Ill. senator asks police to 'ignore' husband's 911 calls

September 30, 2011 4:58:29 AM PDT
State Senator Suzi Schmidt is being pressured by her own party to resign after she is heard on 911 calls mentioning her political office and asking the dispatcher to ''ignore'' calls from her husband, Bob.

Police reports and 911 recordings from the Lake County Sheriff's Department reveal a series of domestic incidents at the home State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa) in which her husband called police to report his wife had bit him to the point of drawing blood, thrown a bowl and used her car to ram his Cadillac several times.

Police have been called to the Schmidt's Lake Villa home three times since last December for domestic issues. A politicians marital problem's normally would not make the news, but Schmidt is heard on tape asking the Lake County Sheriff's Department -- whose budget she controlled previously as Lake County Board chairman-- to look the other way.

Democrat Melinda Bush is running against Schmidt in next year's election. She called the 911 calls "very disturbing."

On one call, Schmidt is heard saying, "He's kind of afraid of me because he knows I have connections." In another call, Schmidt asks the dispatcher to stop responding to her husband's calls for police assistance.

DISPATCHER: "Lake County Sheriff, Allison."
SUZI SCHMIDT: "Hi Allison. This is Suzi Schmidt the - I was the Lake County Board chairman for ten years. Listen, I'm having a little problem with my husband right now."
DISPATCHER: "Like a domestic problem?"
SCHMIDT: "Yes, but it's fine so if he calls you - Bob Schmidt - you can ignore him."

Police reports on 911 calls paint a picture of a marriage in trouble.

ROBERT SCHMIDT: "We were arguing and then she just starting coming at me and swinging and scratching at my face and then when I tried to fight her off she bit me on one arm."
SUZI SCHMIDT: "You bet I did."
ROBERT SCHMIDT: "And I kept on trying to fight her. Did you just hear her? She said 'you bet I did.'" SUZI: "You had me on the floor hitting me."

"Like many people I listened to the tapes, I found them disturbing of course and certainly raised some questions," Bush said.

"We're in agreement that Suzi needs to make an evaluation in the next couple of days on what she wants to do with her career politically and we think that'll come in the next couple of days," Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said.

"These revelations are extremely troubling. As public officials, we are held to a higher standard. We cannot and will not tolerate abuse of the public trust," Senate Minority leader Christine Radogno said in a statement. "I am currently engaged in conversations with Sen. Schmidt as she makes important decisions regarding her personal and professional life."

Sources told ABC7 that Senator Schmidt is being encouraged to resign. She did not respond to ABC7's calls or emails.

"These revelations are extremely troubling. As public officials, we are held to a higher standard. We cannot and will not tolerate abuse of the public trust," Senate Minority leader Christine Radogno said in a statement. "I am currently engaged in conversations with Sen. Schmidt as she makes important decisions regarding her personal and professional life."


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