It has been almost three years since former commissioner Terry Steinbach filed accusations against Mayor Anthony Calderone that he violated her privacy. Nearly three years of finger pointing, denials and bitterness.
And at the end of it all, it’s difficult to find a winner.
As reported on our front page this week, the mayor was dismissed from the federal case in which Steinbach alleged that he and others at village hall hacked into her e-mail. For those who may not recall, Steinbach and Calderone mixed about as well as oil and water during the four years they served together on the council. In early 2006, the year Steinbach filed the suit, she lost a bid to unseat Calderone as mayor.
The judge in the case dismissed the charges against the mayor not because the case against him couldn’t be argued, but because the case against him was outdated. There’s a statute of limitations at play here.
Unfortunately, the facts don’t offer any more satisfaction.
Yes, the mayor’s laptop was used to view Steinbach’s account, along with accounts belonging to other political rivals. But the total amount of time spent viewing those accounts was 3 minutes, and the only message read was a test e-mail.
The mayor said he didn’t read those e-mails and it’s likely that the village’s IT director used the laptop, an occurrence that he said is not at all uncommon. But employee records show that the IT director didn’t work that day.
Without a court telling us definitively who has done what, this case simply reminds the public of how acrimonious politics in this town can be.