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Ex-County Commissioner Peraica Jailed For Being Late To Court

Tony Peraica Mugshot

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica was charged with damage to property after police said he was tearing down campaign signs for his opponent, Jeffrey Tobolski, the mayor of McCook. (credit: McCook Police Dept.)

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (CBS) – Former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica was tossed in jail for a brief time on Tuesday, after showing up late for a hearing in a misdemeanor case against him.

Peraica, a former Republican county board member, was scheduled to appear for a 9 a.m. hearing at the Bridgeview courthouse on a criminal damage to property charge against him on Tuesday. Cook County Sheriff’s office spokesman Steve Patterson said that Judge Kerry Kennedy issued a warrant for Peraica’s arrest when he still hadn’t showed up by nearly 11 a.m.

When Peraica finally arrived a short time later, Kennedy ordered Peraica be taken into custody, according to Patterson.

Sheriff’s deputies detained Peraica, processed him, seized his personal items and placed him in a holding cell at the courthouse. Around 12:30 p.m., Kennedy ordered Peraica be released from custody.

Patterson said Peraica was then released from his cell, his property was returned and he was free to leave the courthouse.

Peraica was arrested last October for allegedly driving around southwest suburban McCook three days before the November 2010 election and vandalizing and removing the campaign signs of his Democratic opponent, Jeffrey Tobolski — who is also mayor of McCook.

A local restaurant owner claimed he saw Peraica damaging some of Tobolski’s yard signs. Tobolski defeated Peraica in the November election.

But Peraica argued that McCook police overstepped their authority when they pulled over the white van he was riding in as it turned out of a driveway. Police said the vehicle made a turn without using any signal.

Kennedy has denied an earlier request from Peraica to have the arrest thrown out.

According to the Sun-Times Media Wire, Peraica has asked the judge to reconsider that ruling, arguing there was no probable cause for police to arrest him.

Peraica is due back in court on Dec. 21.