Keith Pekau Blasts Pritzker, State, County Over COVID, Addresses Kaspar Allegations (Orland Park, IL) — The Village of Orland Park held its regular board meeting Monday, April 18. In addition to the Agenda items, Mayor Keith Pekau addressed recent changes in COVID protocols, as well as recent allegations involving political opponent Scott Kaspar.
According to Pekau, the Illinois Department of Public Health is no longer tracking positivity rates, but is instead tracking vaccination and hospitalization rates. Pekau stated that “I have been pointing out that I was not paying attention to positivity rates because it was poor data, and easily manipulated data. Instead, I was focusing on people hospitalized with COVID in suburban Cook County.” He went on to say that “I should feel some vindication from this news. Instead, I’ll be honest, I’m angry. I’m angry at the personal attacks that my family and I endured, particularly those by elected officials and by members of the press.”
He ended his speech by warning the American public not to give up its rights so easily in the future.
Pekau’s Statement Regarding Covid Protocols
The Illinois Department of Health indicated that it would no longer track cases and test positivity rates. Also, it has been reported that Governor Pritzker knew and was being recommended not to do this since May of 2020. Instead, they’ll be using updated vaccination rates, the number of people admitted to the hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis – we heard that before – and more detailed data on hospitalizations, including information about vaccination status – where have we heard that before?
A reminder, that since May of 2020, I have been pointing out that I was not paying attention to positivity rates because it was poor data, and easily manipulated data. Instead, I was focusing on people hospitalized with COVID in suburban Cook County.
The State never reported this information, as I pointed out then, but the Cook County Department of Public Health did, until October of 2020. I repeatedly stated that this was the best information to use to make decisions.
Here we are in 2022, and now we’re suddenly using that information. As you recall, when new mandates and restaurant closures went into place around October of 2020, that’s when the Cook County Department DPH stopped reporting this information and started reporting COVID-like illnesses hospitalizations, which included all respiratory diseases, including the flu, were considered COVID.
As I stated at the time, this change was used to deceive us and to control us and to justify a poor decision to attack restaurants yet again.
Well, I should feel some vindication from this news. Instead, I’ll be honest, I’m angry. I’m angry at the personal attacks that my family and I endured, particularly those by elected officials and by members of the press. The governor, the State, and the County clearly used deception to manipulate the public, damage businesses, and destroy lives and livelihoods.
A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research released a study last week in which Illinois received an F grade for its overall handling of COVID. … As noted, the stupidity of these actions were pointed out by many and the science never supported them.
The first few weeks were understandable back then because information was so sketchy. By early April, 2020 this was not true, and several mayors signed several letters, urging the governor to take a different course. If only he would’ve listened.
In April of 2020, I said that the scariest part of the entire pandemic was how quickly people were willing to give up their rights. That is still what scares me the most. It is important that we, the American public, learn from this experience and never allow this to happen again. Not to us, not to our children, do not give up your freedom so easily.
Pekau Discusses Allegations Regarding Kaspar
Pekau also addressed allegations regarding his political opponent Scott Kaspar being forcibly removed from two committees for political reasons. Pekau stated that he had not removed Kaspar from any committee, nor had the board officially recommended his removal.
Pekau’s Statement Regarding Scott Kaspar
Mr. Kaspar made several statements as did the people working for him that he was forcibly removed from his position. To be clear, I have not removed him and the board has not yet officially recommended for his removal either. They invited him to speak tonight; I do not see him tonight. So all the board can do is recommend, and last week they moved it to the main board meeting to have that happen, so that’s all that happened.
As I pointed out, Mr. Kaspar is not in attendance here, but also, I want to let the board know he did send a resignation letter dated April 8th. It was received in my office last Wednesday the 13th, I received it the 14th, and clearly from that recommendation he knew that he wasn’t forcibly removed, so he was still putting things out there that he knew weren’t true. So here’s his resignation:
‘Dear Office of the Mayor, regarding the above referenced pension board, enclosed please find a copy of my April 4th, 2022 resignation that I directed to chairman Tom Dargan. This concludes my volunteer service to the pension board.’ — Technically, he sent this to the pension board chairman, it needs to come to me, but I will accept that as, that it came to me — ‘on May 4th, 2020 I accepted an appointment to the ethics commission. At no time since has the ethics commission convened. My understanding is that my appointment ended on June 1st, 2021, should the Office of the Mayor have a different understanding, please consider this letter notice of my resignation from ethics commission, effective April 4th, 2022.’
No, the ethics commission has never convened because there hasn’t been a complaint.
Secondly, when someone’s term expires, they stay in that position unless the mayor chooses to remove them. If they don’t, then they stay in that position. But I will accept his resignation from both, so I think it renders the rest of this discussion tonight moot, so I would recommend to the board that they table the discussion and table the motion.
The vote to table the Agenda Initiative – Board and Commission Member Replacement was passed with Pekau abstaining, all other members voting in favor.
Other Agenda Items
(all requiring a vote approved unanimously unless otherwise noted)
- Approval of the April 4, 2022, Regular Meeting Minutes
- Earth Day and Arbor Day Proclamations
- Monarch Butterfly Day Proclamation
- Proclamation Honoring Hobbytown USA as Orland Park Business of the Month-April 2022
- The Joint Emergency Telephone System Board – Appointment
- The Veteran’s Commission – Appointment
- Accounts Payable – Approval
- CONSENT AGENDA
- Payroll – Approval
- Rock Salt Purchase – Proposal
- 2022 Playground Renovations – Purchase and Installation
- Heavy Duty Vehicle Purchase
- 2022 Road Improvement Program Construction Management Award
- 2022 Neighborhood Road Improvement Program – Proposal Award (Trustee Kampas abstained, all other votes in favor)
- Camera License/Equipment and Server – Purchase
- Konica Minolta Multi-Functional Printer Lease
- Dell Personal Computer, Laptop, and Monitor Purchase
- Monument Sign – 11351 W. 159th Street (Sportsplex) – Approval
- Spur 2 Water Main – Easement at Liberty Elementary School
- Lauterbach & Amen Staffing Agreement – Amendment
- An Ordinance Amending Appendices A and B to Ordinance No. 5676 – Second Amendment – Ordinance
- Temporary Finance Manager Staffing Services
- FY2022 Budget Amendment #3 – Approval
- HR Leave Administration Services – Professional Services Agreement Renewal
- Queen of Hearts – Raffle License
- Third Party Fingerprinting for Background Checks
Keith Pekau Blasts Pritzker, State, County Over COVID, Addresses Kaspar Allegations