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         April 9, 2011        

New smoking gun in Indian Trails scandal:
Library Director resigns, may have fled the State!

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Former Cleveland-area lawyer Tom Simiele resigned on Wednesday as Library Director of the Indian Trails Public Library, and may have gone into hiding and/or fled the State to evade prosecution on charges of Official Misconduct.  Then again, maybe it's just a coincidence that apparently nobody has been able to track him down since he resigned.

Maybe he's still here, waiting to see if he's going to get arrested.  It's possible.

In America, it is customary for an employee to either give an employer two weeks notice when resigning or, in management situations, to stick around until a replacement is brought on board so you can help with the transition.  It just seems that Tom was in a really big hurry to get the heck out of here as fast as he could, after I filed my Complaint with the State Board of Elections

The Illinois Criminal Code, at 720 ILCS 5/33-3(b), defines Official Misconduct, in pertinent part, this way:  "A public employee commits misconduct when, in his official capacity, he knowingly performs an act which he knows he is forbidden by law to perform."  Misuse of public funds is one example of Official Misconduct.

Spending tax dollars to engage in electioneering for the purpose of rigging and corrupting the outcome of an election, such as the Library Referendum, would sure seem to qualify as Official Misconduct.  As a licensed attorney, Tom is expected to know the law and, therefore, to know that, as a public employee, he can't use public funds to engage in electioneering.

Official Misconduct is a Class 3 felony.  The Chapter on Sentencing in the Uniform Code of Corrections, at 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-40(a), makes a Class 3 felony punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison.  In addition, 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-50(b) provides for a fine of up to $25,000.  For a lawyer, a felony conviction also means the loss of one's law license.  Maybe Simiele felt that the risk was too great to stick around for a library job, only to find out that he would become Inmate Inventory and get dis-barred.

If a corporation is convicted of a Class 3 felony, 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-50(b) provides for a fine is up to $50,000.  According to their lawyer, the Indian Trails Public Library District is "a Public Library District operating as a unit of local government pursuant to the Public Library District Act of 1991."  I'm not an attorney, so I don't know if Indian Trails would be regarded as a corporation for the purposes of a fine if the Library District is found guilty of Official Misconduct for its use of tax dollars to engage in heavy-handed electioneering to promote passage of the referendum, but I'll bet Lisa would know.

The Buffalo Grove Patch, in a story, yesterday, entitled Indian Trails Director Resigns, quoted Library spokesman Earl Sabes as saying, "I'm as surprised as anyone else.  It happened really fast."

I'm not surprised.  In fact, just one day before Simiele resigned, I said in the April 5th edition of Rob Sherman News, "I fully expect that, if the referendum goes down to defeat, Simiele will quickly resign and get out of Illinois before we can find him and send him to jail."  While the referendum passed with just over 51% of the vote, the illegal electioneering by the Library was, without question, the difference in the outcome, so the narrow victory may be causing Simiele to feel the heat even more.

The Daily Herald also had a story, yesterday, on the subject, entitled Indian Trails library director resigns.  Both the Patch and the Herald reported that their attempts to contact Simiele were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections held its hearing on the Indian Trails electioneering matter on Thursday.  It went well for our side and not so well for their side.  I'll tell you about it tomorrow.  What I will tell you, now, is that I can't see how Simiele's resignation could be helpful to the Library District's credibility in their contention that everything they did was legal.

Anybody seen Tom?  Let me know where he is, if you find him.  He may be driving eastbound, really fast, on Interstate 90, heading towards Ohio.  Or, if you prefer, call Lisa.  Her number is (312) 814-3000.

Previous Rob Sherman News stories about the Indian Trails Public Library District scandal:

Thursday, April 7:  Sherman working to reverse Indian Trails stolen referendum victory

Tuesday, April 5:  Another smoking gun in the Indian Trails referendum scandal

Sunday, April 3:  Smoking gun proves Indian Trails knew referendum scandal materials were illegal

Friday, April 1:  Indian Trails Library not worthy of receiving additional tax dollars

Th, 3/31:  Sherman files complaint with Board of Elections to void Indian Trails Library tax increase referendum

Saturday, March 26:  Indian Trails Library illegally using tax dollars to promote passage of tax-hike referendum

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