A former Joliet city councilman’s attorney is seeking to have a charge accusing him of making a false report dropped by contending his client never reported he was threatened by Joliet Mayor Robert O’Dekirk.
On Aug. 9, both parties in the attempted disorderly conduct case against Don “Duck” Dickinson, 61, are scheduled to have a hearing on a motion from Dickinson’s attorney, Frank Andreano, to have the charge dismissed.
Andreano’s July 18 motion argued Dickinson “does not believe that he communicated to the police [the] receipt of any threat of violence or other criminal conduct.”
“Rather defendant made such a report upon the advice of the then chief of police of the City of Joliet,” said Andreano’s motion, referring to Al Roechner, who retired in January 2021.
Andreano’s motion said that given Roechner’s position and experience, he “knew or should have known that no criminally actionable threat had been communicated by the mayor to the defendant.”
Andreano told The Herald-News that Dickinson did make a police report at the suggestion of Roechner, and he arranged former Joliet Deputy Chief Marc Reid to take that report.
However, Andreano said O’Dekirk “never directly or explicitly threatened Don at all.”
“Did he say unkind things to Don? Yeah, but so what?” Andreano said.
Andreano said politicians say “mean things to each other all the time.”
“There’s no law against incivility,” Andreano said.
Attempts to reach Roechner were unsuccessful. Dickinson could not be reached by phone and he did not respond to a text message. Bill Elward, who’s prosecuting Dickinson, did not respond to call.
The original Nov. 2, 2020 police report did allege that Dickinson was told that O’Dekirk claimed to have nude photos of him. The report listed the offense of “intimidation,” which is a felony in Illinois.
In 2020, O’Dekirk denied having any photographs of Dickinson other than one he says the councilman sent of himself from when he was in high school. He said he believed Dickinson himself committed a crime by filing a false report.
Following an Illinois State Police investigation, Elward charged Dickinson on March 9 with attempted obstruction of justice by making a false report to Reid.
On July 6, Elward changed the offense to attempted disorderly conduct and accused Dickinson of making a false report to an state police special agent.
Both of Elward’s charges alleged Dickinson falsely accused O’Dekirk of threatening him. It’s unclear what threat Elward is referring to.
Andreano’s July 18 motion argued the attempted disorderly charge is “defective” because the threat is not specifically described and the law “demands that an accused be told exactly what they allegedly transmitted as a false report.”
At Dickinson’s last city council meeting on Nov. 2, 2020, he read a statement where he said he’s been “harassed, badgered, tormented and now blackmailed unfairly” over a past relationship involving photos.
His statement did not specifically refer to O’Dekirk. At that time, Dickinson did confirm that he suspected a Joliet elected official has been plotting to blackmail him with a nude photograph. He would not comment on the police report or the alleged involvement of O’Dekirk or Jennifer Jobe-Gavin, a Joliet Park District commissioner who was named in the report.
O’Dekirk questioned the statement Dickinson made during the meeting at the time, saying, “It looks like a political stunt.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle