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14 pages related to the Fred Ichniowski investigation

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In light of the stunning spectacle of Todd Stroger arrogantly rewarding his political inner circle in Cook County government at the expense of taxpayers and county services, as well as the exposure of gross mismanagement of the CTA and other city agencies under Mayor Richard Daley, you’d think Cook County Republicans would see a chance to finally win a county office or two in next year’s elections.

Wrong.

The Cook County Republican party is now run by Liz Doody Gorman, and Gorman clearly is more concerned with empire building and currying favor with powerful Democrats.

The Democrats already have a general election slate, with the exception of the state’s attorney race, which has four announced primary candidates. Ten weeks after petitions were distributed the Republicans apparently can’t even find a qualified candidate to run against a corrupt joke like Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore.

Yet Gorman and others are hard at work trying to stop the one GOP candidate who has announced and who has a real chance to win-Tony Peraica.

Peraica tallied historically high vote totals for a Republican in last year’s county board president race, garnering nearly 61 percent in the suburbs and winning a third of all city wards. He got 160,000 more votes than the last Republican who ran for county board president, despite running against a Democratic tide that swamped other Republicans.

Yet Gorman and some township GOP committeemen, such as Berwyn’s Tom Castrogiovani and Leyden’s Bradley Stephens, have the knives out for Peraica. They reportedly tried to convince State Rep. James Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Elmwood Park Mayor and county Commissioner Peter Silvestri to take on Peraica.

Now primary petitions are being circulated for the candidacy of one Ed Barron, a former assistant state’s attorney. If Barron runs he’ll get eviscerated by Peraica. But Gorman and other faux Republicans aren’t running to win-they’re running Barron as a proxy to continue their campaign to cut and bruise Peraica and force him to spend money in the primary.

A nasty GOP primary could only help the Democrats, and that’s precisely the point. Gorman is looking for a way to continue a smear campaign that started with a Sept. 12 Sun Times article in which she told reporter Steve Patterson that her office assistant Brent Wood received harassing calls from a one-time Peraica volunteer named Fred Ichniowski. Gorman, Patterson wrote, “notified police only after he grew more angry and vulgar in February as the board was in a budget battle and she ran for GOP chairman.” But an Orland Hills detective noted “Woods only wanted the incident documented and will re-contact the police if further calls are received.”

The offending calls were made on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28. The first report, filed with the Orland Hills Police Department, was on March 30. There were no more calls made, and that would have been the end of it. But on July 18, nearly five months later, Gorman suddenly decided to file a complaint with the Cook County Sheriff, accusing Ichniowski of intimidating a public official, a felony. The state’s attorney’s office reviewed the case and declined to charge Ichniowski with a felony, reclassifying it to disorderly conduct.

This is not first time Liz Gorman has made accusations against someone. Several years ago she and her husband Gerald accused Daimler Chrysler of racism in their dealings with black customers at the Gorman’s two car dealerships. Daimler Chrysler slapped them with a counter suit, and Liz and her husband were hit with a total of $4.245 million in legal judgments. They’re currently appealing.

All 14 pages related to the Fred Ichniowski investigation are available on the Review’s website. You can decide for yourself whether Gorman’s motives were credible.

While you’re at it, you might also ponder whether her motives in supporting Ed Barron and opposing Peraica have any credibility as well.