After GOP State Senator Uses Her Position To Cover Up Domestic Violence, GOP Pushes Her To Resign

State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-IL)

Illinois state Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R) is taking heat for using her political office to bury domestic abuse reports made by her husband, Robert Schmidt. Several Lake County police reports and 911 recordings describe at least three incidents since last December in which Schmidt threw “a bunch of stuff” at her husband and locked him outside in 32-degree weather, rammed her Cadillac into his car at least three times, and — most recently — bit her husband drawing blood and hit him with a wireless phone.

Schmidt’s behavior culminated with a preemptive 911 call where she used her former position as Lake County Board Chairman to ask the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to turn a blind eye to her violent behavior. The Lake County Board controls the sheriff department’s budget:

DISPATCHER: “Lake County Sheriff, Allison.”
SUZI SCHMIDT: “Hi Allison. This is Suzi Schmidt the – I was the Lake County Board chairman for ten years. Listen, I’m having a little problem with my husband right now.”
DISPATCHER: “Like a domestic problem?”
SCHMIDT: “Yes, but it’s fine so if he calls you – Bob Schmidt – you can ignore him.”

Police reports on 911 calls paint a picture of a marriage in trouble:

ROBERT SCHMIDT: “We were arguing and then she just starting coming at me and swinging and scratching at my face and then when I tried to fight her off she bit me on one arm.”
SUZI SCHMIDT: “You bet I did.”
ROBERT SCHMIDT: “And I kept on trying to fight her. Did you just hear her? She said ‘you bet I did.'”
SUZI: “You had me on the floor hitting me.”

Schmidt also said on the 911 call that her husband “is afraid of me because he knows I have connections.” Local police report that Schmidt “stated due to the fact she is a state senator, she believes Robert is attempting to derail her career.” She released a statement saying, “I never intended to inappropriately use my title. However, I apologize if any of my comments during this very emotional time seem inappropriate.”

Her fellow Republicans, however, are not buying it and are pressuring her to resign. Illinois GOP Party Chairman Pat Brady said, “We’re in agreement that Suzi needs to make an evaluation in the next couple of days on what she wants to do with her career politically and we think that’ll come in the next couple of days.”

State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R) called Schmidt’s actions “extremely troubling.” “As public officials, we are held to a higher standard. We cannot and will not tolerate abuse of the public trust,” she said in a statement. “I am currently engaged in conversations with Sen. Schmidt as she makes important decisions regarding her personal and professional life.”