Some Wayne residents urging village trustees to discuss dog's fatal shooting
Despite requests from several residents, the Wayne village board is not talking about the fatal shooting of a dog by the husband of Village President Eileen Phipps.
Trustee Pete Connolly announced at the beginning of Tuesday's meeting that the board would not discuss the Aug. 10 death of Ludwig, a dog belonging to a neighbor of Phipps. Connolly said officials want to avoid "any perception of conflict of interest" by the trustees or Wayne police.
"We are confident in the professionalism of the Kane County officers," he said. "They conducted an independent and thorough investigation."
Kane County sheriff's deputies were asked to investigate why Hal Phipps, Eileen Phipps' husband, fired a handgun multiple times at Ludwig and another dog.
Hal Phipps told deputies that both dogs were aggressively blocking a path from his boat launch area on the Fox River to his home, according to the sheriff's office. In July, Hal Phipps accused one of the dogs of biting him, according to an ordinance violation ticket.
But Joe Petit, the neighbor who owns the dogs, said his friend had taken Ludwig and the other dog to swim in the river. The dogs were not on the Phippses' property, Petit said.
Petit also denies that either of the dogs ever bit Hal Phipps.
On Tuesday, several dozen people attended the village board meeting, which happened online via Zoom. Four spoke to the board.
Michelle Mouraisias asked why the village bothers to have a police department if the officers don't enforce its ordinances.
She said Wayne police - who responded to the shooting before the sheriff's office took over the investigation - should have given Hal Phipps a ticket for firing a gun within village limits, which is against village ordinances.
Mouraisias also criticized the trustees' silence.
"Since none of the trustees are directly involved, why are you so unwilling to respond to questions about why (the) village ordinance is not enforced?" she asked.
Resident Mike Bowers said he would "love to hear some sort of response from our leadership as to what is going on."
Unlike an Aug. 17 board meeting conducted over the telephone, nobody interrupted the meeting with shouts of "Justice for Ludwig!" or calls for Eileen Phipps to resign.
Tuesday's meeting moderator kept all guests muted until they were allowed to speak during public comment.
Several weeks ago, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and State's Attorney Jamie Mosser announced the investigation had been completed. Mosser's office was reviewing the matter to see what, if any, criminal charges could be filed.
But on Tuesday afternoon, Mosser said another witness has come forward. The sheriff's office is arranging to interview that person, she said.
Mosser said she expects to announce her decision on charges before the end of September.