Alderman won't step down over disorderly conduct charge
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -
A north suburban alderman refused to step down Monday night after a community activist asked for his resignation in light of recent disorderly conduct charges, the News-Sun is reporting.
North Chicago Ald. Carl Evans was cited for disorderly conduct June 13 under the city’s municipal code for allegedly making dozens of phone calls over several days to former Ald. Valerie DeVost.
Evans also allegedly showed up at DeVost’s workplace at North Chicago High School, where he was thrown out by security, according to officials.
Evans said he was trying to serve DeVost with court papers related to a $1,700 civil suit judgment he won against her. The case stemmed from Evans selling DeVost a van for $1,000, and she being involved in an accident in Waukegan while still owing him $200.
At one point, Evans took the van back, telling DeVost it was scrapped and sold to someone else. She claimed there was $2,700 worth of items left in the van, including clothing, shoes, a child safety seat, laundry detergent and softener, and some of her mother’s belongings.
“I called her phone — that’s what happened,” Evans said of the communication that led to his disorderly conduct citation.
Evans was irritated when he was told by a reporter that activist Ralph Peterson was going to ask for his resignation Monday night.
“Who is Ralph Peterson? Oh please,” Evans said. “I’m just Carl Evans and I’m just going to do my job.”
Peterson is a relative of Darrin “Dagwood” Hanna, who died a week after being arrested by North Chicago police in November 2011 on a domestic violence charge.
According to police statements, an officer used a stun gun on Hanna, who was 45.
Hanna’s family filed a civil suit against the city related to the death.
At Monday’s council meeting, Peterson asked Evans to step down, alleging that lawlessness and an administration too eager to ignore problems with the police department resulted in Hanna’s death.
“That attitude of anything goes in this administration is what led to the death of Darrin Hanna,” Peterson said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “Please do the right thing and step down.”
Evans actually missed Peterson’s speech because he went to the bathroom.
“I kind of figured he’d run off out of here,” said Peterson, as Evans stayed out of the room until his three minutes were up.
Mayor Leon Rockingham said the matter was not City Council business.
“It’s a personal issue and I don’t think it has any weight on city council or city,” he said.
Peterson, however, said the Rockingham administration has condoned unlawful behavior by not addressing it.
“This is the type of leadership North Chicago has had for he past several years,” Peterson said. “This shines a negative light on an already hurting administration.”
Last month’s disorderly conduct charge isn’t the first time Evans has found himself in legal trouble.
He was convicted of mob action in 1987 and misdemeanor battery in 1983. He was arrested, but not convicted for criminal damage to property in 1988, phone harassment in 1994 and writing bad checks in 2008.
Evans is scheduled in municipal court July 17 for the disorderly conduct case.
DeVost backed Evans in the spring of 2013 when he ran for her council seat while she ran for mayor. Evans said they have been friends for years, and Evans ran on the fact he had the city tear down the infamous Ron Ric Motel near his home after it became a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes.