- Editor's note: To help with any confusion from the get-go, 'Wilke' is with the Lisle Police Department, and 'Wilkie' is the trustee candidate.
Campaign signs have only begun to spring up around the village, but anonymous campaign tactics have been permeating around elected officials and this spring’s candidates since January.
Today the village board issued a warning to residents who receive e-mail communications from the address ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ (The village website includes an authentic list of staff phone numbers and e-mail addresses, which end in ‘.org.’)
“Anonymous communications of any type have no credibility. But to go the additional step of trying to attribute a communication to someone other than the sender is at best unethical and in some cases, illegal,” Mayor Joe Broda stated in the release.
Police chief James Kosatka said the department will pursue convictions when possible.
This isn’t the only e-mail address fraudulently representing the village’s officials. Village Richard Wilkie contacted the DuPage County Board and Daily Herald staff this week regarding an e-mail sent out, posing as the mayor and board from a Gmail account address, calling for the revocation of Wilkie’s recent endorsement in the suburban newspaper.
Village administrative assistant Barbara Libby said, based on the varying address sources, that the messages are not related.
Attached in PDF form is a copy of the circulated e-mail, which encourages readers to get involved with pro-job and development organization Jobs for Lisle. The e-mail suggests Wilkie is “anti-job,” specifically after his involvement in Navistar deals. He said the e-mail “clearly endorsed incumbents" , and .
“What concerns me most is that I don’t know who got this,” said Wilkie.
He attributed the work to three individuals: Naperville Chamber of Commerce board member Dennis Culloton, Naperville Chamber member Ray Kinney and Lisle Chamber president Tom Althoff.
All three men denied a role in composing the letter when contacted by Patch. Culloton, a Naperville businessman and president of MinuteMan Press, said the group is composed of hundreds of business leaders, and he believes that the members who wrote the e-mail were simply exercising their First Amendment rights.
“Mr. Wilkie is a political candidate and his record, I believe, will be fair game. The members of Jobs for Lisle coalition are concerned about job and economic development and they oppose anti-job and anti-economic development movement leaders,” he said.
Kinney said while he had no part in composing the message, he agrees with its message.
“This is a time we need to pay attention and elections need to be closely looked at in terms of getting people who are pro-business and moving forward, and Wikie made a pretty strong case that hat’s not who he is.”
Wilkie insists he supported the project, sans engine testing facilities, and said he was instrumental in bringing the issue to the attention of Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan after "a huge failing on local government."
Wilkie issued a statement to DuPage County board members calling Culloton’s actions a “breach of ethics,” considering he was recently approved for a three-month contract as the county's information officer. (Culloton has also been cited as a Navistar ally.)
“The Navistar deal is behind us and everyone, government, the business community and citizens, could and should put it in the ‘win column.’ Many lessons came out of the process, some good, some bad. One of the bad learnings was orchestrated campaigns to turn local residents against each other. Mr. Culloton and his current clients seem to want to resurrect this attack strategy with me as the political target,” Wilkie wrote.
The county’s press department did not have a comment at this time.
This isn’t the first occasion an individual or individuals impersonating village employees in Lisle. In January a user created an account on Lisle Patch as community development directory Tony Budzikowski. According to department spokesperson Lt. Ron Wilke, the investigation was completed and no actions were taken.