New facts are now coming to light since the Cary Village Board approved a resolution this past Tuesday which repudiated an illegal investigation stemming from Trustee Ellen McAlpine’s claims of harassment from Trustee Jim Cosler.
Tuesday’s special meeting was a volley of accusations and denials which came
to a head nearly an hour into the meeting.
At that point, the following exchange took place:
McAlpine – “It’s your choice for your actions, be responsible for your actions”
Cosler – I am, and you should be to…in which you said to me on September 14, 2017, “I have
nothing adverse to say about you and, in fact, believe that you and I are in agreement for the
McAlpine – “Absolutely”
Cosler – “So what’s the problem Ellen?
McAlpine – “I don’t know you tell me Jim? What’s the problem?”
This admission seemed strangely out of place for a person who claims harassment, even stranger when Cosler’s attempts to change seating locations at meetings were rebuffed by McAlpine and the Mayor.
Nevertheless, this all began in October 2017 when Cosler submitted a complaint to State’s Attorney
Kenneally alleging McAlpine violated the Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act.
A charge which Kenneally affirmed, though decided not to act upon.
Only a month later, following a Village Board meeting McAlpine’s husband took issue with Cosler, which led to Cosler filing a police report.
That report was claimed as “false” by Trustee McAlpine, yet Police Chief Pat Finlon rebuffed those claims at Tuesday’s meeting.
With the approval of Tuesday’s resolution, the Village was directed to release the recording of the
Board’s closed session meeting on June 5, 2017.
In doing so, the recording offers an interesting glimpse behind the actual harassment claims.
During that meeting, McAlpine confesses that whether someone agrees or not, she “felt” she was being harassed.
Though when pressed on the reasons she wrote a complaint, McAlpine said:
“I turned it in, for all I knew, and you are gunna probably think this is ignorant of me, I thought that maybe what would happen is finally Jim would have to sit down me and have a discussion with me.”
McAlpine’s admission is stunning, considering Cosler has rebuffed private meetings with her since a June 28, 2016 text message in which he stated, “Better is we stick to things in writing from now on.”
Nonetheless, McAlpine continued with her incessant meeting requests when on September 14, 2017,
she asked for another meeting.
Cosler responded saying,
“As you know, I have retained separate counsel on village matters (something you voted against).
“On their advice, I should turn down any invitation of a private meeting.”
Apparently, it wasn’t good enough for McAlpine as she persisted month after month and even
complained at several Board meetings that “Jim won’t meet with me.”
Finally culminating in the only private conversation they ever had, which she initiated and admits Cosler said he was “done” with the discussion, yet somehow, she is able to use that as a harassment complaint.
When does no mean no?
Though maybe the released executive session recording tells the whole tale. During that meeting, when pressed by Trustee Weinhammer:
Weinhammer – “Ellen are you not wanting to have this (report) rescinded because you just stated a couple minutes ago that it was going to go nowhere and you just wanted to meet with Jim, so are you not in favor of having this rescinded and you want to keep it out there and have
it be public? I’m just curious what you want?
McAlpine – “I think that is inconsequential.”
Weinhammer – “Inconsequential?”
McAlpine – “I think an investigation happened and a report has been issued.”
Weinhammer – “So it is how Jeff said, let’s get Jim”
McAlpine – “No”
Weinhammer – “We’re out to get Jim”
McAlpine – “If I was out to get Jim, I would have released this a long time ago”
So, is it really a surprise an unauthorized investigative report of Cosler, which is now deemed illegal, got leaked to the Northwest Herald in a manila envelope?