LAKE VILLA (CBS) — State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa), who is retiring amid a series of controversial 911 calls, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trespassing on a neighbor’s land, and damaging his property.
Lake County Sheriff’s Police Chief Wayne Hunter said Schmidt was arrested at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 6600 block of Grand Avenue in Gurnee.
“One of our marked units, and one of our deputies was going through the parking lot of Menard’s in Gurnee, was aware that Senator Schmidt had an arrest warrant, stopped by her vehicle, and took her into custody without incident,” he said.
She was charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property and one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to property. She was taken to the Lake County Jail, where she posted the required 10 percent of her $5,000 bond, according to Hunter.
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Hunter said both charges stem from a dispute with a neighbor. Schmidt allegedly damaged her neighbor’s “feed bag” last week outside their Lake Villa homes.
An arrest warrant was served on Tuesday, along with an emergency stalking order prohibiting her from having contact with the neighbor.
Schmidt, a freshman state senator, announced last fall that she would not be seeking re-election, after a police released a series of 911 tapes, which raised questions whether she was trying to quash a police investigation into domestic disputes with her husband.
On Dec. 25, 2010, Schmidt called 911 during a dispute with her husband, because she believed her husband would soon be doing the same.
Schmidt told the operator, “I was the Lake County Board Chairman for 10 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,” Schmidt said 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.
Police had visited Schmidt’s home twice earlier last year, to respond to 911 calls involving domestic disturbances with her husband.
One call came Aug. 16, 2011, when her husband complained she hit his car with hers. During that call, Schmidt told a 911 operator that the arguments the couple had were because she caught her husband cheating.
In another call on Sept. 26, 2011, her husband accused Schmidt of biting him. In a 911 call, Schmidt repeatedly denied biting her husband, then later admitted it, saying “you bet I did” when her husband said she had begun swinging at him and scratching his face, then bit him when he tried to fight her off.
Schmidt has said her 911 call on Christmas 2010 was “inappropriate” and “wrong.” She said she was embarrassed about the situation with her husband and concerned details would become public, and that clouded her judgment.
She announced last fall that she would not seek a second term, saying she was making her personal life and her family a higher priority.