Mount Prospect village manager pleads guilty to DUI
Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Janonis had a blood-alcohol reading of .218 - almost three times the legal threshold - when he was arrested on charges of drunken driving June 5 in McHenry.
Instead of fighting the arrest in court, he pleaded guilty June 21.
Janonis, 53, had spent the day at a Huntley golf outing with high school friends. He said in an interview Wednesday he was drinking beer and Bloody Mary cocktails at the event, but he denies having a drinking problem.
"This is not an indication of who I am or how I typically act," said Janonis, who has been the village manager for 19 years. "It was a combination of dumb things. I was with a bunch of high school friends at a golf outing all day and we didn't eat lunch."
Janonis was pulled over at 5:49 p.m. June 5 while driving a 2007 Toyota north on the 300 block of South Curran Lane in McHenry, according to McHenry County Court records. It was not a village-owned vehicle, officials confirm.
Mayor Irvana Wilks declined to comment Wednesday but issued a statement on behalf of the village board saying Janonis will not face disciplinary action because of his arrest.
"This is a personal matter between Mr. Janonis and the McHenry authorities," Wilks said in her statement. "Mr. Janonis continues to perform his job responsibilities at the village of Mount Prospect in a professional and competent manner. Because the DUI did not involve the village of Mount Prospect or Mr. Janonis' duties as the village manager, the village trustees currently do not anticipate any change in the status of Mr. Janonis' employment with the village."
Janonis, a Mount Prospect resident, said he was on his way to a family graduation party, where he planned on eating dinner, when he was pulled over.
It appears Janonis was initially was stopped for speeding, being clocked at 59 mph in a 40 mph zone.
"Investigation into traffic stop found the driver with slurred speech and strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath," according to a police report. "Driver staggered and showed obvious signs of impairment on one leg stand, walk and turn and alphabet tests."
Janonis then went to the McHenry police station, where he took a breath test, and was arrested and charged with two counts of driving under the influence, speeding, and driving without insurance.
According to court records, Janonis was a first-time DUI offender. He was placed on a one-year supervision, fined $2,500 plus court costs, and must attend court-mandated counseling.
"I very much want to apologize to my family, the village board and the community," Janonis said in a statement. "This is not the image I want to portray and is not representative of who I am as a person. I love Mount Prospect and want nothing more than to continue to serve this great community in my current capacity."
Trustees reached Wednesday declined to comment further on the incident.
"We're talking about someone's livelihood and their personal issues," Trustee Steven Polit said. "I just don't think you open that up to public discussion."
• Daily Herald reporter Chuck Keeshan contributed to this report.