District 128 board member facing perjury charges resigns

A Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 trustee facing election-related perjury charges has stepped down from the school board.

Ellen Mauer turned in a resignation letter Monday, effective immediately. She'd been on the board since 2005.

"Right now, I need to concentrate on spending more time with my family and pursuing other personal interests," Mauer, of Libertyville, told the Daily Herald Friday.

When asked if her resignation was part of a plea agreement with the Lake County state's attorney's office, Mauer said she has not reached a deal with prosecutors. She declined to comment on the case.

Mauer, who also is principal at Spaulding Elementary School in Gurnee, was indicted in June 2017 on four counts of perjury.

She is accused of making false statements under oath about the collection of nominating petition signatures for the April 2017 school board election. Mauer won her fourth term in that election.

The charges allege Mauer signed legal documents falsely claiming she was present during the circulation of her petitions.

Denise Zwit, assistant to Superintendent Prentiss Lea, faces three counts of perjury in a related case.

Zwit circulated petitions on behalf of school board President Pat Groody, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Mauer pleaded not guilty. Her case is pending.

Zwit's case is pending, too. She also pleaded not guilty.

Both Mauer and Zwit sought plea deals late last year, attorneys said at the time.

On Friday, Mauer praised the other board members for putting the "kids first" and being fiscally responsible.

"We've been able to accomplish so much together," Mauer said.

In a statement issued Friday by the district, Groody called Mauer "a tireless advocate for students and educators."

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