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Town's T-shirt tussle has Island Lake up in arms

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chicagotribune.com

Town's T-shirt tussle has Island Lake up in arms

Trustees allege man made gun gesture

By Deborah Horan

 

Tribune reporter

 

11:35 PM CDT, May 1, 2008

 

 

TownsT-shirttussle.jpg

 

 

 

 

The former mayor is under indictment, the Village Board is hamstrung by infighting and a defiant landowner has vowed to put a pig farm on his property to stop the town from building a water tower.

 

But the news on everyone's lips in far north suburban Island Lake is about Greg Kachka and his T-shirt.

 

The 60-year-old Vietnam veteran and former Marine was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with two counts of disorderly conduct after two village trustees complained that, during a heated meeting, Kachka pointed his finger at them while wearing a shirt with a Marine Corps insignia that said, "Don't Move. If You Run, You'll Only Die Tired."

 

Trustees allege Kachka's thumb was raised and his index finger extended, as though he were firing a gun.

 

"It was repetitive," said Trustee Debbie Herrmann, who lodged the complaint against Kachka, along with Village Clerk Christine Kaczmarek. "Like a gun going off, cocking and going off again," she said.

 

Kachka swears he was simply wagging a finger at Herrmann after she allegedly mocked him for asking a question about village finances, and he had no intention of threatening anyone. Nevertheless, he faces a June 2 court date, and a conviction could bring up to 30 days in jail, 2 years of probation and a $1,500 fine.

 

"The police came to my house and said, 'We're investigating the incident at the city hall.' I said, 'What incident?' Then he asked me about how many guns I owned. He even took a picture of my T-shirt," Kachka said.

 

The incident has riled residents and pitted trustees against one another, putting Kachka, a retired mail carrier and disabled veteran, in the middle of what many residents describe as a political feud.

 

Residents disagree over how to govern Island Lake, population 8,000, amid allegations of corruption and mismanagement, particularly in response to Bob Wargaski's plans to build the pig farm on his 5 acres.

 

The village was also rocked by felony charges against former longtime Mayor Charles Amrich, who is accused of ordering that fuel for village vehicles only be bought at a gas station he owned.

 

Herrmann attributes much of the infighting to a small group of residents. She said the village had no choice but to take seriously Kachka's gestures during the March 13 meeting in light of recent shootings at Northern Illinois University and in St. Louis, where a disgruntled resident shot and killed several city employees during a zoning meeting.

 

"This is not a joke," Herrmann said.

 

But several residents and trustees said they viewed the charges against Kachka as ridiculous and have come to his aid to help pay court costs and potential attorney fees. A group called Citizens for Better Government in Island Lake has already posted Kachka's $500 bail and plans to sell T-shirts with the slogan to raise money for his defense.

 

"What they're doing to him is retaliation because he made statements and asked questions at board meetings that caused embarrassment to this administration," said Laurie Rabattini, who heads the group.

 

The incident began during discussion of a new ordinance that allows the village to build on property it owns without permits from the Zoning Board.

 

As Kachka tells it, he demanded to know how much time the village attorney had spent reviewing the legality of the ordinance, the cost to the city and who had authorized her work.

 

As Kachka sat down, he said he noticed Herrmann smirking and "screwing up her face." He pointed at her to draw the attention of other attendees, he said. Four days later, a police officer came to his door.

 

When Kachka asked what the accusation was, the officer told him he would have to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to find out, Kachka said.

 

About a week later, Kachka submitted the request to the village clerk and was denied, he said. He appealed the decision to the mayor, who also denied the request, he said.

 

On April 28, Kachka got a call from police telling him he was under arrest and ordering him to turn himself in, he said. The next day police went to his house and handcuffed him, he said.

 

Herrmann said Kachka was purposefully cocking his thumb in the shape of a gun. She leaned over to Kaczmarek to ask her if she'd also seen the gesture, she said.

 

"She said, 'Yeah,' " Herrmann said. "It was brought to the board's attention at the end of the meeting. It was the consensus of the board to go to the police."

 

Herrmann said the board provided police with a tape of the meeting that showed Kachka's hand gesture.

 

Rabattini and several other residents said Herrmann is known for making faces and rolling her eyes at residents who make comments she doesn't agree with.

 

"The Village Board is getting a lot of heat from residents," said Tom Martin, a former trustee who ran against Mayor ThomasHyde in 2005. "People get frustrated because questions aren't answered. The board doesn't listen. I felt this was the coup de grace, going after this disabled veteran. It's not right."

 

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-tshirt-a...0,2567314.story

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Wow. Now if that isn't absofuckinlutely retarded.

 

Some people need to grow thicker skin and stop being complete and utter pussies. Worthless scum.

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Typical small town liberals...

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I wonder how this is going to turn out. This might cost the town some money.

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Typical behavior for when political hacks get in trouble for their own malfeasance. They start pointing fingers at everybody else. It is the "Look at them and their behavior...Don't look at me"

 

Standard political deflection. Reminds me of the line "Hangem High."

 

:gun3: NighthawkCarbine :gun3:

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I wonder how this is going to turn out. This might cost the town some money.

 

 

And it should come out of their pockets personally.

 

Asswipes

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