Mundelein mayoral candidate refutes allegations in political mailer

  • Clockwise from upper from left: Dawn Abernathy, Steve Lentz, Robin Meier and Thomas Ouimet are candidates for Mundelein mayor.

    Clockwise from upper from left: Dawn Abernathy, Steve Lentz, Robin Meier and Thomas Ouimet are candidates for Mundelein mayor.

 
 
Updated 3/12/2021 2:23 PM

Mundelein mayoral candidate Dawn Abernathy is publicly refuting allegations about her behavior made in a political mailer.

In a three-minute video posted to Facebook, Abernathy called the accusations "false" and "unfounded." She said they stemmed from a conflict with a former family friend who, along with her children, lived with the Abernathy family for a time.

 

"Neighbors help neighbors ... (but) sometimes it can get messy," said Abernathy, a longtime Mundelein trustee.

Abernathy is running against incumbent Steve Lentz and fellow challengers Robin Meier and Tom Ouimet for the mayor's chair in the April 6 election.

The mailer, which hit mailboxes this week, refers to -- but doesn't detail -- interactions Abernathy had with police in recent years. It says she's the wrong choice for Mundelein.

However, none of those interactions resulted in Abernathy's arrest or charges against her, police reports indicate.

In her video statement, Abernathy said the complaints came from a person she cared about "like a daughter" and tried to help.

"When we reach out a hand, there is always a risk," Abernathy said. "But it is always worth reaching out a hand."

Text on the mailer indicates it was paid for by Illinois Citizen Force, and a Grayslake post office box was included as its address. A website for a group with that name doesn't identify any members, and no group by that name is registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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The mailer cites lakecountynewsdispatch.com as a source of its information. That website appears to be a newsgathering organization but actually features political stories without bylines and articles lifted from other Chicago-area media outlets.

The website doesn't identify any staff members or owners, nor does an associated Facebook page.

Emails to both Illinois Citizen Force and Lake County News Dispatch weren't returned.

Lentz, Meier and Ouimet condemned the mailer.

"This type of politics and political smearing is unacceptable," Meier said in a Facebook group called Mundelein Village Issues. "I don't know who this organization is, but they should be ashamed."

Lentz called the mailer "wrong."

"Mundelein, let's strive to keep this election about the issues laid out by the candidates over the last several weeks. We're better than that attack flyer," said Lentz, who's seeking a third term as mayor.

Ouimet, a Mundelein High School board member, urged residents to ignore the mailer.

"Mundelein deserves better," he said. "We need unity, not division, to create a brighter future for our community."

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