Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This was just too good to ignore

Tony Peraica was barely re-elected as a county commissioner was defeated for the Cook County Board presidency by Todd Stroger (someone who I still think shouldn't have won last year but he did) and he wants to run for Cook County State's Attorney. People didn't look at him too well when he did that little stunt involving marching on election headquarters when the count didn't go his way last year. Now it appears he may need to shake up his staff...

He called her a bitch.

He called her worse.

And each time, the caller to Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman ordered her to "work with" rival Republican Commissioner Tony Peraica.

Now, a onetime campaign staffer to Peraica is charged with making the obscene and disparaging calls to Gorman.

Fred Ichniowski, 63, insisted Tuesday, "Tony didn't make me do anything."

Yet the Hickory Hills man then referred all questions to Peraica's chief of staff, Mike Manzo, and those in Peraica's law office.

Peraica distanced himself from Ichniowski, saying "he was a volunteer who did work for my campaign" but was not a top operative.

Peraica said they met after he represented Ichniowski on a criminal charge in 2002 of slashing the tires of several cars belonging to nuns. Records show Ichniowski also has a previous conviction for telephone harassment.

"I'm not aware of'' calls made to Gorman's office, Peraica said. "I wouldn't condone that. It's outrageous."

Yet reports show Ichniowski told police that "Peraica encouraged his volunteers to contact [Gorman] and expressed his disapproval of her new position" as county Republican Party chairman. Peraica, now running for state's attorney, bitterly fought Gorman's nomination.

Gorman said she regularly received harassing calls from the same man but notified police only after he grew more angry and vulgar in February as the board was in a budget battle and she ran for GOP chairman.

Sometimes the addage is true that you're only as good as the people around you. Peraica may need to change the people around him. Besides people already view Peraica as angry, perhaps Peraica needs to get some people who aren't as angry as this guy.

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