LAKE VILLA, Ill. (CBS) — Officials have released recordings of a 911 call that triggered criminal charges and the arrest of State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa).
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by CBS 2, the Lake County Sheriff’s office has released a recording of the call Schmidt’s neighbor made
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports the call stemmed from a lengthy dispute between the two neighbors, culminating in Schmidt’s arrest on June 12.
In a 911 call on June 2, Scmidt’s neighbor Kurt Kunde told the operator, “We’ve been having some issues with our neighbor over the past six to eight months. … Her name is Suzi Schmidt.
LISTEN: Kurt Kunde’s 911 Call
Schmidt allegedly grabbed a bag of animal feed on Kunde’s property, around the corner from her house, and ripped it apart during an angry tirade.
Kunde also claimed that incident wasn’t the first.
“I can’t handle the harassment,” he told the 911 operator. “A lot of our mail’s been missing lately. My wife filed a police report on that. I don’t know where the mail’s going to, but, you know, this kind of raises my suspicions a little bit more.”
Schmidt was arrested on June 12, in the parking lot of a Menard’s store in Gurnee, and was later released on $5,000 bail.
Schmidt wasn’t home on Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for comment.
She decided not to seek re-election to the State Senate last fall, after police released 911 tapes connected to domestic battles with her husband, Bob. Some of those tapes raised questions of whether she tried to use her position to quash a police investigation of one of those domestic disputes.
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.”
She has acknowledged that call 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.
Schmidt has been in public life since 1985. She was elected to the Lake County Board in 1988, and became board chair in 2000.
Some neighbors suggested her arrest is also related to the domestic situation with her husband.
Schmidt is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on June 27. She’s charged with criminal trespass and criminal damage to property, both misdemeanors.