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Article updated: 3/25/2013 7:34 PM

1989 DUI arrest becomes Bartlett campaign fodder

By Jessica Cilella

An arrest from 23 years ago, along with more recent police reports, has become a campaign issue in the race for Bartlett village president.

During a recent candidate forum hosted by the Bartlett Woman's Club, candidate Patricia Kelly raisedthe 1989 arrest of opponent Kevin Wallace on a DUI charge.

The crowd booed and chattered over Kelly, a current village trustee, as she also addressed a 2010 police report that states Wallace telephoned someone believed to be the Bartlett police chief after officers responded to a noise complaint at a Fourth of July party he was attending.

Kelly, Wallace and Ted Lonis are seeking the village president's seat in the April 9 election. Lonis did not address Wallace's arrest during the forum.

A Daily Herald search of Wallace's name in court records also revealed a second alcohol-related charge in February 2002 in Oak Brook. According to the police report, after an officer stopped Wallace for failing to signal, an open 12-pack of beer was found in the front passenger seat of his vehicle and an open bottle of beer was found in the rear seat storage area.

According to the report, Wallace said he "had just opened the bottle before the traffic stop." He was cited for illegal transportation of alcohol and failure to signal when required, the report said.

"I don't remember that," Wallace said when asked about the 2002 report Monday.

He had little to say about the other police reports.

"It's just negative," he said. "Nothing good comes out of this stuff."

When Wallace originally submitted a candidate questionnaire to the Daily Herald, he failed to respond to a question asking, "Have you ever been arrested on charges of or convicted of a crime?"

Asked again to answer the question in mid-February, Wallace admitted that in 1989 he had an empty beer bottle in his car when was pulled over for a broken taillight. He said he wasn't convicted and when asked if he was drinking at the time he said, "I just don't know ... I don't want to say yes I was."

Wallace then re-sent the questionnaire, this time with the response, "About 23 years ago I was arrested on charges of a traffic related incident. I don't recall the exact details and I am currently working on getting them from the county."

Later that day, Wallace provided the Daily Herald with case details from the Kane County circuit clerk stating he was the defendant in a 1989 DUI case.

Documents obtained from Geneva police through a Freedom of Information Act request show Wallace was arrested at 2:39 a.m. April 29, 1989, on suspicion of driving under the influence. His blood alcohol content at the time was .16, well above the legal limit, the report indicates.

The report also states police found an open beer bottle and spilled beer on the floorboard of the vehicle's passenger seat.

Court records indicate Wallace eventually was fined and sentenced to court supervision.

As for the most recent report, filed by the Bartlett Police Department on July 4, 2010, Wallace reportedly told an officer responding to a noise complaint at a party he was attending that the police chief had given musicians permission to play music in the backyard.

The report said the officer told Wallace the chief would not give them permission to play their music, especially at 12:30 a.m. The report said others at the party agreed to stop performing and apologized, but Wallace looked up a number on his cellphone and had a conversation with someone believed to be former Police Chief Dan Palmer.

According to the report, someone apologized for Wallace's behavior, saying he "made the comments and telephone call because he was drunk."

Wallace said the report doesn't accurately portray what happened.

"That has nothing to do with me; my name just ended up on that report," he said.

"It is pure speculation that I was drunk," he added. "There are some other speculative things in that report."

Wallace said he had no comment when asked if he disputed any of the three cases. When asked if he had or has a drinking problem, he said no. He also replied with "no comment" when asked if he wanted to provide further explanation.

"It just creates more animosity," Wallace said of what he views as negative media coverage of the campaign.

Ÿ To see all our coverage of the Bartlett village president race, including candidate bios, go to www.dailyherald.com/news/politics/election/race/Bartlett-Village-President/.

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