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Could Theater Of The Absurd End “Reformers” Era At Maine Twp.?

07.17.18

Strap yourselves in, campers, because this is one is as long as it is bizarre.

Two articles in last week’s edition of the Park Ridge Journal merit your attention: “10 Maine GOP Women Sign Letter Demanding Trustee’s Resignation” and “If Touching Allegations Prove True, Leading Republicans Say Maine Township Trustee Should Resign.”

Both of them are allegedly written by Journal editor/publisher Todd Wessell, a long-time cheerleader for the RINOs who have run Maine Township government since the days of Mark Thompson, Bob Dudycz, Bob Provenzano and Gary Warner. The online versions of both articles are dated July 12, and both of them address a surreal situation involving two Maine Township Trustees: Kim Jones and Dave Carrabotta.

Both articles involve the accusation by Jones of Carrabotta’s “inappropriately touching her” on three separate occasions during township-related activities over the last several months. Carrabotta reportedly has denied those accusations.

Not surprisingly, neither of those stories even addresses the threshold question presented by this situation: Assuming her accusation is true, why did Jones endure three separate incidents of inappropriate “touching” over several months, dating back to 2017, before finally saying something – and even then only in a secret one-on-one meeting with her alleged harasser?

Although Wessell and certain others appear to want to make this a #metoo moment, it’s not. In fact, it’s poltical theater of the absurd, Maine Township style.

For starters, Jones is a middle-aged career woman, not some naïve aspiring Hollywood starlet looking for her big break. She has been a township trustee since 2014, and a Park Ridge alderman from 2005 to 2007. She also has spent the past 28 years working for the State of Illinois in its Division of Banking. She’s as politically savvy as they come, and not going to be terrorized into silence by even the political equivalent of sleazebag Hollywood power-broker Harvey Weinstein.

Conversely, Carrabotta is a political neophyte whose first foray into public life was his election as Trustee in May 2017. His Township bio describes him as a licensed attorney, a licensed insurance agent, a husband and father of three children, an usher at St. John Brebeuf in Niles, a current Knight of Columbus (and former Grand Knight), and a member of Boards of Review for local Eagle Scout candidates and Judicial Review Boards for the Illinois State Bar Association. That’s hardly a Harvey Weinstein-style resume.

And because Carrabotta is both a newbie and the only male among five Township trustees, the idea that he could conceivably wield any personal or political power over Jones is ludicrous.

Equally ludicrous are the circumstances under which Jones accused Carrabotta of the alleged misconduct: She reportedly asked him to meet privately, one-on-one, in an ante-room behind the Board meeting table during the “bill pay review” meeting (from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. on May 22), which led to Carrabotta’s seeking an “emergency” closed session to address “an accusation made against him at 6:46 p.m.” – according to the minutes of the General Assistance Budget Hearing

The closed session was approved by a vote of 3 (Carrabotta, Trustee Claire McKenzie and Trustee Susan Sweeney, whom we have dubbed “The Reformers” for their refusal – at least up until now – to play Maine Township RINO politics-as-usual since their election in April 2017) to 2 (Supervisor Laura Morask and Jones). You can watch the run-up to the closed session and vote on the meeting video, beginning at the 40 second mark.

According to Wessell’s “10 Maine GOP Women” story, Jones sought this private meeting with Carrabotta “[o]n the advice of the township attorney” from the Ancel Glink law firm.

Let’s set aside for a moment the utter asininity of an attorney purportedly advising an alleged victim of sexual harassment – especially harassment involving physical contact – to meet privately with the alleged harasser and, instead, focus on the inappropriateness of the Township’s attorneys unilaterally and secretly giving personal legal advice to one trustee who recently voted to hire those attorneys (Jones) about how to deal with alleged harassment by another trustee who voted against hiring them (Carrabotta).

Can you say “conflict of interest”? How about “appearance of impropriety”? Or, in tribute to the legendary Mike Royko: “Aggravated mopery with intent to gawk”?

Whichever it might be, it sure doesn’t sound like unbiased, top-shelf legal advice from attorneys hired a few months ago by the majority vote of Morask, Jones and McKenzie after the prior Township attorney resigned following the disclosure of a secret appeal by Township non-Assessor Susan Moylan-Krey of the Reformers’ refusal to certify that Moylan-Krey’s position, in which she doesn’t actually assess anything, requires the 1,000 hours of work per year minimum for her to accrue pension benefits.

You can read more about Morask’s and Moylan-Krey’s secretive efforts to reinstate Moylan-Krey’s pension in our 02.08.2018 post and our 02.13.2018 post

Compounding the stench of a Township attorney’s giving legal advice to Jones against Carrabotta (on the taxpayers’ dime?) is the odor from the same law firm appearing to have gone off to investigate the situation and prepare a “report” without any formal Board authorization. According to Wessell’s “10 Maine GOP Women” story, the investigation has been completed and the report “will soon be delivered to Morask,” who “will share its findings with the board and possibly the public.”

Assuming Wessell’s reporting is accurate, why isn’t the report from the Board’s attorneys going directly to the entire Board – including Carrabotta and Jones – and not just to Morask? After all. Ancel Glink is supposed to be representing all the Trustees collectively as a Board, not just Morask (or Jones) individually.

Could it be because a more-transparent process wouldn’t give Morask (and Jones) a preview of the report and the opportunity to consult privately with the attorneys who authored it about its findings and conclusions before they become public? Or give them the opportunity to spin those findings and conclusions if/where needed to aggrandize Jones and/or prejudice Carrabotta?

Let’s try it again: Can you say “conflict of interest,” “appearance of impropriety,” or “aggravated mopery”?

Irrespective of which of those three it might be, it hasn’t stopped those “10 Maine GOP Women” – including…SURPRISE!…Jones, Morask and Moylan-Krey – from proclaiming Carrabotta guilty and demanding his resignation in a July 7, 2018 letter to Maine Twp. Republican Committeeman Char Foss Eggemann, with copies to Gov. Bruce Rauner and several other notable Republicans.

Just like the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland”: “Sentence first – verdict afterwards!”

All of this drama strongly suggests that this situation isn’t really about sexual harassment. Rather, it’s about typically-sleazy Illinois politics, being played this time not by Mike Madigan and his henchmen/women but by RINO political hacks Morask, Jones and Moylan-Krey, with the help of those other seven “Maine GOP Women.”

Why?

Because those RINO hacks realize that they will be powerless so long as Carrabotta, McKenzie and Sweeney stick together as a Board majority and continue to vote the interests of Maine Township taxpayers instead of the interests of the bureaucrats trying to build themselves an even bigger fiefdom at Maine Township – complete with those constitutionally-guaranteed pensions like the one over which non-Assessor Moylan-Krey has been fighting The Reformers.

Although we suspect that Morask and Jones already have identified McKenzie – a Democrat and, therefore, a natural ally of RINOs – as the weakest link among The Reformers, they don’t yet appear willing to bet on McKenzie’s becoming their dependable stooge. So getting rid of either Sweeney or Carrabotta, and appointing a Morask flunky to fill that seat, is a pre-requisite for destroying The Reformers’ majority.

Nobody would believe that Sweeney would engage in the “actual groping” (per the “10 Maine GOP Women” letter) of Jones, so Carrabotta became the obvious patsy.

And it seems like he has let himself be played for a patsy – initially by foolishly demanding a closed-session discussion of Jones’ charges instead of publicly calling out her and her accusations in open session, then by hiding from the public and meekly claiming the matter is “confidential” while awaiting Morask’s release of that report by the Township’s new, Morask-friendly attorneys.

That requires us to ask: What’s so “confidential,” Trustee Carrabotta?

Either you did or you didn’t touch/grope Trustee Jones. And Trustee Jones either is or isn’t a stone-cold liar making this whole thing up for rank political purposes.

If you did it, Trustee Carrabotta, you should be drummed off the Board. But if you didn’t do it, why aren’t you publicly standing up for yourself instead of first hiding in closed session, then pleading that everything is “confidential” while Wessell churns out hit-piece after hit-piece, most likely at the bidding of your political opponents? How can the taxpayers of the Township trust you to stand up for them when you seem too timid even to call out Jones and defend yourself?

On the other hand, Ms. Jones, if you really were inappropriately touched or groped, why haven’t you filed a formal workplace harassment complaint against your fellow Trustee and fellow Township employee with the Cook County Dept. of Human Rights, the Illinois Dept. of Human Rights, or the federal EEOC? How can the women of the Township trust you to stand up for them when you aren’t even willing to file your accusations under oath and stand up for your own right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace?

We’d love to hear each of them answer those questions in an open-session Township Board meeting, with the videotape running.

Because this is political theater, however, our guess is that Jones, Morask and their RINO political handlers are plenty content to rely on “news” stories like “10 Maine GOP Women” and “If Touching Allegations Prove True” from their media shill, Wessell, to figuratively inflict the proverbial 1,000 cuts – in the form of those two articles and six more Wessell has authored (dated May 30, June 6, two on June 13,  June 27 and July 4) – while hoping Carrabotta will continue to just stand there and bleed

And then resign, or course.

Will this be the way The Reformers’ era at Maine Township ends after barely one year – not with a bang but a whimper?

To read or post comments, click on title.

15 comments so far

Great post, PW, but you forgot Wessel’s July 11 editorial “Political Standings Seem To Hold Double Standards For Harassment Claims,” in which he declares Jones’ sainthood while throwing shade on Carrabotta, Republican committeewoman Char Foss Eggemann and Marilyn Smolenski, the Republican running against Wessel’s BFF, Marty Moylan, for state rep.

With Morask in charge, Maine Twp. is a real snakepit. The only good thing is that it’s such a small piece of our tax bill, otherwise it would be a disaster.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We did miss that editorial, so thanks for adding another “cut.”

There may be worse governmental bodies than Maine Twp., but it would still finish “in the money” in any bad-gov’t claiming race.

When this first came up a few weeks ago my immediate reaction was that it was nothing more than a ploy by Morask to split up “The Reformers” so that Morask could appoint a replacement who would vote the way Morask wants him/her to. And what passes for an “ethics committee” is a joke. Check out who serves on that committee. Morask is an evil, unethical, creep who should be run out of town on a rail! The fact that Wessell is so fond of her does give me pause, what’s in it for him?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wessell is a hard-core Dem who is in love with the Maine Twp. RINOs because they are Dems in sheep’s clothing and sycophants for Wessell’s BFF, Marty Moylan.

And to add to my previous comment, Jones doesn’t have the good sense that God gave a flea. Nice person, but she’s allowed herself to be used by Morask and doesn’t seem to realize that it’s going to come back to bite her in the butt eventually. Stupid is as stupid does.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jones knows exactly what Morask knows because they don’t have to be geniuses: They just have to be able to count, which in this case they can do on one hand. 3 beat 2 every time.

But the Ancel Glink attorneys will do their best to bail out both Morask and Jones, and they will succeed because Ancel Glink’s stock in trade is serving the institutionalized bureaucrat class at the expense of the taxpayers.

This is a travesty that should not be resolved with some trumped-up investigation by Morask’s handpicked attorneys that the Board did not authorize.

EDITOR’S NOTE: One problem with The Reformers is that they are not experienced or savvy enough – i.e., they’re not always ready for “prime time” – and, consequently, they too easily get bamboozled by the experienced cronyism of Morask, Jones, Moylan-Krey, et al.

In this case, that might mean letting Morask order an investigation without Board approval, at least as determined by the open-session meeting minutes we reviewed. But as we have recently seen, Morask et al. might not recognize the Illinois Open Meetings Act (“IOMA”) if it walked up and bit them on the derrieres. Or maybe they don’t think it applies to them.

I think you are dreaming if you think the Reformers were actually going to “reform” Maine Twp. government, but I agree with you that if Carrabotta goes and is replaced with a Morask stooge, then McKenzie will roll over and be a rubber stamp for Morask.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hope springs eternal; and until The Reformers were elected and actually challenged the stupid-and/or-corrupt business as usual, there was absolutely NO CHANCE that Township gov’t might be “reformed,” other than for worse.

After re-reading your post and the embedded stuff I am now wondering why Carrabotta did what he did. If he’s “innocent” he is not acting like it. To your point, he is letting himself stand there and be abused by Wessell, most certainly at the request and to the delight of Morask, Jones, Krey, Kazmierczak, Giolamas, etc.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Agreed.

Morask and Jones are SO clever and clandestine. See TV news stories, emulate TV news stories. Clearly the plot was hatched by copying a fabricated me too “moment.” I am now waiting for Jones to say the Russians are involved. Let’s see, 3 new members who ask tough questions. How do we get rid of one (or more)? Well one is a man so invite him to a private meeting and come out of there saying he touched me. Add a few more alleged times with no witnesses. Talk to a “friend” in the fake news department and plant the story. Boom! No more male board member because we all know once accused is now guilty.

Jones is such a puppet of Morask it is disgusting to watch. I had my money on Morask making the allegations, but she is too clever by two to be the accuser. Let me see, Jones will do or say anything for me. Bingo! Oh to be a fly on the wall when those 2 meet and meet they do!

I encourage all to attend one of their Board meetings and watch Jones make faces and act in disgust whenever one of the 3 new board members ask a question or make a stand against the status quo. I would love to play poker against her since she has no clue how to conduct herself professionally and not show every emotion on her face. She clearly is not only in the hip pocket of Morask, but is the hip pocket of the whining and lying Morask. You can witness the whining and lying on many of the videotapes of the Board sessions.

The level of overspending and overtaxation that has been happening at Maine Township is beyond belief.
The 3 new board members are doing what the taxpayer elect citizens to do–keep government bodies in check and be responsible spenders of tax payer monies. Don’t let them build even bigger kingdoms for themselves!

EDITOR’S NOTE: And let’s not forget that the original story was that Carrabotta not only “inappropriately touched” Jones but, also, two other Township employees – who apparently have folded under questioning, or maybe just the absence of it.

Why does Moylan Krey have any say-so? She’s not a Trustee, nor are Gialamas or Wally K. This is pure, unadulterated bullsh*t! Carrabotta needs to get some starch in his spine and defend himself against these accusations if he’s innocent as he claims.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Moylan-Krey is one of the “10 Maine GOP Women” who signed the letter and who might end up with a bigger pension if Carrabotta is replaced by a Morask stooge who provides a new majority vote to withdraw the Township’s challenge (via The Reformers’ majority vote) of the Morask-orchestrated secret Moylan-Krey kinked-up appeal of The Reformers’ refusal to certify that her non-Assessor’s job requires at least 1,000 hours of service.

Not sure how you tied Gialamas and Wally K to this, but they’re likely cheerleaders for their RINO cronies Jones, Morask and Moylan-Krey.

Political intrigue aside, some aspects of your post show a lack of understanding of the dynamics of sexual harassment. I mention this b/c I think the comments perpetuate myths that are harmful to women. Sexual harassment is not confined to situations involving a male superior and a female subordinate. Offenders are not limited to cartoon villains. Yes, even ushers an Knights of Columbus can be creepy creepers. Victims are not limited to 20 year old supermodels or naive damsels in distress. Unwanted sexual advances in a professional setting are about the broader dynamics of power in a society. It’s not about romantic / sexual attention — it’s about treating women as sexual objects, intimidation, humiliation, putting women in their place, etc., etc. It is EXTREMELY common for women not to speak up immediately, for a wide variety of valid and well-documented reasons (not the least of which is that we are taught to doubt ourselves and to anticipate ridicule for complaining). None of us know whether there is substance to these complaints yet. I hope there is a thorough investigation and that proper measures are taken to pursue this further if inappropriate behavior did take place. The accused is innocent until proven guilty …. but the same goes for the *accuser.* Let’s see what the evidence shows before proclaiming her to be a politically-motivated liar.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the fetid political backwater that historically has been Maine Township government, you can never set “[p]olitical intrigue aside.”

That’s why “10 Maine GOP Women” – including backwater denizens Jones, Morask and Moylan-Krey, RINOs all – didn’t wait for “the evidence” to proclaim Carrabotta guilty and demand his resignation in a July 7, 2018 letter to Republican Committeeman Char Foss Eggemann, with copies to Gov. Bruce Rauner and several other notable Republicans.

And that’s why The Journal’s Todd Wessell, a Dem ally of the RINOs and their predecessor RINOs at Maine Twp., has been writing all those articles effectively championing Jones and slapping Carrabotta, while also slapping Foss Eggemann – who defeated one of Wessell’s fave RINO’s, Carol Teschky, for Republican committeeman a few years ago.

So anybody who thinks this is about sexual harassment rather than Maine Twp. politics is either clueless or smoking illegal substances. Which is it, Anonymous?

Someone writes a very polite, and true, comment noting that sexual harassment DOES happen to middle aged women, that seemingly “upstanding” folks can be guilty of it, and why women sometimes don’t come forward right away, and you immediately dismiss them as clueless or on drugs, and that this situation can’t possibly be about harassment. I can’t say that I’m surprised, as this is how you generally roll, Mr. Dog. You’re an embarrassment to our town and to many in its conservative community IMO.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Sexual harassment DOES happen to middle aged women,” and all those other things you say. But if you’ve been following the Maine Twp. theater of the absurd for the past year you’d have to believe in the Tooth Fairy to think that Jones’ “sexual harassment” claim is anything more than a trumped up political tactic.

As for our “conservative community,” most of them are RINOs happily in bed with the Madiganocrats so long as it gets them and their family members and friends more free stuff on the honest taxpayers’ dime.

I am neither clueless nor smoking something. I simply demand respect be given to accusers and that victim-blaming be called out for what it is. The claim that this is nothing but lies for political gain is irresponsible and unwarranted by evidence.

As I’m sure you are aware, the letter by “10 Maine GOP women” rightly pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of Foss-Eggemann. She was all too happy to condemn Mike Madigan and the Democrats on the basis unproven accusations, yet she can’t even muster enough concern to issue a simple statement in support of proper investigation of harassment claims here in Maine Township? Why the silence NOW? Why the rush to judgment *there,* but not in defense of one of their own women who has served her community for decades? Stinks of partisan game playing.

Other state GOP leaders have had the decency to make statements about the situation — Cook County Republican Chairman and the state Republican Party Chair. Yet Foss-Eggeman and her pet candidate Smolenski are silent. The Republican Women of her organization are correct to condemn this partisan hypocrisy and demand better of their leadership.

Your criticism of reporting on this issue conveniently overlooked the piece by Wessell in which he quite aptly summarizes the situation thus:

“So why is it that resignations are in order for Democrats who are accused of verbally abusing others, while nothing is said [against accused Republicans]?

Somewhere a respect for the truth is playing second fiddle and overtaken by political considerations.

Democrats and Republicans alike, from those serving in the highest capacities to the most local, need to get on the ball and insist on a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment. Leaping to quick conclusions often leads to unfair and damaging results. All charges of harassment must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly before demands of resignations are made and lives hurt forever.”
https://tinyurl.com/y76xf82d

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re right: By your embrace of Madiganocrat Todd Wessell’s cheerleading for Jones and his condemnation of Republican Foss Eggemann et al., in this and your last two comments you have revealed yourself to be a RINO toadie, most likely on the Maine Twp. payroll, or maybe even a vendor enjoying a sweetheart contract with the Township that pays you for this type of anonymous “public relations” here and in the Urinal’s “Speak Out” section.

Has it ever occurred to you that the accusations might be *both* politically expedient *and* true? Those two possibilities are not mutually exclusive. Just saying.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this case – with political weasels like Jones, Morask, Moylan-Krey, Gialamas and Kazmierczak in the formation running the plays – NFW!

Ancil Glink… enough said. Notorious for bad advice. Didn’t the library board sh*t can them?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, it did. But they have depth (or “bench strength,” some call it) so the rest doesn’t matter.

PW: Mary Wynn Ryan posted the following on the Park Ridge Concerned Homeowners Facebook page about an hour ago and did not want you to miss it:

Mary Wynn Ryan Well, the temptation is real, and nobody’s perfect, and I don’t think every piece of any contention got the OK from all of the founding fathers. However, I am William Wallace; oh, wait, no. I am a journalist as well as a publicist (in different venues, of course) and am freaking out daily at the Orwellian world we are now in. How many fingers am I holding up? There are cultural biases that show up in news stories just because fallible humans who live in those cultures write them. “What was she wearing” is one of them. Several folks took umbrage with Triz for saying Kim wasn’t young and innocent enough to be harassed; I was thrilled to see how beautiful she looks in the current photo. Like, see? Cultural bias at work on both our parts. However, that’s a far cry from what is happening today; overt, in-your-face, double-down lying by those we are supposed to be able to trust. I know you didn’t add this comment to legitimize North Cook News and its ilk, and I hope none of the folks on that side use Ben to buttress their behavior.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For Mary, that’s about as close to accurate as she can get.

But as the actual language of the post itself reveals, what I wrote was not that Ms. Jones wasn’t young and innocent enough to be harassed but that “[as] a middle-aged career woman…township trustee…Park Ridge alderman…[and] as politically savvy as they come,” she could be expected to stand up for herself if harassed, unlike the naive young starlets slimy Weinstein harassed.

But that apparently didn’t quite fit Mary’s narrative.

The suggestion that only weak women fail to “stand up for themselves” when harassed? … again shows you do not understand much about sexual harassment. You must be reading Ivanka’s Faux Feminism primer. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Is that why the Internet is loaded with the likes of https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/blog/feminism/me-too/ and https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/raising-strong-women-metoo-era-52730480, as well as all the articles and stories about how the #metoo movement has given women the strength and courage to resist, and complain about, creeps like Harvey Weinstein?

So, yeah, that’s EXACTLY “how this works.”



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