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updated: 4/1/2011 4:13 PM

Protest outside Island Lake village hall

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People angry about Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann's recent lawsuit against four village trustees protested outside village hall Thursday night.

The protesters also opposed the village's growing legal fees. Those costs, which exceeded $235,000 last year according to village records, prompted the trustees to try to strip certain powers from the mayor, including the unilateral ability to hire legal counsel.

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Those moves resulted in Herrmann's lawsuit, which was filed March 15 in Lake County circuit court against trustees John Ponio, Donna O'Malley, Laurie Rabattini and Don Saville.

The protest was organized by former mayoral candidate Sally Fleissner.

Village hall shares a parking lot with the police station, and officers observed the protest, Island Lake Police Chief William McCorkle said Friday.

The protest, deliberately staged before a specially called meeting of the village board, was peaceful and did not result in any arrests, McCorkle said.

Herrmann did not attend the protest or the meeting. Neither did trustees Connie Mascillino and Don Verciglio nor Village Clerk Pam Miller, all of whom are Herrmann's political allies.

In a statement e-mailed to the Daily Herald, Herrmann called the gathering a "waste of the taxpayers' time and money" and criticized the board majority for calling special meetings "as if they were social gatherings."

Herrmann vowed to veto any ordinances or amendments that seek to erode her power. She's submitted a few vetoes in recent weeks.

The board can vote to override mayoral vetoes.

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