Schmidt requests change in protection order
State Sen. Suzi Schmidt is asking that the order of protection against her be modified so she can help care for an elderly neighbor recovering from hip surgery.
However, attorney David Del Re of Waukegan opposed the move because he said it would allow Schmidt to be within 100 feet of his clients who claim they have been stalked and harassed by Schmidt.
Both sides will argue the issue in front of Lake County Circuit Judge George Strickland on Aug. 22.
The trial against Schmidt is expected to take place on Oct. 10.
Schmidt pleaded not guilty in June to charges stemming from what authorities say was the harassment of the neighbors for more than two years over an alleged romantic affair involving her estranged husband.
On June 9, police reports state, the neighbors accused Schmidt of going onto their property, taking a feed bag and throwing it into a nearby swamp. The police report says a video of the event was turned over to the Lake County sheriff's office and the Lake County state's attorneys office.
Schmidt was arrested June 12 on misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. She also was served with an emergency stalking no-contact order.
The initial order of protection required that Schmidt stay 500 feet from the victims, but it was modified in June to allow Schmidt to have access to her Lake Villa Township home.
Now, the senator is asking to be able to be within 100 feet of the victims' home in order to care for her elderly friend who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.
"(Schmidt) is the only one available in the neighborhood to care for her," said Schmidt's attorney, Charles Schneider of Buffalo Grove. "They have had a relationship for 32 years, are close friends, and Suzi wants to help care for her."
However, Del Re said giving Schmidt the ability to be directly across the street from the victims is wrong.
"We object to it because it's allowing the offender to come within 100 feet of the victim," he said. "It's right across the street."
Lake County sheriff's documents obtained after Schmidt's arrest state she routinely confronted the family starting in December 2010 after Schmidt claimed her husband, Robert Schmidt, was involved romantically with the female neighbor.
The woman, who is not being identified by the Daily Herald, denied having an affair with Robert numerous times in the police report.
According to reports, the neighbors told police they received multiple harassing phone calls, text messages and emails from Schmidt between December 2010 and February 2012, and have been confronted verbally by the former Lake County Board chairman.
Schmidt remains free after posting 10 percent of her $5,000 bail.
Schmidt, a Republican, chose not to seek re-election to her legislative seat this year after facing questions last fall about whether she abused her political influence during a domestic dispute with her estranged husband.
Schmidt and her husband are now separated.
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