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updated: 2/3/2011 7:20 PM

Police get involved as bad blood between Helmer, Hamen rises to surface

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Two Prospect Heights officials have escalated their war of words to the point that police in two communities have gotten involved.

The pair are Alderman Richard Hamen and Nicholas "Nick" Helmer, who represents Prospect Heights on the Chicago Executive Airport board and is a candidate for mayor.

Hamen has called for Mayor Dolly Vole to remove both Helmer and Luis Mendez from the airport board. Mendez is running against Hamen for alderman in the First Ward.

At the Jan. 24 city council meeting Helmer publicly told Hamen he should quit the "character assassination" because the alderman has enough of his own baggage.

Hamen later said some people he consulted considered Helmer's remarks a threat.

The alderman said he was not physically afraid of the significantly smaller Helmer, but said people should be careful that their remarks don't incite others to violence.

Helmer responded that he does not want trouble with Hamen and did not think his remarks would incite anyone.

"I can't worry about Mr. Hamen," Helmer said. "He constantly refers to issues that don't exist.

"I told him to come to airport meetings to see what's going on," Helmer added.

Hamen asked the Prospect Heights Police Department to look into it. Acting Police Chief Al Steffen said he would view the tape from the meeting, but that even Hamen had told him there was no physical threat, which is required for a charge of assault.

A few days after the council meeting, Hamen and Helmer met for breakfast in Wheeling, presumably to talk things over. The outcome of their talk is not known, but Hamen said Helmer went to the Wheeling Police Department afterward to ask them to investigate whether Hamen had illegally taped their conversation.

Helmer said he didn't want to discuss it, but Wheeling Deputy Police Chief John Teevans confirmed that someone made such a request.

Teevans said he did not want to reveal names because it was determined no recording was made.

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