District 128 quiet on indictments against board member, employee

The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board met Monday for the first time since one trustee and an employee were indicted on perjury charges stemming from documents filed ahead of April's election. The charges were not mentioned by the district or board during the meeting.

Board member Ellen Mauer faces four counts of perjury. Denise Zwit, assistant to Superintendent Prentiss Lea, faces three counts of perjury. They are accused of making false statements under oath about the collection of nominating petition signatures for the April 4 school board election.

Neither attended the board meeting Monday night, and neither have made a public statement since the charges were filed June 14.

Lea said after the meeting that Zwit has returned to work at the district. Lea declined to comment on the indictments.

The only person who talked about it was Libertyville resident Tim Anderson, a frequent critic of the District 128 school board and administration. It was Anderson who raised questions about the petitions with the state's attorney's office back in January.

During public comment Monday Anderson told the board that he wouldn't have had to go to the state's attorney if they had addressed his issues when he raised them.

"It is a horrible thing. They had to have mug shots put in the paper. The collateral damages are their family and friends," Anderson said. "Now you'll say 'It wouldn't have happened if Tim hadn't made an issue of it.' No, it wouldn't have been an issue if the board had dealt with it."

Anderson concluded his remarks saying it was about time the board got together to deal with the ethics problems or there's going to be more indictments.

Mauer, 52, and Zwit, 65, were each released on $25,000 recognizance bonds after they turned themselves in to the Lake County sheriff's office on June 15.

Mauer and Zwit are scheduled to appear in court on the felony charges July 5 and July 6, respectively.

Denise Zwit
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