A Grayslake Elementary District 46 substitute teacher pleaded not guilty to harassing a school board member during a three-day teachers strike in January.
Christopher Culp, 43, of the 600 block of South Rose Hall Lane in Round Lake, was told by Lake County Judge John Scully to have no contact with Shannon Smigielski, the board member he allegedly harassed. Smigielski has since resigned her seat.
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Culp, who is free after posting $500 bail, is charged with disorderly conduct/telephone harassment, a class B misdemeanor that could put him behind bars for six months and cost him $1,500 in fines. He is due back in court April 18.
Authorities said Smigielski reported to Grayslake police that she received an obscenity-laced telephone message about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, after the third day of a District 46 teachers' strike.
Using a menacing tone, a man could be heard on the recording saying he wanted the teachers strike settled, called Smigielski a liar and claimed he "would really hate to see what happens" to her daughters at school when he directs his children to taunt them.
The call was traced after Grayslake police subpoenaed Smigielski's AT&T records, which indicated it came from Culp's home address.
Smigielski resigned her school board seat last month, in part, because of the emotional distress that resulted from the harassment, she said. She also said previously that she learned Culp has taught at one of her daughter's schools.
School board members and the Lake County Federation of Teachers union settled the strike early on Jan. 21.
Smigielski has also obtained an order of protection against Culp.