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Public Backlash Expected for D218 Board Member Charged with 2nd DUI

Johnny Holmes, a long-time District 218 school board member, could hear it from district residents at tonight's meeting.

Tonight will mark the first time since a Dist. 218 board member was arrested for his second drunken driving charge that he’ll face the public in an open meeting.

The agenda for tonight's meeting of the Community High School District 218 school board makes no mention of discussion on former Robbins Police Chief Johnny Holmes, one of the district's longest-serving board members. Holmes retired from his top cop job last week, just days after getting his second drunken driving arrest in three years.

Holmes is likely to come up for talk tonight, though. Some members of the public already are calling for his resignation from the school board. Time for public comment is usually reserved early in school board meetings, as is time for board member responses.

“There’s probably going to be some people who are upset,” D218 board vice president Marco Corsi said.

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While Holmes did not respond to Patch's calls or emails, Corsi has spoken with the former police chief since his arrest on Dec. 22. Corsi said he hadn't addressed this incident with Holmes, other than to mention that he was “a little disappointed this happened” and to “thank God nobody go hurt.”

Corsi expressed doubts that the board will discuss Holmes’ situation publicly tonight.

“We’re not going to condone or support or criticize,” Corsi said. “This is his fate. He has to live through this.”

There’s also strong doubt that the board could take any action against Holmes for the alleged crime, even if it wanted to.

Both Corsi and D218 Superintendent John Byrne said nothing exists within powers of the school district or board to sanction or remove an elected official accused of a crime.

Byrne indicated last week, however, that regional superintendents in Illinois do have the power to remove a board member convicted of a crime. Unlike with others across the state, school districts in Cook County don't have regional superintendents. Instead, Cook County is served by three intermediate service centers.

Byrne said he hadn’t yet consulted with Vanessa Kinder, executive director of the South Cook Intermediate Service Center, and couldn’t yet comment on any steps that office could take.

“Of course, Johnny could resign,” Byrne said.

Dist. 218’s school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday (Jan. 14) at the Administrative Academy Center, 10701 S. Kilpatrick Ave., in Oak Lawn. The district includes H. L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, and Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights.

Read more:

  • Robbins Police Chief Charged with DUI Abruptly Retires
  • Fate of Robbins' Top Cop Hangs on Meeting
  • D218 Board Member Arrested for Second DUI
ME January 14, 2013 at 01:16 PM
He has to go! What kind of role model is he for our students? If students see that he is removed for a drinking crime, maybe it will help them make better decisions in their lives. C'mon people......vote to have him removed.
Kelly January 14, 2013 at 02:39 PM
He has to go and D218 Board members have to ask him/advise him to resign. If they don't, ALL of their positions on the boards become questionable as well. Where is the Morality Clause? Why wouldn't D218 and ALL public service positions have this? Mr. Corsi and Mr. Byrne, you must encourage his resignation, for the sake of D218 and for the future of your positions as well.
R.E. Former January 15, 2013 at 05:28 PM
The consequences of Mr. Holmes' actions were more significant to his role as police chief. How effective could his leadership be from this point forward? What would be best for the Police Department and the Village of Robbins. Mr. Homes did the right thing and resigned as Chief. But as a D218 Board member, an elected official, such consequences are not so clear. I don't see him as a role model for students as much as I see him as an elected official representing a segment of D218 taxpayers. If he resigned today, who would stand to replace him? He has been a lone voice of reason on a dysfunctional Board who's majority is led by the superintendent, who gets a $10,000 bonus each year without having to earn it. Mr. Holmes voted against the questionable cash settlement that the Board awarded Mike Graham. He has long advocated that the administration leadership be reflective of the ethnic and racial make up of the student body. Let those who have never had an error in judgement cast the first stones against him!

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