Skoien hints at stepping down after wife's arrest

Published: 3/12/2009 12:15 PM | Updated: 3/12/2009 7:54 PM

Palatine Township Republican Party chief Gary Skoien backed away Thursday from earlier statements that won't step down from his post.

Thursday, Skoien said in a WLS radio interview that he's not going to resign now because he doesn't want anyone to think a police report referring to women at his Inverness home as prostitutes is true.

"But my kids are my priority and probably logically it doesn't make sense to be spending my time on politics when I need to be spending my time trying to figure out how we put everything together at home," Skoien, 55, said.

He said even if he proved his case, "it's not going to matter. Once all this is in the press like this, effectively this is the story."

Neither Gary Skoien, the former Cook County GOP chairman and now Palatine Township GOP committeeman, nor his wife Eni could be reached for comment Thursday.

Barrington-Inverness Deputy Police Chief Jerry Libit said the department stands behind the report's accuracy.

"Nothing will be changed," Libit said. "The way it was recorded is what (the officer) was told at the time."

Libit said Gary Skoien should meet with the state's attorney's office if he wants information changed or added to the case against his wife.

Libit confirmed Skoien went to the police station Wednesday night and met with the officer who made the report and arrested his 36-year-old wife around 1:15 a.m. Sunday. Libit said a superior officer was not present and believed it was a civil exchange.

Eni Skoien was charged with domestic battery for attacking her husband, who said she became enraged when she heard him with two female friends. He claims he never told police the women were prostitutes, as the police report states.

Libit also confirmed Skoien was at the police station on March 3 and had an informal discussion with an officer about domestic disputes. Skoien told police his wife hit him earlier that morning but didn't file a complaint.

Skoien, who has not been charged with any crime, filed an order of protection Tuesday against his wife that bars her from their home and from having him from having any contact with their three children - ages 5, 7 and 8 - unless they contact her first.

In his affidavit for the order of protection, which was approved by Judge Laura Bertucci-Smith, Skoien said his wife has been physically and verbally abusive throughout their 13-year marriage. For the past 90 days, while living in separate parts of the house, Skoien said her abusive conduct has escalated. He outlined a few incidents of abuse against him.

The attorney listed for Skoien on the order of protection did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

• Staff writer Rob Olmstead contributed to this report.