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Island Lake recording prompts investigation

Mayor, police deny involvement days before election

ISLAND LAKE – The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office is investigating a recorded call to Island Lake residents Saturday that warned them against mayoral candidate Charles Amrich.

The recorded voice claimed to be an Island Lake police officer and said Amrich had been indicted on corruption charges, and hinted that residents should be wary of Amrich approaching them while campaigning.

The voice said the message had been authorized and paid for by “Island Lake police officers who oppose public corruption.”

Island Lake Police Chief William McCorkle on Monday denied his department’s involvement, and said police are cooperating with the state’s attorney’s investigation.

“The robocall – we’ve heard about it and it’s under investigation,” McCorkle said. “That’s all I can comment on right now.”

Cynthia Trujillo-Vargas, communications manager for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, said she couldn’t provide any details at this point.

“Allegations of misconduct are being investigated in Island Lake,” she said.

Amrich, who withstood an attempt from a couple of supporters of incumbent Mayor Debbie Herrmann to kick him off the ballot, was charged with misconduct in 2007. He was found not guilty, which the message did not mention.

“I think it’s an all-time low for politics,” Amrich said. “I cannot believe somebody would do what they’ve done.”

United for Progress, the political slate Herrmann is running under, issued a statement on its website Sunday saying it did not pay for, produce or authorize the message.

“The United for Progress team has not used ‘robo’ or automated phone calls at all during the course of this campaign,” the statement reads. “Last-minute dirty tricks have no place in Island Lake.”

Amrich continued campaigning Sunday and said the message won’t have a negative effect on his chances.

“People aren’t stupid. They can see right through this,” he said. “I think it’s going to backfire on them, to be quite honest with you.”

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