahalah was a full-time public defender with the Marion County Public Defenders Agency. As a public defender, she tried cases from misdemeanors to felonies. Kahalah also practiced in the private sector primarily in the area of family law.
Prior to being appointed Circuit Clerk, Kahalah was an Assistant State’s Attorney with the St. Clair County State’s Attorneys Office. As an Assistant State’s Attorney, Kahalah tried traffic, misdemeanor, and felony cases. Kahalah lives in Fairview Heights with her family and has a son, Anthony Dixon III by her late husband, Anthony Dixon, Jr.
Now, here is where I take issue with Mrs. Dixon. I accompanied my brother to court where he had requested a bench trial and was on the docket for same, to be presided by Judge Vincent Lopinot. I touch on the details of the experience here.
What I observed in the courtroom that day evidenced either incompetence, ignorance, or deceit. My brother argued jurisdiction in a previous appearance where Mrs. Dixon represented the State and her only response was, “Did the offense occur in St. Clair County? Well then we have jurisdiction.” My brother was arguing lack of jurisdiction for probable cause and a properly filed and verified complaint, both of which were lacking. Mrs. Dixon could only focus on the situs of the offense, which to her must be her only comprehension of “jurisdiction”. When Judge Lopinot began to commence the bench trial, Mrs. Dixon was not prepared to proceed since her witnesses, the police, were not present. My brother argued that since he appeared ready for trial and the State was not prepared, the charges should be dismissed. Mrs. Dixon argued that a date set for bench trial isn’t really a date set for bench trial, and therefore entitled to a continuance in order to get her witnesses for another appearance on a future date. Fortunately, Judge Lopinot disagreed with Mrs. Dixon and dismissed the charges.
I can’t say whether I’ll have any dealings with Mrs. Dixon, aside from any exception to this post should she see it, but I am curious whether she will continue with the misfeasance of Brendan Kelly in taking jury demand fees when they were not necessary. I will keep my eye on her since I have more visits scheduled to the Circuit Clerk’s office to address numerous issues, such as failing to accurately reflect the proper record of a court’s proceedings.
Given what I’ve witnessed so far, I have little confidence in Ms. Dixon.