Telephone Harassment Charge Filed in Smigielski Case
Former Grayslake District 46 Board Member Shannon Smigielski said she received the threatening phone call in January during the teachers' strike.
A man was arrested for making a threatening phone call to former Grayslake District 46 board member Shannon Smigielski at the height of the teachers' strike in January, according to Grayslake Police.
Christopher Culp, 43, of 691 S. Rose Hall Lane, Round Lake, was charged with disorderly conduct-telephone harassment, a Class B misdemeanor, said Grayslake Det. Sgt. Jeff Myhra. Culp was released on $5,000 bond, Myhra said.
Smigielski said she was also granted an order of protection against Culp at the Lake County Circuit Court last week, which states that Culp can't come within 500 feet of her home. In addition, the document requires that Culp also stay at least 500 feet away from Prairieview and Grayslake Middle Schools, Smigielski said.
Smigielski received the call at 11:45 p.m. Jan. 19, according to a letter to the editor she shared with Grayslake Patch the next day.
She said the caller left this message on her answering machine: “You are a (expletive) liar. I’d really hate to see what happens to your daughters at school when I have my kids (expletive) taunt them every day because their mother is a (expletive) liar. Settle the (expletive) strike.”
"I was totally shook up," said Smigielski. "Even now when I listen to it, which I did in court last week, it still shakes me up. Nobody should ever have to go through what this man has put my family through."
Myhra said police used phone records to identify Culp.
"It shook us to our core. It really did," Smigielski said of the call.
The incident was the impetus for her recent resignation from the District 46 board, she said.
"The way I look at it is that there isn't any government official—whether it's a school board or congressman or president—no one should ever have a family threatened or their kids or their home," said Smigielski. The call, however, left her feeling fearful, whether she was at home or even at a store, she said. "That's just not the way I want to live. There's no reward big enough in being on the school board to have to live with that kind of fear. That was a very, very large part of the reason I stepped down. It's a shame."