Activist confronts Dolton Trustee Andrew Holmes over sex assault allegations, taken away by police

Embattled Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard faces questions about where tax money is going

Liz Nagy Image
Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Activist confronts Dolton trustee over sexual assault allegations
A meeting in south suburban Dolton ended in chaos Monday night.

DOLTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Up until the very end, Monday night's village board meeting was contentious, but calm, and largely focused on frustrations over things like village finances.

That devolved quickly at the end of the night when activist Jedidiah Brown again returned to the podium and confronted Dolton Trustee Andrew Holmes over sexual assault allegations.

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Brown started demanding personal answers from Holmes about the accusations before he launched to the front of the room, headed toward Holmes.

Brown was immediately surrounded by police and taken away.

Holmes, who is also a well-known victims' advocate, is accused of sexually assaulting a former Dolton employee during a village-funded trip to Las Vegas last year.

Holmes has not been charged with any crime, though the allegations are currently under investigation by Las Vegas police.

Before the confrontation cleared the room, residents repeatedly asked about where their tax money is going while Mayor Tiffany Henyard defended her work and pointed fingers at trustees.

Dolton's front-line responders arrived at Village Hall in uniform, more than a dozen deep, to demand answers and raise concerns about their retirement funds.

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"We have been serving the village without a contract for five years. Currently, the village still refuses to negotiate, making progress extremely difficult if not impossible," said Dolton IAFF Local 3766 President Adam Farej.

An audibly appalled audience of residents groaned. Standing in unity, the south suburban firefighters said their financial situation is far worse than they even know.

"My question is, 'Do we have worker's comp insurance?'" Farej said. "We will continue to serve. These are serious issues and need be addressed immediately."

The revelation was a plea, but as part of the public comment, the firefighters left without immediate answers.

Their frustration was the most glaring, but far from the only one from residents who have lost patience with Henyard.

"I've been here for 30 years. This is the worst I've ever seen the village," one speaker said. "I need to know what is going on with the money in the village of Dolton."

In her monthly mayoral update, Henyard was shunned by residents who visibly ignored her.

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"I am literally the beacon of light for Dolton," Henyard said.

She fired back at her detractors.

"The board of trustees raise your property taxes every year. When you get to the podium and say, 'I don't understand why my taxes are high,' This is why," Henyard said.

Henyard's handling of village finances is one piece at the center of a wide-ranging investigation happening out-of-sight by former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

After Henyard barred her from speaking at Dolton's last meeting, Lightfoot released a statement revealing the scope of her findings so far, read aloud by one of the trustees who hired her.

"A picture is emerging of the village's finances, the ways in which the current executive administration operates, many issues with the police department regarding staffing and operations, and overall, how this village form of government does or does not comply with state law," said Trustee Jason House.