Report: No evidence to prove sexual misconduct by Maine Twp. trustee

Investigators say there's no proof Maine Township trustee sexually harassed colleague

 
 
Updated 8/6/2018 10:52 PM
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  • A law firm's investigators said there was not enough evidence to conclude whether Maine Township Trustee David Carrabotta, center, inappropriately touched board colleague Kimberly Jones' buttocks three times, according to a report made public Monday night. He was flanked at the meeting by Trustees Susan Sweeney, left, and Claire McKenzie. Jones did not attend the session.

      A law firm's investigators said there was not enough evidence to conclude whether Maine Township Trustee David Carrabotta, center, inappropriately touched board colleague Kimberly Jones' buttocks three times, according to a report made public Monday night. He was flanked at the meeting by Trustees Susan Sweeney, left, and Claire McKenzie. Jones did not attend the session. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

A law firm's investigators said there was not enough evidence to conclude whether Maine Township Trustee David Carrabotta inappropriately touched board colleague Kimberly Jones' buttocks three times, according to a report made public Monday night.

Without comment or discussion, Trustees Susan Sweeney, Claire McKenzie and Carrabotta voted to make public the Ancel Glink firm's sexual harassment report and have it posted on the township's website. Supervisor Laura Morask and Jones were unable to attend Monday's meeting at the township's Park Ridge headquarters, and they criticized Sweeney and McKenzie for calling the session despite knowing Morask and Jones would be absent.

Jones filed a written complaint against Carrabotta on May 25, which led to the investigation. The report says she contended he improperly touched her buttocks a combined three times on Jan. 23 and May 16, while posing for photographs with an Eagle Scout and at a MaineStreamers senior social group's birthday party for a 90-year-old at Chateau Ritz in Niles.

However, the report says, "there is simply no evidence" proving whether Carrabotta inappropriately touched Jones and violated the township's sexual harassment policy. The report says that even if unintentional touching had occurred, it would not have risen to the level of violating the policy.

"It is our strong recommendation that Trustee Jones and Trustee Carrabotta not be positioned next to one another in any future township photographs to avoid similar issues in the future," the report says.

Carrabotta and the other elected officials received the report last week. He said after the meeting he could not address the findings on the advice of an attorney.

"I look forward to working together with the board in taking the foundation that was laid in this last year -- thanks in great part to Susan Sweeney and Claire McKenzie and our wonderful staff here -- to see if we can continue to go forward and not only do good, but do it even better," said Carrabotta, elected in 2017.

Jones, a Maine Township board member since 2014, disputed the report's findings when contacted after the meeting. She said there is video and text messages to support her accusations against Carrabotta and contended the law firm's report is incomplete.

"There is no evidence?" Jones said. "There is corroborating evidence."

Jones also criticized the three trustees for holding the meeting Monday night instead of on Wednesday, as intended by Morask, so all five voting members could attend.

"It appears that the only thing transparent about tonight's meeting is the willingness of Trustee Sweeney, Trustee McKenzie and Trustee Carrabotta to partake in political chicanery rather than an open meeting when all relevant parties are available to participate in the discussion, questions and input," Jones said. "What damage would be caused by waiting two more days when all could participate?"

Ancel Glink attorneys Robert T. McCabe and Margaret Kostopulos conducted the formal investigation to determine if Carrabotta violated the township's sexual harassment policy. The lawyers talked to eight potential witnesses, including Carrabotta and Jones.

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