Chicago Ridge village secretary Judy King is joined by her family, Mayor Chuck Tokar (at left) and Police Chief Jim Jarolimek who presented her with the department’s Life Saving Award at the April 12 Village Board meeting. (Supplied photos)

Chicago Ridge village secretary Judy King is joined by her family, Mayor Chuck Tokar (at left) and Police Chief Jim Jarolimek who presented her with the department’s Life Saving Award at the April 12 Village Board meeting. (Supplied photos)

Mayor’s secretary honored for saving Chicago Ridge man’s life

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By Dermot Connolly

Water meters in Chicago Ridge that record usage remotely led to a stricken village resident being rescued in December.

At the April 12 Village Board meeting, Judy King, Mayor Chuck Tokar’s secretary, received the Police Department’s Life Saving Award for asking them to check on the man when she noticed a meter reading showed continual water usage at his home in the 6600 block of West 103rd Street on Dec. 3, 2021.

Reading from Police Chief Jim Jarolimek’s report, Tokar said that on that date, King alerted police after being unable to reach the homeowner by phone.

Jarolimek said police on the scene got no response from the resident either and conducted a forced entry after a neighbor reported not seeing the man for several days.

“They found him unresponsive but alive on the bathroom floor, with the bathtub running,” said Tokar. He added that the resident was treated at the scene and transported to Palos Hospital, where family said he was recovering.

reporter new CR copper sworn in 4 21

Chicago Ridge Village Clerk Barbara Harrison swears Deputy Police Chief Anthony Layman into office at the April 12 Village Board meeting. He was promoted from captain to join the other deputy chief Brian Galske.

“The family was able to determine that the man had fallen after coming home from church. He was lying in the bathroom for six days,” said Jarolimek.

“Judy King’s actions saved a life. She is a credit to the village,” the chief concluded.

“It is not every day that you get the opportunity to save somebody’s life, and you did that,” Tokar told his secretary as they posed for photos with her family.

“I just want to say that because of the water system that the village transferred over to that we were able to do this. We get continuous water usage reports,” said King.

Several police department officials were promoted at the meeting, with Village Clerk Barbara Harrison swearing in Deputy Chief Anthony Layman and Captain David Mitchell, who moved up from detective sergeant to replace Layman. Officer Nicole Passaglia also officially joined the force.

Layman fills the vacant second deputy chief position alongside Brian Galske that was left open when Jarolimek was promoted to chief a few months ago.

The board also discussed a request from Buddy Bear Car Wash owner Phil DeGeratto for a special-use permit allowing him to purchase the former Saunoris & Sons Garden Center site at 6000 W. 111th St. and open a carwash.

DeGeratto said he would invest $600,000 in the new development, and Tokar and several board members said they would welcome the new business. But a sticking point raised by Trustee Elaine Davenport and others was his plan to have vehicles exit the facility onto Austin Avenue, rather than 111th Street.

Davenport lives nearby, and although traffic would only be allowed to turn south toward 111th Street, she said residents oppose the plan because Austin might become impassable. DeGeratto pointed out that an exit onto 111th Street could interfere with the entrance to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery across the street. But he agreed to work on the problem and come to the next board meeting on May 3.

Tokar’s resolution affirming a vote of no-confidence in Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and seeking her resignation passed 4-2 with trustees Jack Lind and Roger Meslar voting against it. Orland Park and other municipalities have passed similar measures, and the mayor sees it as “taking a stand against” some of her actions.

“I would definitely like to see her resign. I don’t think it is going to happen but some of the things she has been pushing, like no cash bail and resentencing of people already convicted are not benefiting tax-paying citizens.”

“I think it is ridiculous having a resolution condemning another elected official. I don’t even know why it is on (the agenda),” said Lind.

“I don’t agree with most of what she is doing but I also am uncomfortable passing a resolution like this. It seems like a political ad for people running against her,” said Meslar.

“We are politicians,” said Davenport, who criticized Foxx for fulfilling her campaign promise to reduce the population of the Cook County Jail system by just not prosecuting people and leaving them out on the street.

“She seems like she is the public defender and not the prosecutor,” said Trustee Bill McFarland.

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