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Article posted: 7/18/2012 4:18 PM

Lake County state senator's harassment case continued to August

By Bob Susnjara

A protection order obtained by neighbors of state Sen. Suzi Schmidt will continue at least until her next court date in August, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Schmidt, who faces misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass, made a brief appearance before Lake County Associate Judge George Strickland. Her case was continued for a pretrial and status hearing Aug. 15.

Until her June 12 arrest, Lake County authorities said, Schmidt had harassed her neighbors in Lake Villa Township for more than two years over a reputed romantic affair involving her estranged husband.

The neighbors were granted an anti-stalking, no-contact order against Schmidt following that arrest. Strickland extended that order until her next court appearance.

Schmidt is a Lake Villa Republican who represents the 31st Senate District that covers most of northern and parts of central Lake County. She opted against seeking re-election in November.

Lake County sheriff's police said Schmidt accused her estranged husband, Robert, of having an affair with the unidentified neighbor. Police said she routinely confronted the neighbors and most recently went onto the family's land June 9, took a feed bag and hurled it into a swampy area near their house.

Separately, the Schmidts' divorce case was transferred Tuesday from McHenry County circuit court to Lake County. Documents say the Schmidts live in Lake County and both parties agree the divorce was filed in the wrong venue.

Robert Schmidt filed for the divorce on Aug. 16, 2011, in part, citing irreconcilable differences. Though he's employed, he contends Suzi Schmidt should provide him with maintenance "to live the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during their marriage," according to court documents.

In her counter-petition for divorce, Suzi Schmidt claims she should receive money from her estranged husband for living and attorney expenses because she doesn't have adequate financial resources. Court documents say the state senator "is unable to support herself and is without sufficient income" to maintain her accustomed standard of living.

Last year, Suzi Schmidt came under scrutiny in the wake of sheriff's police reports regarding domestic disturbances involving her husband.

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