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UPDATE 11/01/11 5:35 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A state lawmaker at the center of controversial 911 calls from her home has decided not to run for re-election, reversing an earlier statement.
A series of 911 tapes are behind Illinois State Sen. Suzi Schmidt’s decision to quit. Local police were dispatched to her home numerous times to respond to domestic violence reports.
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Schmidt (R-Lake Villa) was accused of attempting to use her position as the former Lake County Board Chairman to dissuade county sheriffs from responding to a 911 call by her husband last Christmas.
This summer, Schmidt took a few days off defiantly saying she would run again.
“I believe I can and will continue to serve the citizens of Lake County with the same dedication and energy I’ve had for the past 25 years, and the issues in my personal life will not prohibit me from doing the job they elected me to do,” Schmidt said at the time. “I am continuing to circulate petitions to run for re-election in 2012, and I hope I continue to earn the support of the citizens of the 31st District.”
But now, Schmidt has had a change of heart.
The Republicans have recruited Joe Neal to run for her spot.
“I deeply appreciate the encouragement I have received from friends and constituents over the past few weeks as I deal with personal issues and while I continue to work hard for the people of the 31st Senate District” Schmidt said in a statement.
“I am grateful for the outpouring of support; however, at this point in my life, my personal life and my family are my priority.”
In the 911 call last year, Schmidt told the operator, “I was the Lake County Board Chairman for ten years” and later said the operator should ignore any calls from her husband.
“Listen, I’m having a little problem with my husband right now,” Senator Schmidt says in the call.
“Like a domestic type problem?” the dispatcher asks.
“Yes, but it’s fine,” Schmidt adds. “So, if he calls you, Bob Schmidt, you can ignore him.”
The senator later explained to the operator that she had locked her husband out of the house because she’d caught him with another woman, so he might be calling police for help.
“He might (call), except he’s kind of afraid of me because he knows I have connections,” she told the operator.