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Island Lake trustee issues mea culpa for Hitler blog
By Kerry Lester | Daily Herald Staff

Debbie Herrmann, Island Lake mayor

 

Laura Rabattini, Island Lake trustee

 

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Published: 4/11/2010 12:03 AM

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An Island Lake trustee whose blog entry compared Mayor Debbie Herrmann to Adolf Hitler has issued a mea culpa.

Board member Laurie Rabattini Saturday removed the post on villageofislandlake.blogspot.com, which included a photo of the German dictator, and posted an apology in its place.

"The Nazis were/are evil and do not deserve to be recognized in any manner," Rabattini wrote.

I do feel strongly that the administration in Island Lake is out of control and is likened to a dictatorship. However, the evil dictators our world has seen have far exceeded anything Island Lake has experienced."

Rabattini, reached at home Saturday, said she decided to remove the initial post after thinking about her actions much of Friday.

She noted, however, that the post was not removed in response to peer pressure.

"I did it because I felt like it was the right thing to do. Not because I felt the heat." Rabattini said she received no complaint e-mails from blog followers, or from Herrmann herself.

The five-paragraph entry concerned the village board's discussion of its Freedom of Information Act policy, which does not specifically exempt trustees from having to file formal requests for documents or other information.

Village attorney Scott Puma told the board such an exemption legally is not necessary, and on Thursday night the board voted 4-3 to reject the addition of such an exemption to the policy.

Rabattini, Don Saville and John Ponio favored the exemption. Herrmann, Mascillino, Don Verciglio and Donna O'Malley voted against it. In the blog entry, Rabattini said she "shares the opinion of Trustee Saville in that the Herrmann administration resembles that of the Nazi regime, led by Adolph Hitler."

Herrmann said she was aware of the post, but had not spoken to Rabattini about it, even as the two crossed paths at village hall.

"I generally don't read the blog," she said. "I heard that the entry had come off but I didn't really pursue reading it or seeing it come down."

Herrmann noted that this wasn't the first occasion that Rabattini has "disrespected" her or others.

"I'm glad she made the decision (to take it down)," she said. "The damage has been done."