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updated: 8/23/2014 8:58 PM

Bannockburn mayor resigns after molestation investigation

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Daily Herald report

Bannockburn Village President James Barkemeyer has resigned after a police investigation into allegations he sexually abused two teenage boys who worked in his Wilmette hardware store.

Trustees have appointed Frank "Bud" Rothing to complete the remainder of Barkemeyer's term, set to expire in May 2015.

In May, a former employee of the Linden True Value Hardware store in Wilmette alleged he was sexually abused by Barkemeyer when he was 14 to 18 years old in the 1990s, according to a Wilmette police report Pioneer Press obtained through a Freedom of Information request. Police also interviewed a former employee who alleged Barkemeyer sexually abused him when he was a teen, according to the report.

On Aug. 18, Barkemeyer told investigators he had sexual contact with two boys he estimated to be between 15 to 17 years old who worked at the hardware store, according to the police report.

After consulting with the Cook County state's attorney's felony review unit, police did not pursue charges against Barkemeyer because the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution has expired.

In 2007, Barkemeyer, now 57, was first elected to the top post in the North Shore suburb of about 1,500 residents. Before that, he served as trustee from May 1999 through May 2007.

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