Srbo Radisavljevic turns himself in to police and is charged with disorderly conduct after harassing District 80 candidate Lou Mezzano by mail
Outgoing District 80 Board Srbo Radisavljevic appears to have finally taken his unhealthy obsession with District 80 candidate Lou Mezzano a bit too far.
Mezzano has been a vocal critic of Radisavljevic’s handling of the D-80 Board of Education… as have many others (including the writers of this blog).
Radisavljevic, in response, appears to have decided to wage an asymmetric campaign against Mezzano.
It started by questioning the quality of Mezzano’s volunteer work for District 80.
Next, it moved into Radisavljevic contesting Mezzano and fellow candidate Molly Dec’s election petitions, resulting in both candidates being thrown off the ballot.
Undeterred, Mezzano and Dec returned as write-in candidates. But, it seems Radisavljevic’s ego demanded he continue grinding his axe against Mezzano.
The “anonymous” package
In February, Mezzano received a package in the mail from an unidentified sender, containing a t-shirt.
The shirt had an old mug shot of Mezzano (from a “reckless conduct” case that was not prosecuted/charges dropped), with the caption “vote for me”.
According to redacted police records, Mezzano filed a complaint with the Norridge Police Department, and a subsequent investigation produced US Postal Service surveillance video footage identifying Radisavljevic as the sender.
Radisavljevic was contacted about the incident by a Norridge detective, and while agreeing initially to meet with the detective, he referred subsequent requests to his attorney. Eventually, the parties agreed on a day and time for Radisavljevic to come to the police station.
At some point Radisavljevic contacted Norridge police chief David Disselhorst about the incident, who referred him back to the detective assigned to the case. It is not clear why Radisavljevic reached out to Disselhorst.
On April 3rd at 9AM, Radisavljevic and his attorney came to the station, where Radisavljevic was read his Miranda rights, and chose to invoke his CONUS 5th amendment right to remain silent.
He was then charged with disorderly conduct, with a court date scheduled for 4PM, May 2nd at the Village Hall.
District 80 board should take action
The next District 80 board meeting is this Tuesday, April 16th at 7PM. Although Radisavljevic is on his way out, the current board has the opportunity to send a message that such conduct is unbecoming an elected official.
Radisavljevic should be removed as Board President. He should have been toppled years ago, however attempts to remove him in 2016 and 2017 failed with only two voting in favor each time.
But now with this criminal incident hanging over him, we don’t see how Radisavljevic can cling to any shred of legitimacy by continuing.
The District 80 board could, at least, censure Radisavljevic for trying to intimidate one of his opponents.
Destruction of recordings
On the April 16th board meeting agenda is a motion to destroy recordings of closed sessions older than a year and a half.
Although the Open Meetings Act allows for such action, there is no valid reason why it needs to be done at this time.
Deleting the recordings now, right before a new board is seated, would give the distinct impression that the outgoing board leadership has something to hide.
The board should remove or censure Radisavljevic, and vote NO to destroy the recordings.
The current District 80 board, by and large, has rubber stamped just about anything Radisavljevic has put in front of them.
The majority has been complicit with some of the worse financial mismanagement of the district occurring in the past decade… and a few have even enabled some of the deeds against Mezzano.
As such, we don’t expect any meaningful action to be taken against the board president by the majority, or that the recordings will be spared… but it would be great to be pleasantly surprised for once.