Glendale Heights board asks village president to resign in wake of criminal charges
The Glendale Heights Village Board on Thursday night asked its embattled president, Chodri Ma Khokhar, to resign because he is facing criminal charges accusing him of filing false police reports.
"Considering the mayor's conduct ... the best interest of the community would be served by his immediate resignation," Trustee Chester Pojack said, reading from a statement he said was signed by all trustees.
But Khokhar did not quit, and disputed the allegations made in the statement, which called for monitoring Khokhar's use of the village credit card, equipment and vehicles, and to make sure village money is not spent on his criminal defense.
"I am a very honest, transparent person, and the changes I am bringing nobody can stop," he said, denying he has misspent village money.
Pojack said the village board learned just before its Aug. 3 board meeting that Khokhar had been indicted, but decided not to speak at that time "out of respect for the office of mayor."
But after "numerous inquiries" from people, the board decided to ask for the resignation, Pojack read.
Pojack declined to show a copy of the statement to this reporter, but said it was drafted by the village's attorney and signed by all six trustees.
Khokhar was charged Aug. 5 with filing false police reports. He faces two felony counts of disorderly conduct. According to a DuPage County grand jury indictment, in April and May he told two Glendale Heights police officers that Trustee Mohammad Siddiqi had threatened to bite him.
According to police reports, Khokhar said Siddiqi had threatened him in the village hall. He said that Siddiqi, speaking Urdu, said he would bite Khokhar. One of the officers asked if it was perhaps just an idiom or a saying, but Khokhar said it was not, according to the report.
The disorderly conduct charges allege that he filed the reports "knowing at the time of the transmission that there was no reasonable grounds for believing that the offense had been committed."
Khokhar was elected in April 2021 by two votes over former Trustee Mike Ontiveroz. Longtime President Linda Jackson and another candidate had been removed from the ballot over problems with their election petitions.
Board meetings have sometimes been acrimonious, including one this year where the board voted to censure Khokhar.
Khokhar sought an order of protection against Siddiqi, saying the trustee had harassed him with critical emails. The request was denied. Khokhar then sued Siddiqi in May, claiming the trustee defamed him, harassed him and had committed civil conspiracy with several residents to arrange for one of them to retain a contract for operating the village's cricket fields.
One resident spoke in favor of Khokhar on Thursday. "With regards to Mr. Mayor, I want to thank you for your service. Keep on fighting, you have a couple good years left," he said.
"The Hispanic community supports you," shouted another man.
But others held up signs with the mayor's police mug shot and the phrase, "Resign Now!"
Ontiveroz called for Khokhar's resignation. "The indictment has tarnished our great village," the former trustee said.