Mundelein trustees at odds over critical Facebook posts

  • Mundelein Trustee Dawn Abernathy

    Mundelein Trustee Dawn Abernathy

  • Mundelein Trustee Dakotah Norton

    Mundelein Trustee Dakotah Norton

 
 
Updated 8/12/2016 1:17 PM

The animosity between Mundelein trustees Dakotah Norton and Dawn Abernathy is spilling onto social media.

Within days of village board meetings, Norton writes occasionally humorous summaries of the sessions and posts them to a Facebook page he uses to discuss municipal business. The page, facebook.com/WatchMundeleinGrow, identifies Norton as a Mundelein trustee.

 

In his last two such posts, Norton included remarks about Abernathy's comments or actions at board meetings, referring to her not by name but as "a certain state rep candidate."

Abernathy, a Republican, is challenging Democratic state Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills for the 59th District seat.

In this week's summary, which was posted Wednesday afternoon, Norton said Abernathy's campaign won an award for "best sinking ship."

In reality, Abernathy won a prize for "best sink" during the Mundelein Park and Recreation District's cardboard board regatta last weekend.

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Norton's post didn't mention the regatta, which raised money for a parks foundation.

Norton also criticized Abernathy for reading the wrong report during the meeting.

And in a synopsis posted July 26, Norton mentioned that Abernathy's phone "repeatedly made noise through the meeting" and criticized her for speaking out of turn and for not properly using a microphone.

Abernathy called Norton's posts "character assassination."

She also tied Norton's posts to her House race against Sente, saying tactics like this are how Democrats "try to win elections."

"The lies are starting," Abernathy said.

Sente denied having anything to do with Norton's Facebook posts. Norton isn't a member of her campaign staff or an official campaign volunteer, she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm sorry to hear that the village of Mundelein's internal politics is in any way being associated with my role as a public servant," Sente said.

Abernathy and Norton are in their first terms as trustee. Abernathy was elected in 2013, and Norton was elected in 2015.

Abernathy was among the Mundelein officials who called on Norton to resign last year after his drunken driving arrest and revelations he withheld information about his criminal history from the media and voters during his campaign for the board.

Friction between the pair prompted a seating change at village board meetings this past May. Norton and Abernathy used to sit beside each other, but now they're separated by Trustee Kerston Russell on the dais.

Norton said he writes the meeting synopses to give people an idea of what happened at a meeting, "both the votes and the general attitude."

Norton said he has included "derisive notes" on other trustees from time to time in the Facebook posts. However, a Daily Herald review of the Facebook posts revealed no other trustee has been targeted as often as Abernathy.

Abernathy suggested Norton needs to pay more attention to village business at board meetings "rather than what others are doing around him."

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