Tony Reyes Blows Up in Village Hall Again…and It’s Getting To Be a Habit

October 29, 2011

Village Government

by Jed Skillman

By now it is widely known that following the October 6th meeting, while still in Village Hall, Trustee Tony Reyes launched an obscenity-filled attack on a Winfield resident, Stan Zegel.

Zegel had earlier filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to communications regarding Roosevelt Road. A back-door rezoning of a Roosevelt property caused Zegel to question the ethics and perhaps legality of the deal. Tony Reyes is one of the subjects of the FOIA. Following the October 6th meeting, in Village Hall, and in front of witnesses that included Village President Deborah Birutis, the Village Manager, Curt Barrett, several Trustees and the Winfield Chief of Police, Trustee Tony Reyes confronted Mr. Zegel and unleashed an stream of verbiage pumped straight from a sewer.

Mr. Zegel filed a complaint with the police. (Read it Here)

Tony Reyes

At the next Village meeting, on October 20th, one of the witnesses, Trustee Erik Spande, asked for a vote of censure.  Trustee Spande stated that the directly relates to “the sort of behavior that the Village residents and the people on this board expect of an official of this unit of government.”

Perhaps in anticipation of a disciplinary effort, a group of Reyes-supporters attended the meeting and during the Public Comment period spoke glowingly of Trustee Reyes’ religious dedication, and offered the opinion that Trustee Reyes cares for the community and is a local philanthropist.

For his part, Trustee Tony Reyes offered a defense was neither original nor contrite.  He blamed others, he pointed out that everyone swears, and he attested to a thirty-year conflict with Mr. Zegel.  He did not comment on the appropriateness of his attack, nor did he offer an apology either to Mr. Zegel or to those who were in the room at the time.

There was no shortage of “blame the victim”.  Trustee Reyes went so far in his own defense as to accuse Mr. Zegel, who is 67, overweight, and has breathing problems, of blocking his way.  In fact, much of Reyes’ defense portrayed Zegel as the perpetrator.  Reyes also took the opportunity to accused Trustee Spande of “lying”, and insinuate that another witness, Trustee Jim Hughes, had ulterior political motivations for supporting censure.

During the discussion it was stated that Reyes had also engaged in an outburst of swearing and personal invective during the July meeting of the Village Administration and Finance Committee.  During that incident Trustee Reyes went after Village Manager Curt Barrett as well as a resident member of the committee, Robert Mrugacz, who disagreed with Reyes over some matter.

Similar displays are said to have been directed toward Village staff members, the Village Attorney, and to volunteers at public events.  One took place while still on stage at the League of Women Voters-Winfield Juniors sponsored “Candidate’s Night” in the Cantigny Park auditorium.  Immediately following the debate several people witnessed Reyes make obscene statements in a threatening manner to former Trustee Glenn VadeBonCoeur after the microphones had been turned off.  VadeBonCoeur had alluded to Reyes’ role in other questionable dealings.

To all effects, the entire October 20th Board meeting was consumed, first in examining Reyes’ attack, and second, by Reyes and his supporters, in justifying the attack. When the vote of censure was called, only Trustees Spande and Hughes voted in favor.  Trustees Allen, Olson and Reyes, himself – who, strangely, was permitted to vote on the outcome of his own case – voted no.  Trustee Bajor was absent.

Not mentioned by any of his defenders and overlooked in press accounts of the incident is this fact:  Tony Reyes is also involved with the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department.  He serves as chairman of the Sheriff’s “Merit Review Commission”.   His duties there include evaluating and recommending discipline for law enforcement personnel charged with, among other things, infractions of behavior and decorum.

About Positive on Winfield

Positive on Winfield is a blog with articles on local issues, local events, and local interests in Winfield, IL. Positive on Winfield is the blog website of the local civic action group, Winfield United for a Better Community.

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