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The Maine Township Stupid Party Presents: “Assgate” (Epilogue)

10.15.18

For those of you who may still have some difficulty comprehending or appreciating the full extent of the hyper-political and operationally dysfunctional Maine Township government that we have depicted in our last three posts, this post is intended to serve as kind of a connect-the-dots summary of why “Assgate” has nothing to do with sexual harassment and everything to do with political gamesmanship, if not outright warfare, by the RINOs who controlled Township government until May 2017 against The Reformers who were elected in April 2017. Consider:

  1. As a matter of basic math 3 always beats 2, whether it’s the number of runs in a baseball game or the number of votes needed for action by the Maine Township Board of Trustees. In this case the “3” is the 3-vote majority wielded by what Trustee Kim Jones described (in her staged and political “It’s not okay” soliloquy in front of Town Hall on September 26) as the “Bloc of 3” – consisting of Republican Trustees Dave Carrabotta and Susan Sweeney, and Democrat Trustee Claire McKenzie – that has prevailed over Jones’ and Supervisor Laura Morask’s “2” vote minority on significant Board votes. That 3-2 differential forms the political (not sexual harassment) heart of, and the political (not sexual harassment) driving force behind “Assgate.”
  2. In Jones’ Formal Complaint filed on May 25, she referred to the alleged January 23 swiping/touching of her “bottom” by Carrabotta as “inadvertent” and not intentional, while describing the alleged May 16 incident as a light “swipe” on her “ass” (her word). In her June 7 interview testimony she described “a brush…maybe that was inadvertent,” “a real faint brush,” a “light brushing” or a “touch.” Neither incident, however, was accompanied or followed by anything from Carrabotta of a sexual nature: No invitation to Jones for a dirty hula at a no-tell motel, no leers, not even a knowing glance to acknowledge any of that alleged contact. That makes this one of the strangest cases of sexual harassment on record – if it actually were sexual harassment.
  3. Jones admits not saying anything about either incident to Carrabotta (like, perhaps, “Stop that!” or “What are you doing?!?!”) or to the two female members of the “Bloc of 3.” Instead, she chose to gossip about it to her male and female Township RINO pals before getting the free (to her, but costing the taxpayers) personal advice from Township attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer that Jones seemingly needed to finally confront Carrabotta with her accusations before the May 22 board meeting.
  4. Despite her vague and uncertain descriptions of both incidents in the May 25 Formal Complaint and on June 7 to the investigating attorneys, she – along with Supervisor Laura Morask, Non-Assessor Susan Moylan-Krey and 7 other Maine Township RINO women – signed a July 7 letter that described as full-blown “groping” what Jones had previously characterized as merely the light brush/swipe/touch. And then those 10 women called, politically, for Carrabotta’s immediate resignation from the Board – which would have turned the “Bloc of 3” into a bloc of 2…until Morask could appoint someone like failed RINO Trustee candidate/short-term payroller Kelly Schaefer as Carrabotta’s replacement, thereby giving Morask, Jones and Schaefer the 3-vote RINO majority they’ve been wanting since The Reformers became the Bloc of 3 following their election in April 2017.
  5. For purely political purposes, Jones’ RINO buddies Clerk Pete Gialamas and Highway Commissioner Wally Kazmierczak apparently trumped-up stories about Carrabotta’s harassment of Township employees Dayna Berman and Vicki Rizzo, only to have Berman and Rizzo categorically deny Petey’s and Wally’s fairy tales when questioned by the investigators.
  6. The political motivation behind this charade was further confirmed by Gialamas’ testimony to the investigators about how “[w]e [the RINOs] were always happy with the way the township ran” before the Bloc of 3’s arrival, and by Kazmierczak’s testimony that “politically, [the RINOs] don’t see eye-to-eye” with the Bloc of 3 – opinions echoed in testimony to the investigators by employees Dawn Hayman (“The new trustees are very different than our old board”) and Doriene Prorak (“We were a family before those three came along”).
  7. Dem Rep. Marty Moylan’s August letter to The Journal simply ignored the investigators’ findings and demanded, for purely political purposes, not only Carrabotta’s resignation but also the resignations of Dem Trustee Claire McKenzie, Republican Trustee Susan Sweeney and Republican Township Committeeman Char Foss-Eggemann. He followed up that letter with his loutish performance at the August 28 Township Board meeting (running from 41:10 to 42:00 of the meeting video), ending his brief tirade by reiterating his highly-political demand that Carrabotta resign.
  8. Moylan and Dem. Sen. Laura Murphy appeared at Jones’ purely political September 26 press conference where Jones indicted the “Bloc of 3” for (1) holding the August 6 meeting to release the Investigation Report to the public; (2) voting to post that Report on the Township website before Morask and Jones could spin and/or sanitize it; and (3) claiming that the Report cleared Carrabotta, even though that’s effectively what it did. And in an apparent political quid pro quo, RINO Jones has recorded a robo-call endorsing Moylan over his Republican opponent: “Hi, this is Maine Township Trustee Kim Jones…[and] I’m voting for Marty Moylan for state representative and asking you to join me because Marty Moylan cares about women’s rights.”

Women’s rights and sexual harassment are serious business. The unwanted touching by one person of another – if and when it actually occurs – is totally unacceptable, especially when it carries sexual overtones. It should be addressed directly and immediately if and when it actually occurs, rather than merely gossiped about to political cronies the way Jones handled it. Unscrupulous use of such accusations as a purely political weapon – the way Jones, et al. appear to have used them in this case – diminishes the seriousness of actual harassment and demeans its legitimate victims.

“Assgate” has shown Jones to be either (a) a wily co-conspirator with her fellow Township RINOs and Dem. political hacks Moylan and Murphy in their purely-political effort to knock Carrabotta off the Board and break up the “Bloc of 3”, or (b) an unwitting dupe of those Township RINOs, Moylan and Murphy in such a shameless and vicious endeavor.

Unfortunately, “Assgate” also has shown Carrabotta to be a thin-skinned hot-head who trashed much of the pro-taxpayer goodwill he earned during his first year in office as one of The Reformers by throwing a tantrum in response to Jones’ accusations, then foolishly steering his fellow Reformers into an unlawful closed session meeting before hiding in plain sight for the last four months as his wife and other public-spirited citizens defended his character and reputation while he hid in plain sight and sat Sphinx-like.

Nevertheless, Jones could have prevented this political farce by refusing Krafthefer’s invitation to file the Formal Complaint with the Township that started the investigation that reportedly has burned up over $30,000 of taxpayer money. In response to Carrabotta’s hissy-fit she could, and should, have immediately taken her accusations directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) and/or the Illinois Dept. of Human Rights (the “IDHR”), which are two indisputably “independent” entities whose investigations would have cost Township taxpayers NOTHING.

But because this was a purely political gambit from the start, she didn’t do so until after the investigation was completed and the money wasted; and only after she didn’t get the favorable investigator findings she had expected.

And let’s not forget how Township attorney Krafthefer displayed her tone-deafness concerning conflict-of-interest and appearance-of-impropriety when she: (a) privately/secretly (and stupidly) counseled one Trustee (Jones) on how to deal with another Trustee (Carrabotta) about alleged sexual harassment; (b) privately/secretly encouraged one Trustee (Jones) to file a Formal Complaint against another Trustee (Carrabotta) without first disclosing that advice to the full Board; and (c) had her firm’s attorneys conduct the investigation of those allegations of misconduct by one Trustee against another.

What this political clown-car performance should not be permitted to obscure or tarnish, however, is the basic tenet of American justice that an accused – whether in criminal or civil proceedings – is presumed innocent until proven guilty, with the burden of proof always being on the accuser. In a criminal matter that burden is “beyond a reasonable doubt” (think something like 95% certainty) while in civil matters it is “by a preponderance of the evidence” (think 51% certainty). That’s part of what’s called “due process.”

Lynch mobs, on the other hand, operate from a 100% presumption that the accused is guilty, due process be damned.

Although accusations of sexual harassment deserve to be treated seriously, the idea that a woman who claims to have been harassed by a man must be believed without question, and irrespective of corroborating evidence, is a dangerous precedent. So is accusing anyone who dares to suggest otherwise of “victim-shaming” or “bullying.”

“Assgate” has taught us that the shameless and unscrupulous Township RINOs and their equally shameless and unscrupulous Democrat accomplices don’t care about presumptions of innocence or due process when they’re advancing what appear to have been false, if not outright baseless, accusations in furtherance of their rank political agenda to neutralize the “Bloc of 3.”

The only question is whether their constituents are as shameless and unscrupulous, or willing to tolerate such behavior from their elected officials.

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The Maine Township Stupid Party Presents: “Assgate” (Act 3)

10.09.18

As the curtain rises on the third and final act of “Assgate,” the Final Investigation Report (the “Report”) of Ancel Glink attorneys Robert McCabe and Margaret Kostopulos has been sent to the Township Trustees with a finding that, in the absence of any corroborating evidence, Trustee Dave Carrabotta’s alleged touching/groping of Trustee Kim Jones’ derriere could not be established.

For all practical intents and purposes Carrabotta has been exonerated.

Because such a finding flew in the face of Jones’ narrative – and her supporters’ lynch-mob insistence that, lack of evidence be damned, Carrabotta was guilty and should resign his Trustee seat – it unleashed a torrent of outrage and disgust, starting with Jones’ August 5, 2018 letter to Township attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer that was critical of Krafthefer, the investigators from her firm, the way the investigation was conducted, and its findings.

That Jones’ first shots were fired at Krafthefer and her two law partners is deliciously ironic, given how (a) it was Jones and Supervisor Laura Morask (along with Trustee Claire McKenzie) who anointed Krafthefer’s firm as the Board’s attorneys despite the objections of Carrabotta and Trustee Susan Sweeney; (b) Jones obtained personal, secret (at that time) and free (to her) legal advice from Krafthefer that led to Jones confronting Carrabotta on May 22; and (c) Jones obtained further personal, secret (at that time) and free (to her) legal advice from Krafthefer to file the Formal Complaint necessary to give Krafthefer’s partners something tangible to investigate.

Given that Jones must have figured she had the investigation wired, it was no surprise that she voiced no objection whatsoever to the free advice Krafthefer gave her, to Ancel Glink attorneys conducting the investigation, or to how the investigation was being conducted while it was going on.

But even hand-picked attorneys couldn’t wire the investigation when the only arguably corroborating evidence – consisting of nothing more than hearsay/lies(?) by Jones’ buddies, Clerk Peter Gialamas and Road Commissioner Wally Kazmierczak, about two other cases of alleged Carrabotta harassment – was blown away when the subjects of that hearsay, Dayna Berman and Vicki Rizzo, assured the investigators that not only were they not harassed by Carrabotta but that they had no problem with him whatsoever.

In other words, the Jones/RINO frame-up of Carrabotta failed because Berman and Rizzo wouldn’t lie for the RINOs.

So Jones decided to do what she should have done from the very beginning, and which would have cost the Township nothing: Filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) and the Illinois Dept. of Human Rights (the “IDHR”) instead of with the Township. We look forward to seeing how those two investigative bodies will view Jones’ narrative and non-evidence.

Then came the August 6 special meeting called by Reformers McKenzie and Sweeney for the single purpose of voting to release the Report to the taxpayers who paid for it, after Supervisor Laura Morask refused to release it upon McKenzie’s and Sweeney’s informal request. And although Morask’s revisionist history of these events includes her scheduling an August 8 special meeting, no such meeting was ever scheduled either before or after McKenzie and Sweeney called for theirs.

Neither Jones nor Morask attended the August 6 meeting: Jones claimed to be on vacation that night, and Morask claimed to be in the hospital for tests. Not surprisingly, their RINO allies – Gialamas, Kazmierczak and the Non-Assessor Susan Moylan-Krey (conveniently, Rep. Marty Moylan’s ex-wife) – also stayed away, presumably as a show of political solidarity with Jones and Morask against Carrabotta and his fellow Reformers.

Notwithstanding the RINO boycott, The Reformers lawfully voted to release the Report to the public. At that same meeting several citizens spoke in favor of the Report’s release, with Park Ridge Library Trustee Mike Reardon, Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board member Larry Ryles, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Executive Director Jayne Reardon and Park Ridge Library Trustee Joe Egan providing commentary worth watching – from the 13:05 mark to the 21:52 mark of the meeting videoand which should be required viewing by the RINOs even if they are incapable of learning anything from it.

The full complement of RINO officials showed up at the August 28 meeting, however, for what turned into a pep rally for Jones. Some of the more noteworthy cheers belonged to failed Township Trustee candidate (and short-lived Township payroller), Kelly Schaefer, who insisted (from 19:49 to 20:30 of the meeting video) that “while due process is categorically important, not victimizing the victim is more important.” Hopefully, Ms. Schaefer will feel that way the next time she tries to victimize the Township’s taxpayers by accepting a $30,000+ part-time, make-work job created by her BFF Morask.

Also worth listening to are Kristina Keller’s ipse dixit grand pronouncements (from 41:10 to 42:00) that “Most people who are victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment rarely lie about it” and “Kim is not lying about this”; and Ginger Pennington’s argument (from 38:20 to 40:15) that whether or not Carrabotta actually touched Jones really doesn’t matter so long as Jones “earnestly felt uncomfortable with what she felt was contact.”

But the highlight, by far, was the clownish performance of State Rep. Marty Moylan (D. 55th Dist.), who proved beyond any doubt – in just over a minute (from 35:05 to 36:28) of bloviating – that he is the most disingenuous political gas-bag in all of Maine Township, as can be seen from his locker room-style pep talk that began with “this isn’t about knocking Dave off the Board” but then closed with: “Dave should resign now!” All that was missing was a “Let us pray.”

The final scene of this play occurs outside Township Hall on September 26 with Jones shooting at anything that moves: Carrabotta individually and with fellow Reformers McKenzie and Sweeney (calling them, politically, the “Bloc of 3”); attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer for giving Jones bad free advice about meeting with Carrabotta, signing the Formal Complaint, and recommending that her partners conduct the investigation; anybody who questions whether she was harassed by Carrabotta; anybody who would dare to suggest this kerfuffle was a political ploy by her and her fellow RINOs to break The Reformers’ “Bloc of 3” majority; and, finally, Republican committeeman Char Foss-Eggemann for not siding with her and her unproved allegations against another Republican Trustee.

Drop the curtain, raise the house lights.

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