Learn about J. Hanley!

J. Hanley is uniquely qualified for the position of State’s Attorney and his leadership is exactly what the State’s Attorney’s Office and Winnebago County needs. J. will restore trust to the office – effectively collaborating with law enforcement and the judiciary while aggressively prosecuting our most dangerous criminals. In so doing, J. will work to restore a sense of peace to the residents of Winnebago County. 

A prosecutor at heart, J. served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Winnebago County and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Arizona.

Prior to becoming a prosecutor, J. graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law. During law school, J. interned for the United States Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Fort Stewart, GA. While there, J. supported Army prosecutors and provided legal aid to soldiers.

After graduating from law school, J. returned to Rockford to be an Assistant State’s Attorney here in Winnebago County. The experience was formational for a number of reasons. First, it introduced J. to life as a prosecutor – he loved it and was good at it – as if it were “in his blood.” Second, it provided invaluable experience. J. was given all he could handle and began trying cases immediately. Finally, it fulfilled J.’s desire to be in public service – J. took pride in advocating on behalf of the citizens of Winnebago County.

In early 2009, J. moved to Tucson, Arizona to become an Assistant United States Attorney and began representing the United States in the prosecution of federal crimes. While an AUSA, J. prosecuted at the highest level and in so doing, honed his investigatory and prosecutorial skills while developing impeccable judgment.

As an AUSA, J. was involved in the investigation of crimes – being responsible for a prosecution from its investigative inception to its culmination at trial. One such investigation led to J.’s investigative team being awarded the Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director’s 2010 Annual Award for Outstanding Investigative Accomplishments in Human Smuggling.

It was in serving as an AUSA that his skills as a prosecutor were honed and perfected. J. successfully prosecuted and extradited a high ranking member of a drug smuggling organization who had, along with his co-conspirators, smuggled more than 28,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States. J. also successfully prosecuted and extradited the leader of a human smuggling organization and his co-conspirators for the deaths of eleven people while they were being smuggled from Mexico to the United States. Further, J. was part of an investigation which led to the arrest of six residents of the Bronx for operating a prescription drug ring or “pill mill,” that used a day care center to store much of its supply. As a result of the investigation, 122,000 pills were recovered.

After living and working in Tucson, J. and his wife gladly “boomeranged” back to Rockford where J. began working at the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson. While at Hinshaw, he handled complex business litigation matters.

Currently, J. is General Counsel for the Rock River Water Reclamation District. This position has prepared him to be State’s Attorney. Just as the State’s Attorney is the attorney for Winnebago County, J. handles all legal matters for the District, a unit of local government, while being accountable to an appointed Board of Trustees.

Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, J. understands what makes this community “tick.” But he also  worked in New York City, Chicago, Savannah, and Tucson. While working as an AUSA in Arizona, J. explored Arizona’s border with Mexico, rode in helicopters, interviewed a cartel member in a Mexican prison and trained at Quantico. These experiences have given J. a perspective of the world – and the law – beyond Winnebago County.

From a very young age, J. possessed a strong sense of community and a desire to serve others. Indeed, much of his personal and professional life has been dedicated to the people of Winnebago County. J. and his wife are foster parents and J. has dedicated his time, treasure, and talent to great organizations like the YMCA, United Way, and KFACT.

J. is blessed with a healthy sense of humor, a positive disposition and is an effective communicator. These soft skills, developed through his varied jobs, interests and travels, are crucial to navigating the challenging arena of local politics.

If elected, J. will first change the culture of the State’s Attorney’s office – instilling trust in his Assistant State’s Attorneys while gaining the trust of constituents, law enforcement, judges, victims, and the County Board. Next, J. will develop measurable strategic priorities for the office – focusing on those areas that will have the biggest positive impact for Winnebago County residents. J.’s vision is to bring a sense of peace back to the people of Winnebago County.

Wall of Gradtitude

Brian Hanley
Brian Jason and Rockford Country Club
Chiropractic First of Rockford
CMM Associates
Countryside Meats
Dr. Julia Pesavento, DDS (for my three front teeth)
Entre Computers
Essential Freedom DoTerra

Ford Tool
Janie Clark (photography)
Jeff and Shelley Shinn
John and Melissa Murphy
Lauren Trotter
Mic Solon

Montel Technologies
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Pam and Larry Hall
Prairie Street Brewhouse
Prairie Street Brewing Company
Rockford Country Club
Salamone’s, Cherry Valley
Skip and Kathy Trotter

The American Lombardi Club
The Italian Beef Tent at Fiesta Italiana
The O’Banley Children
The Post, Village of Winnebago
Tom and Colleen O’Brien
Trotter Manufacturing