Reporting Mike Parker
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LAKE VILLA, Ill. (CBS) – Lake County Republican bosses are wrestling with how to handle the latest embarrassing incident involving State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa).
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports Schmidt wasn’t home Wednesday home when CBS 2 knocked on her door a day after she was arrested over a dispute with a neighbor. She was taken into custody at a Menard’s parking lot in Gurnee, when a police officer spotted her and served a standing arrest warrant.
Schmidt had been charged with criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing, both misdemeanors, and she’s been ordered to stay away from one of her neighbors.
According to the complaint, Schmidt allegedly grabbed a neighbor’s bag of animal feed, then ripped it apart during an angry tirade.
Now local party leaders are dealing with might be called, the “feed bag caper.”
Lake County Republican Chairman Robert Cook hopes she is not dealing with some kind of meltdown.
“I hope not,” he says. “Right now we don’t know all the facts so I don’t want to rush in to judge.”
Largely because she’s not running for re- election, Cook was not calling for Schmidt to resign before her current term is up, because of this latest fracas. But he adds, “not yet.”
Schmidt decided not to seek another term last fall, after 911 tapes revealed a series of domestic battles at home, and prompted questions of whether she tried to use her position to quash a police investigation of at least one of those domestic disputes.
On Christmas Day 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.”
In another call, her husband Robert is heard telling the dispatcher, “She bit me a couple of times.”
Then Smith’s voice is heard, “I did not bite you.”
Then her husband speaks again, “And I had to wrestle her down to the floor just to control her so she would quit attacking me.”
Schmidt is then heard saying, “You’re lying, Bob.”
Finally, Robert added, “and she scraped my face and eye.”
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 has not spoken publicly about her arrest on Tuesday, or the dispute with her neighbor.