Village official in police report claimed another party owned fence without proof
Most people try to keep government at arm’s length at the best of times.
They deal with government when they have to… but they don’t want to invite a monkey on their back that may not easily leave.
For one Norridge resident, government became a King Kong sized monkey on his back, that absolutely refused to get off.
It all started with one man’s desire to replace an old chain link fence, with a taller wood fence. Let’s call him “Homeowner A”.
The existing fence was on the easement between his property, and that of his neighbors. The old fence was the property of Homeowner A.
The homeowner followed proper Village procedure to apply for the permit, paid the Village’s (exorbitant) $200 fee, and received the permit.
At one point, one of his neighbors filed a complaint over the fence with the Village, claiming Homeowner A “stole” the existing fence.
The second homeowner is a landlord and his property is rented out. We’ll call him “Homeowner B”.
One big problem with the complaint: Homeowner B didn’t actually own the fence in question…. Homeowner A did.
The dispute finally ended up in the Village zoning court over an alleged code violation concerning the new fence.
Homeowner A provided proof of ownership of the old fence, addressed the issues over the alleged code violation, and the zoning court ruled in his favor.
Done and case closed, right?
That’s when the situation escalated – Homeowner A was arrested by the Norridge PD 30 seconds later, and criminally charged for theft of the fence.
Arrested for “stealing” own fence?
Let me repeat that: a Norridge resident was arrested and charged for taking down his own fence… an activity he even had a permit for.
How and why on this green earth, could this happen? Who gave the order to arrest Homeowner A and why?
Why did the Village (including the police officers involved with the case) not require Homeowner B to provide proof of ownership before making an arrest?
Per the police report, Norridge’s building commissioner Brian Gaseor claimed Homeowner B was the owner of the fence.
But if Gaseor didn’t have proof of ownership… how could Gaseor’s statement be anything other than a lie?
Homeowner A is a hard working, law-abiding resident of our Village, who may not have the greatest command of the English language. Is that grounds for arrest?
Homeowner A has been greatly harmed in several ways: he is stuck with a boatload of attorney fees and bond costs; the condition of his bonded release forbids him from traveling out of state.
This issue has significantly impacted his ability to earn a living.
When will Norridge’s current appointed mayor Daniel Tannhauser take responsibility, or conduct a investigation over this disgraceful incident?
This isn’t the first abuse of power issue I have heard perpetrated by the Norridge Improvement Party administration. However, as of this writing, it’s got to be one of, if not the worst.
All I know is… if this sort of thing can happen to Homeowner A… it can happen to Homeowner… You.
Adam Chudzik, Norridge