Dundee Township supervisor responds to charges against highway commissioner
Dundee Township officials say they are relying on the court system to determine the future of Larry Braasch's elected position as highway commissioner.
Braasch, 70, of Dundee Township, was charged with indecent exposure and breach of peace after witnesses told police he inappropriately touched himself in front of children at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, according to Horry County, South Carolina, police. He was arrested June 15 after a lifeguard and several witnesses told police they saw him with his hands outside and inside of his pants at an indoor pool area.
Though concerned about the allegations made against Braasch, Dundee Township Supervisor Sue Harney said the township is not taking any action at this point, nor are officials asking him to resign.
"Because Mr. Braasch is an elected official, not an employee, the court system and the results of that process will dictate what happens next," she said in a statement. "Obviously, we all wish this hadn't happened. There is damage for everyone who is involved. We continue to monitor developments and to share residents' distress about this unfortunate situation."
Braasch has served as Dundee Township highway commissioner since 2000. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The day of Braasch's arrest, witnesses said he was sitting near a glass door and touching his genital area while watching underage girls, according to the police report. When police later confronted Braasch, he told them he was just "fixing himself" and didn't know what they were talking about.
Harney said the township has been in contact with Braasch but has not had any communication with South Carolina or Illinois authorities.
"The township is continuing to gather the facts involved in this case," Harney said. "The allegations must work their way through the court system. Mr. Braasch will have his day in court and present his defense."
Braasch was held overnight at J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County before he posted bond and was released. His next court date is July 18.
According to Kane County court records, Braasch was charged with felony reckless disposal of hazardous waste by Carpentersville police in 1989.
Braasch, who then lived in Carpentersville, was accused of pouring gasoline down a drain in his garage, court records show. The gasoline entered the sanitary sewer and "ignited" in the basements of two residents who lived on his street.
Braasch pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless conduct and paid $1,273 restitution to the city of Carpentersville, according to court records. He also was sued by insurance companies of both homeowners; terms of settlements or damage payouts were not immediately available.
• Daily Herald staff writer Harry Hitzeman contributed to this story.