Elk Grove Park District commissioner accused of punching parks employee

A longtime Elk Grove Park District commissioner is accused of punching a park district employee at the Pavilion Fitness Center, authorities say.

Bill O'Malley, the park board's treasurer, was charged with misdemeanor simple battery after he was accused of hitting a 25-year-old employee in the stomach about 4:15 p.m. June 2, Elk Grove Police Chief Chuck Walsh said Wednesday.

O'Malley turned himself in to police Tuesday and was later released on bail.

In a phone call Wednesday morning, O'Malley declined to comment on the allegations or whether he planned to resign.

"I've been advised not to speak about this incident at all," he said.

After the employee reported the misdemeanor, detectives interviewed witnesses and viewed surveillance video from inside the fitness center at 1000 Wellington Ave. Walsh declined to comment on what led to the altercation pending completion of the police report.

Ralph Souder, president of the park board, said discussion of removing O'Malley from office is premature.

"I feel our legal system will shed light on the situation," Souder said. "I don't think we should play judge and jury."

The next park board meeting is set for Thursday, June 22. Souder does not expect the arrest to be discussed.

"I don't see where it would be relevant," he said.

O'Malley, a 16-year park district commissioner, previously served as president. Two years ago, the park board drew criticism for overturning anti-nepotism rules so O'Malley's son could get a job with the park district. O'Malley abstained from the vote.

Park District Executive Director Tom Busby was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

O'Malley is set to appear in Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows at 10:30 a.m. July 13.

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