Two of Mayor Sandra Bury’s political appointees, with checkered pasts, have used time during the village board meeting to make political attacks that have caused even some of the Mayor’s staunchest allies to react negatively.
First, longtime political gadfly, Andy Skoundrianos interjected himself into an appeal before the Village Board that was filed by a resident who was trying to construct a fence around his property. Skoundrianos, an avid supporter of Bury’s, is an appointed member of the Village’s Appeals Board.
Skoundrianos was called to the podium by Mayor Sandra Bury and proceeded to speak about the appeal even though he was a member of the appeals board and made the decision that was appealed. Bury recognized Skoundrianos to speak after saying she wouldn’t let the petitioner speak on the subject. When Bury recognized Skoundrianos, several members of the audience groaned and one member even remarked in disgust, “you’re going to let your political crony talk?”
Skoundrianos almost immediately began arguing with both the crowd and the board resulting in Bury attempting to control him. Skoundrianos told one board member that he was “out of order” and then claimed that good people are on the appeals board, naming two other residents and himself. He then noted that he was “Greek” and said he knew what the race card was about. Bury told him that his comments were inappropriate and at times could be seen trying to quiet Skoundrianos.
He denied that anyone told him how to vote and he told the crowd to “respect my authority because I serve on the board”.
A few weeks later, Norm Lepescu, who serves on the Village’s Traffic Review Committee, also spoke at the meeting attacking Oak Lawn Trustee Robert Streit. Lepescu, who filed a state board of election committee complaint, using Bury’s attorney, against Streit for incorrectly identifying the political committee on literature, was allowed by Bury to speak. Lepescu read a statement attacking Streit’s political committee and then began making statements implying that Streit had used public funds by emailing village employees. Streit has called the argument “ridiculous” and noted that Lepescu never complained when Bury was found in violation of election laws for not properly reporting contributions and expenditures.
Lepescu claimed that Streit is “anything but honest”. He claimed that Streit has said that Lepescu was arrested. In fact, Lepescu was involved in a traffic altercation in which he curbed a vehicle in what Streit has called “road rage”. Despite this problem, Bury appointed Lepescu to the Traffic Review Committee.
Lepescu’s statements became so political that Bury’s longtime ally, Trustee Alex Olejniczak came to Streit’s defense noting “Mayor. Mayor. We’re all elected officials. Nobody deserves to be talked to like that”. But Bury defended Lepescu’s comments stating that the comments were during “public comment” and that Lepescu has three minutes to speak his mind.
View Skoundrianous’s appearance at the Board of Trustees meeting and Norm Lupescu’s road rage police report below: