Lake County Sheriff’s Office Finds “No Threats/No Crime” While Investigating  “Threats” Surrounding Civil War Days

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Finds “No Threats/No Crime” While Investigating “Threats” Surrounding Civil War Days

**UPDATE: No Threats/No Crime Discovered**

On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at 1:45PM, Lake County Sheriff’s Administration sent Lake County Forest Preserve President Angelo Kyle an email requesting a meeting with Commissioner Kyle and Forest Preserve Director of Safety John Tannahill pursuant to the official request for a criminal investigation.

On Wednesday June 26, 2019, at 10:45AM, members of Sheriff’s Administration and Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations met with Director Tannahill, where Director Tannahill briefed Sheriff’s Officials on the situation. At that time, no documentation regarding any threats, safety concerns, or security concerns were tendered to Sheriff’s Officials. At 5:04PM, Forest Preserve Officials supplied Sheriff’s Officials with over 500 pages of documents, 20 voicemails, and two videos which had been posted on Facebook. On June 27th and early in the morning on June 28th, Commissioner Kyle forwarded dozens of emails and voicemails he personally received over the course of several days to Sheriff’s Officials for review.

Once the materials were received, Sheriff’s Detectives commenced an investigation. Detectives reviewed 529 pages of materials/electronic media which included:
Hundreds of comments posted on social media
Hundreds of comments posted on news articles
Hundreds of comments posted on various websites related to Civil War Days
Dozens of electronic messages sent to officials via the Forest Preserve website
Dozens of emails sent directly to Commissioner Kyle
25 voicemails received by Commissioner Kyle and/or Forest Preserve Staff

Additional follow-up was conducted with two social media commenters, as their comments were vague. One of these follow-ups was conducted in-person with the poster, as he resides locally. The other was conducted via telephone, as he resides out of state. Interviews with both social media posters revealed while their comments were in extreme poor taste, there was no criminal intent/threat surrounding their message.

After all of the data was reviewed, Sheriff’s Detectives found NO credible threats to Forest Preserve Elected/Appointed Officials, Forest Preserve Staff, Forest Preserve Property, participants of Civil War Days, or guests planning to attend Civil War Days. No documentation provided by the Lake County Forest Preserve yielded any evidence of a threat to the event. There is no evidence of any crime.

Lake County Forest Preserve Officials were made aware of our findings this morning.

[INITIAL PRESS RELEASE] Sheriff’s Office Requested to Conduct Criminal Investigation into ‘Civil War Days’ Threats (Issued 6/25/19)

On June 24, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office learned ‘Civil War Days,’ hosted by the Lake County Forest Preserve, was canceled. Forest Preserve Officials cited the cancellation was due to security concerns.

Prior to the decision by the Lake County Forest Preserve, on Friday, June 21, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office communicated to the Forest Preserve that an official request would be needed to conduct an evaluation of the threats and/or safety concerns. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office did not receive any official request nor any supporting documentation to conduct an evaluation, therefore, the Sheriff’s Office was unable to render any recommendations to Forest Preserve Officials.

On June 25, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Lake County Commissioner Dick Barr. Commissioner Barr requested the Sheriff’s Office conduct a criminal investigation into the threats, to determine if the threats were criminal in nature, and if so, work to hold those accountable who made such threats.

Following today’s request from Commissioner Barr, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Lake County Forest Preserve and requested all of the documentation and information surrounding any threats made concerning ‘Civil War Days.’ Lake County Sheriff’s Administration sent a request to Forest Preserve Administration/Forest Preserve Public Safety requesting they meet with our Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing assistance and resources to the Lake County Forest Preserve and any other organizations, when requested.

Commissioner Barr Asks for Kyle’s Resignation as Forest Preserve President

Commissioner Barr Asks for Kyle’s Resignation as Forest Preserve President

It is my understanding that the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act bestows executive power on the President of the Forest Preserve, which entitles him to act unilaterally without Board Consent, which could include unwarranted termination of certain staff. This means that the staff of the Forest Preserve does not work for the Board, rather the President himself.

It was clear to me from comments and body language of staff during the June 11th Forest Preserve Board meeting where Civil War Days cancellation was discussed, that staff felt immeasurable pressure from their boss to go along with a short sighted and irresponsible decision to cancel an event without consent, or even notification of the Board, embroiling the Forest Preserve District in a major controversy, putting its reputation in direct harm’s way.

I believe the professionalism, knowledge and work ethic of our Forest Preserve Staff is incomparable, and needs to be defended and protected.

Based on new information released by the Sheriff’s Department this morning that no credible threats to safety existed, and it appearing more likely that safety concerns were exaggerated in an attempt to mislead the public to subsequently cancel Civil War Days, I make the following requests:

1. Governor JB Pritzker sign the bill on his desk that would allow for the removal of a Forest Preserve President with 4/5ths vote of the rest of the Board.

2. Legislators in Springfield to draft legislation that would amend the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act to remove executive authority from the Board President, and bestow power to the full Board, and not one person who is not elected to that position by the public.

3. I ask my fellow Board Commissioners to join me in requesting the immediate resignation of Board President Angelo Kyle before any more damage can be done to the Forest Preserve District and that we can begin the process of healing and repairing the Forest Preserve’s image to the public.

4. An immediate reinstatement of Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve, if it is not already too late.

LC Board Member Dick Barr Requests Criminal Investigation Into Reported Threats Regarding Civil War Days

LC Board Member Dick Barr Requests Criminal Investigation Into Reported Threats Regarding Civil War Days

**Sheriff’s Office Requested to Conduct Criminal Investigation into ‘Civil War Days’ Threats**

On June 24, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office learned ‘Civil War Days,’ hosted by the Lake County Forest Preserve, was canceled. Forest Preserve Officials cited the cancellation was due to security concerns.

Prior to the decision by the Lake County Forest Preserve, on Friday, June 21, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office communicated to the Forest Preserve that an official request would be needed to conduct an evaluation of the threats and/or safety concerns. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office did not receive any official request nor any supporting documentation to conduct an evaluation, therefore, the Sheriff’s Office was unable to render any recommendations to Forest Preserve Officials.

On June 25, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Lake County Commissioner Dick Barr. Commissioner Barr requested the Sheriff’s Office conduct a criminal investigation into the threats, to determine if the threats were criminal in nature, and if so, work to hold those accountable who made such threats.

Following today’s request from Commissioner Barr, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Lake County Forest Preserve and requested all of the documentation and information surrounding any threats made concerning ‘Civil War Days.’ Lake County Sheriff’s Administration sent a request to Forest Preserve Administration/Forest Preserve Public Safety requesting they meet with our Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing assistance and resources to the Lake County Forest Preserve and any other organizations, when requested.