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The candidate who ‘forgot’

By Ray Hanania

March 19, 2021

 

 

Last week, I broke a story about a young woman who is running for trustee in Orland Township.

 

Like all big stories, someone tipped me off that there was an active warrant out for her arrest. As it turned out, the tip was accurate. It took a few weeks to track it down.

 

The arrest warrant was for Lora M. Kreczmer, 43, a candidate on the Orland Residents for Responsible Government slate in Orland Township. She was arrested by the Chicago Ridge police on Aug. 1, 2017, when her car struck another car at 101st and Harlem.

 

The police officer noticed she looked “delayed.” Kreczmer said she was taking some prescription drugs. Her driver’s license was also revoked, and she had no insurance. There were two children in the car, too, police said.

 

Kreczmer was ordered to appear at the Bridgeview Courthouse three weeks later on Sept. 26, 2017. She didn’t show up. An arrest warrant was issued, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, six months later on March 21, 2018.

 

What’s really shocking is someone can run for public office with an outstanding arrest warrant on her record.

 

I went to the Chicago Ridge Police Department last week after the police chief there, Robert Pyznarski, didn’t return my calls or emails. I spoke with the police FOIA officer who gave me copies of the redacted case report. (I redacted more details, too.)

 

That morning I tried to reach Kreczmer to get her side of the story. I called a phone number listed in the arrest warrant and case report, but she didn’t answer. I did an online search for her personal information. I called and texted her cell number several times. No answer. I reached out to the Orland Residents for Responsible Government slate and they forwarded my two queries to Kreczmer. She did not respond.

 

I published the story and public records on my website. The next morning, I learned Kreczmer surrendered to Chicago Ridge police. A source claimed Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, who is backing Kreczmer’s candidacy, personally called Chicago Ridge police on her behalf.

 

I called Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar and he asked Pyznarski to return my call. A deputy later called to confirm that Kreczmer had been released after posting bond.

 

Kreczmer has a new court date, April 27, some 21 days after her election contest on April 6 for Orland Township trustee where she is challenging candidates sponsored by incumbent Supervisor Paul O’Grady’s Orland Township Together slate. O’Grady is one of the best public officials in Illinois.

 

Instead of responding to me with her side of the story – I gave her a list of basic questions and promised to run them as a Q&A. Instead, she issued a news release using Mayor Pekau’s media consultants to attack me personally.

 

She said I targeted her because she is a woman. Monday was International Woman’s Day. She called my story political and me “vicious.” Go to my website at SuburbanChicagoland.com and read the stories for yourself. Straight news.

 

Her excuse? She forgot, saying she didn’t pay close attention, despite the serious charges including a car accident, DUI-Drugs and driving on a revoked license. Basically, she tried to make it seem like it a parking ticket.

 

Just what the people of Orland Township need, right? An official whose only response to not showing up for a court appearance that prompts an active arrest warrant, is “I forgot.” She only turned herself in because it became public, and she is running for office.

 

I might feel sorry for her except that she is part of Pekau’s world of extremist personal politics. Pekau claims to be a Republican, but in reality, he is a far right-wing extremist.

 

The truth is there is no difference between Republicans or Democrats in local politics. The only difference is between moderates and extremists (on both sides), and in egos. Good, moderate elected local officials look at issues not partisan politics. The extremists lie.

 

I’m a Reagan Democrat, which is basically a centrist Republican. I avoid petty extremists like Pekau, who is trying to build his own political machine after stumbling into office four years ago.

 

You have to wonder. In slating Kreczmer, did anyone think to do their homework or check her background to save her from all this justified public scrutiny? I blame Pekau for that!

 

Check out more of Ray Hanania’s columns and writings on his website, Hanania.com.Ê

 

 

Ray Hanania’s column is just a fraction of the content that appears in this week’s print edition of the Greater Southwest News-Herald. Want to get the all the news? Pick up the Greater Southwest News-Herald on local newsstands for just 75 cents a copy. For greater savings and convenience, call (708) 496-0265 during weekday business hours and order a subscription by mail, delivered each week to your home or business.Ê

 

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