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Oak Lawn Mayor Abuses Power at Board Meeting

Did the mayor abuse his power and possibly commit a crime by making a political speech during village board meeting?

Being a veteran of over 20 years of Oak Lawn village board meetings, I thought I had seen it all, but nothing compares to what I saw at the last meeting on November 13th.

After listening to the mayor and his allies on the board make nonsensical, contradictory and hypocritical arguments about a host of issues, like the $600 million Advocate Christ expansion and the alley paving program, Mayor Dave Heilmann finished the meeting off with a bang--by committing a crime in my opinion.

The mayor made a five-minute speech about political literature being disseminated in Oak Lawn that is critical of him, calling the literature lies and the senders of the literature " frauds." That alone is a clear and obvious violation of our election code, because village board meetings are for business only, and politicking and electioneering are expressly forbidden. And no one should have known this more than Dave Heilmann, a lawyer with several years of elected office experience.

But the mayor apparently wasn't satsified with just violating election codes, because he quickly elevated that violation into a full-blown crime when he told the people in the crowd and Oak Lawn residents who watch the televised meetings that he "directed the Oak Lawn police to investigate the matter."

And in so doing Mayor Heilmann committed the crime of "election interference." where the LAW in Illinois is very very clear: "No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated for political or campaign purposes to any candidates or political organization."

I do agree with the mayor that there should be an investigation here, but if the Oak Lawn police department spent even one minute doing what the mayor directed, Dave Heilmann is the one who should be investigated.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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