Sarto still calling for Humpfer’s removal
CARPENTERSVILLE — Despite a week that included a criminal conviction and a possible unrelated probe by Kane County prosecutors, Paul Humpfer said he’s planning to stay put as a village board trustee. At least for now.
“Not at this point” is Humpfer considering stepping down from the board, he said Friday.
Humpfer has, however, been pressured to do so since well before charges were first brought last August, he said. Village President Bill Sarto has suggested his resignation several times.
“Any reason he could get, he would grab onto to get me off that board,” Humpfer said.
Their contentious relationship stems at least in part from Humpfer’s proposed ordinance to fine residents who employ or rent to illegal immigrants, the trustee and others have said.
A Kane County judge convicted Humpfer on Wednesday of four counts of domestic battery for hitting his wife of 16 years with a baseball bat at their Carpentersville home in May 2007. The conviction is yet another reason Humpfer ought to be supplanted from the board, Sarto said.
“I’ve been told by attorneys from the attorney general’s office … about the situation,” Sarto said during a telephone interview Friday. “They both told me that if he was convicted on any one of these four counts, he’d be removed.”
Sarto added that two Kane County State’s Attorneys Office investigators had told him the same thing last summer when Humpfer was indicted.
However, the Illinois Attorney General’s office denies ever offering an official opinion or any analysis on the matter, beyond pointing Sarto to the pertinent state statute.
The legislation does not state which offices or agencies have the authority to discharge Humpfer.
Also, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office said it could not confirm which staffers — if any — Sarto talked to regarding Humpfer’s conviction and its effect on his public official status.
State’s Attorney John Barsanti has not offered an opinion, and likely will not do so unless the village board itself opts to purge Humpfer and he refuses to step down.
Regardless of which bodies have authority, the violent nature of the crime absolutely demands Humpfer’s removal from office, Sarto said.
“If you went out in the community and asked 10 people,” Sarto said, 10 would say that the battery is serious enough to be considered an “infamous crime,” the somewhat vague legal standard legislators used to qualify such removals.
For more than a year, Sarto also has called for Humpfer’s ousting based on the trustee’s place of residence. Sarto has argued that the trustee has been living outside the village, which would could make him ineligible to hold a village office as per the residency requirement of the legislation.
On Thursday, Barsanti released a statement in response to Sarto’s official, months-old inquiry.
Barsanti said that he had spoken with the village about the residency issue, but had not determined whether Humpfer was — or is — indeed living outside the municipality’s borders.