Lake County Board chairman on leave for drug treatment

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor is taking a 30-day leave of absence as he undergoes treatment for an unspecified drug addiction.

Lawlor, 36, a Vernon Hills Republican, announced his leave of absence Monday morning. He said he is being treated at a Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation center. The organization has facilities throughout the U.S.

"Like so many, I am dealing with an addiction and am getting help," Lawlor said in a news release.

"Since starting at Hazelden Betty Ford, I'm getting to know myself again and getting back to the Aaron people knew before addiction took hold of my life."

Lawlor began drug treatment July 9, Lake County spokeswoman Jennie Vana said.

However, he represented the county board at events after that date, including a July 10 board meeting and a July 17 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new courthouse tower in Waukegan.

Lawlor expects to return to his elected duties after Aug. 30, Vana said.

County board Vice Chairwoman Carol Calabresa, a Libertyville Republican, will lead the panel until Lawlor returns.

County board members had good wishes for Lawlor on Monday.

"Recognizing a problem and seeking help is a brave step toward recovery," said Lincolnshire Republican Ann Maine, who also serves as the Lake County Forest Preserve District board's president.

Lawlor joined the county board in 2009 and has been its leader since 2012.

He is running for re-election this year, against Democrat Julie Simpson of Vernon Hills.

"I hope he gets better and I am glad to hear he is getting help," Simpson said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.