Carpentersville candidates mixed on video release

Six people seeking three seats on the Carpentersville Village Board have differing views on whether the village should have released a video of the arrest of DUI suspect Josh Paul, who later died, after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion last year.

Paul, 31, of Carpentersville, scuffled with two officers during an Aug. 18 arrest and died hours later at an Elgin hospital from internal bleeding from a lacerated portal vein in his liver.

A Kane County coroner's report also said chronic liver cirrhosis from alcohol abuse contributed to his death; his blood-alcohol concentration when he was admitted to the hospital was .356, nearly 4½ times the legal threshold to drive.

The village refused to release a squad car video nearly six weeks after Madigan ruled the video and arrest reports should be released in the “public's interest.”

At the time, Public Safety Director Al Popp said the arrest was done “by the book” and the village wanted to first make sure an Illinois State Police investigation was completed.

Incumbents Paul Humpfer and Don Burroway are seeking re-election. Challengers Humberto Garcia, Jeffrey Sabbe, Christopher Scholl and Sara Miller also are seeking one of the three seats available.

All of the candidates said they supported the actions by the arresting officers, but they had differing views as to when the village should have released the video.

Scholl, a village firefighter, believes the refusal to release the video is a symptom Carpentersville's lack of transparency.

“They essentially created the story by not releasing the information,” Scholl said. “The more we all know, the more we are informed and better decisions can happen. Right now, people just don't know because the village has a tendency to not release information.”

Humpfer said learning what happened in the Paul case made him “sick to his stomach” and it was a “somber moment” for all trustees.

Humpfer said the village waited because Madigan's opinion was “nonbinding” and the state police were still doing an independent investigation.

Sabbe, Burroway and Garcia also agreed that it was a good decision not to release the video until the state police finished their investigation.

The village also was waiting on a report from the Kane County coroner, Burroway said.

Miller, whose husband is a Carpentersville firefighter, said she couldn't form an opinion because she was not yet a trustee.

“Without actually being on the board, I'm not sure of the processes they had to follow on the board with releasing the video,” she said.

The election is April 7 and early voting begins March 23.

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