Lake County chair ends campaign

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News

(WAUKEGAN, Ill.) — The leader of Lake County board in Illinois, who went on leave to undergo treatment for a drug addiction, is now ending his re-election campaign.

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor said on Tuesday he’d rather “lose my job than lose my life” when he announced he’s withdrawing his candidacy for his County Board seat and entering into rehab.

Shortly afterward, the Lake County State’s Attorney says an investigation into allegations that Lawlor may have been using his county credit card for personal purchases was under way.

Officials on Thursday said that investigation could wrap up by the end of this week.

Lawlor has been a county board member since 2009.

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement, “On Monday, July 30, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor announced he was taking a 30-day leave of absence and entering rehab to deal with personal matters of drug addiction.

Shortly after Mr. Lawlor’s announcement, Acting Lake County Board Chair Carol Calabresa, Sheriff Mark C. Curran, and States Attorney Michael G. Nerheim became aware of suggestions that Mr. Lawlor may have been in some personal financial difficulty. They made initial inquiries and allegations surfaces that Mr. Lawlor may have been using his county credit card for personal purchases.

While unproved, such allegations are a matter of serious concern. Accordingly, Acting Chair Calabresa, Sheriff Curran and S.A. Nerheim took immediate steps to call in a highly-qualified independent third-party organization to conduct a complete investigation. Coordination with that organization is expected to be completed by the end of this week, at which time additional information may be forthcoming.

The investigation will be impartial, it will be thorough, and it will be done in a timely manner. The citizens of Lake County will be kept informed, with the understanding that the integrity of the investigation will sometimes outweigh the public’s immediate right to know.”

@ 2018 WLS-AM News