By Illinois Review
This past weekend, Orland Fire Protection District candidates Angela Greenfield and Tina Zekich joined an army of volunteers – many of them off-duty firefighters who braved the cold to knock on doors for their campaigns – were caught off guard, when they were met by hecklers, who followed the group around neighborhoods in their vehicle as a form of harassment and intimidation.
The driver of the vehicle harassing the off-duty firefighters and volunteers? Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.
Joining Pekau in his gray Dodge Durango, and riding shotgun was Orland Park Trustee Sean Kampas – an ally and close confidante who’s known for rubber stamping anything Pekau presents during Village board meetings.
And during community events, Kampas, an IT consultant, is often seen wearing an official Orland Park Police Emergency Services polo with an official police badge attached to his belt – giving the impression that he is a member of law enforcement.
In Illinois, it is unlawful to impersonate a police officer, and a Class 4 Felony, punishable by up to three years in jail and $25,000 in fines.
But when you are Keith Pekau, or one of his diehard supporters like Kampas – rules do not apply.
Earlier in the day, the group of volunteers met at a local Starbucks – their usual meeting spot, to prepare for the day’s activities. But when they arrived, they were surprised to find Pekau and Kampas sitting at a nearby table, cups of coffee in hand, staring at the group and eavesdropping on their conversations – even accusing the off-duty firefighters of engaging in political activities, even though they were volunteering during personal time off.
When the group left, Pekau and Kampas followed them out of the coffee shop – trailing them in Pekau’s Durago as they headed to a nearby neighborhood to knock on doors and drop off literature.
Although Pekau and Kampas never got out of the car, numerous witnesses said the pair continued to follow the group – staring at them through the car windows in a sad attempt at intimidating the group of volunteers.
Greenfield and Zekich are running on a slate against a pair of candidates that Pekau has already endorsed.
Several months ago, Pekau endorsed Eric Vates and Richard Miller as trustees for the Orland Fire Protection District.
Vates, the president of Orland Park Mazda, with ties to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Gery Chico, a close ally and donor to Madigan, is also a close friend and ally of Pekau.
Like Kampas, Vates, who is not in law enforcement, is routinely seen at local community events wearing official Orland Park Police gear and a badge.
In one photo taken this past Summer, Vates and Kampas are posing for a photo with Pekau while wearing official Orland Park police uniforms.
Again in Illinois, it is unlawful to impersonate a police officer, and a Class 4 Felony, punishable by up to three years in jail and $25,000 in fines.
But when you are friends with Pekau, rules do not apply.
As the saying goes, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
And it’s why Pekau wants complete and total control of all Village activities and day-to-day operations under a referendum that was presented at the last minute – without any input from the community; and without a comprehensive plan, during the January 16, 2023 Village Board meeting.
The election is on April 4th.