Geneva blogger, political strategist convicted of domestic battery
Political blogger and campaign strategist Jeff Ward of Geneva has been found guilty of domestic battery.
A jury convicted him Tuesday on one count of misdemeanor domestic battery -- making contact of an insulting or provoking nature.
Ward said Wednesday he intends to appeal the verdict. "I did move my wife. I did not domestically batter her," he said Wednesday.
They had come to the scene of a June 1 car crash in Geneva involving their 18-year-old son. The first officer on the scene, Matt Hann, testified that Ward greeted him with a vulgar epithet, and appeared to be agitated and irrational. Because of that, he called for another officer.
Sgt. George Carbray, the second officer, testified Ward also greeted him with the epithet, and that Ward appeared to be "unhinged." Ward's wife walked over to them, and Carbray asked how old their son was. When she answered, Ward said "Shut up!" and shoved her, causing her to lose her balance, Carbray testified.
The driver of the other car in the accident testified she saw Ward push his wife.
Ward's wife testified that it was not a push, but merely Ward trying to move her, much like two people passing in a narrow hallway. And Ward was angry, because it was the third time in three years a son of theirs had crashed a vehicle, she said.
"I think this is a complete farce, because there is nothing he has done to me ever," she testified. She said she was not insulted. She said she had joined Ward and Carbray because "I know that Geneva police, they tend to treat him very poorly and unfairly."
Ward writes often, and critically, about the Geneva Police Department, including accusing it of being corrupt. He was acquitted in 2017 on a charge of filing a false police report, over an allegation he told a 911 dispatcher he had a gun, when he had called police to report vandalism. In 2014, he was charged with disorderly conduct, accused of kicking a neighbor's door. The court records of that case have been expunged.
Carbray testified that he has met Ward "countless" times in Carbray's 18 years with Geneva police. "I do not like him. I believe he is a bully who tries to create a lot of issues with people," Carbray testified.
Ward was the manager of Ron Hain's campaign for sheriff, until his arrest. He used to host a radio show in Elgin.
Ward's wife released a statement Wednesday saying she was "appalled at the lack of justice accorded to him in this county. He has never been treated fairly by the Geneva police, and in this case, they blatantly lied about what he said to me ... I have no more faith in the 'justice' system at all. It has failed my family completely."