Orland Park Trustee William Healy is asking for many resignations in Cook County and in the state. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park Trustee William Healy is asking for many resignations in Cook County and in the state. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park board asks for Foxx’s resignation

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Rossi named as new police chief

By Jeff Vorva

Whenever the Orland Park Board of Trustees gather for a meeting, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” someone will get around to bashing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Mayor Keith Pekau and the rest of the board members kept the spirit alive Monday by unanimously approving a resolution expressing a vote of no confidence and calling for her resignation. The board also encourages other Cook County communities to do the same.

The primary complaint is that Foxx’s office allows too many people with serious arrests to be set free. A rash of arrestees in Orland Park from those who have been charged with felonies have angered Pekau and outgoing police chief Joseph Mitchell. They lay the blame on Foxx’s doorstop.

“This is not simply a matter of opinion,” said Pekau. “It is a matter of life and death. Every day, as a direct result of the State’s Attorney’s actions and policies, criminals who should be incarcerated are set free and are committing crimes that could have been prevented.”

Trustee Williams Healy doesn’t think the blame should stop there. He went on a roll during the meeting about other people in power who should resign as well.

“There is more than Kim Foxx to blame,” he said. “You have [Chief Judge] Tim Evans, [Cook County Board of Commissioners Toni] Preckwinkle, [Illinois Attorney General] Kwame Raoul, Gov. [J.B.] Pritzker…they should all resign.

“They are all a part of this. They all contributed to the decline in safety. These people are undermining us trying to make this a safer place.”

He said they do not abide by the Constitution.

He also blames the voters of Cook County who put these leaders in office as well as financial supporters.

“You see the sign ‘proud union’—proud of what?” Healy said. “They put this lady in…there’s nothing to be proud of. They are putting these rotten…I’ll call them Democrats and I’m not fond of the Republican Party either. They are all of the same party – the party of Michael Madigan. As you’ve seen, somebody is getting convicted every couple of months.”

He also questioned their virtue, honesty, courage, dignity, integrity, compassion, prudence and discipline.

“I would not [label] any of these of these people,” Healy said. “What kind of people do they represent? They represent us? They don’t represent me.”

Pekau’s research found that Cook County saw more gun-related homicides in 2021 than in any other year on record.  Cook County’s 1,002 gun-related homicides were 121 higher than the previous record from 2020 and almost twice as many as the total from 2019. In 2021, 86 homicides were recorded with victims under the age of 18 and of those, 12 were under the age of 10.

“The Orland Park Police Department is doing an outstanding job by cracking down on those who choose to bring violence and criminal activity to Orland Park,” said Pekau. “Then once the suspects are brought before a Cook County judge, they can walk away without as much as a wrist slap and be back on the streets.

“This is a broken system. These are sometimes thrice-convicted felons with ankle monitors and multiple victims that are allowed to continue on their criminal paths without reprimand or justice playing a role. We can’t sit idly by and watch this happen, time and time again.”

Rossi hired as chief

Eric Rossi’s tenure as interim police chief was brief.

After an executive session during Monday night’s Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees meeting, the board voted 7-0 to take the “interim” tag off of his title.

He is now the new chief, replacing Joseph Mitchell, who is taking over as police chief of Wilmington.

“We’re going to miss chief Mitchell, but we have somebody in the wings who is probably going to be just as good,” Trustee Cynthia Nelson Katsenes said.

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