State Sen. Suzi Schmidt harassed neighbor family for a year, family claims
Lake County Sheriff's office mugshot of State Senator Suzi Schmidt, charged with two count misdemeanor criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to property.
Updated: October 29, 2012 11:56AM
State Sen. Suzi Schmidt harassed a neighbor family for more than a year with phone calls, texts and emails — even telling a 7-year-old boy his mother was having an affair with Schmidt’s now estranged husband, the neighbor family says in a court document.
The neighbors made the claims in an anti-stalking, no-contact order they obtained against Schmidt on Tuesday — the same day she was arrested for allegedly trespassing and damaging property in their yard.
The no-contact order also alleges Schmidt on June 9 was seen doing “photo surveillance” of cars parked at the neighbors’ home in unincorporated Lake Villa.
The purported harassment began on Christmas Day 2010 — the same day Schmidt was heard on a 911 call asking police to disregard any calls from her husband, Robert, about a domestic problem.
In the call, she told the dispatcher she once had been the Lake County Board chairman. She also said her husband feared her because “he knows I have connections.”
Schmidt allegedly locked her husband out of their house that day during a quarrel, authorities have said.
She was not arrested following that incident because authorities determined no laws were broken, though the veteran Republican lawmaker announced she would not run for re-election and would seek counseling.
Her husband, meanwhile, filed for divorce.
Schmidt allegedly bothered the family with unwanted phone calls and texts until at least last February, despite repeated requests that she stop, the neighbors said in their court filing.
On March 17, Schmidt allegedly “confronted my 7-year-old son and made inappropriate comments to him about an alleged affair I am having with her soon to be ex-husband,” the female neighbor said in the court filing.
The woman and her husband also contend Schmidt trespassed on their property on June 2 and threw personal items into cattails at the edge of their property.
They asked that Schmidt be barred from any contact with them and their two children.
Schmidt, who was released on bond Tuesday evening, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Schmidt has not reached out to colleagues at the Statehouse or within the Republican Party since her arrest, leaving many unclear about her response to her neighbors’ allegations.
An aide to Senate President Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) stopped short of calling for Schmidt’s resignation but also did not mount any kind of defense for the beleaguered member of the Senate GOP caucus.
“We’re still ascertaining the facts,” Radogno spokeswoman Patty Schuh said.
Likewise, the chairman of the Lake County Republicans, Robert Cook, said he isn’t ready to call for Schmidt’s resignation but instead simply wants her to return his phone call so he can get her side of the story.
“For me to publicly call for her to step down, it would have to be a pretty dramatic thing to get me to do that. She worked very hard to win her election. People selected her, and I wouldn’t want the voters to think their votes didn’t count,” Cook told the Sun-Times.
“However, we can’t have someone running around out of control as a state senator,” he said.