Township Orders Independent Probe in Death of Trustee

Official report of evening includes booze, topless women, sex in public bathhouse

By Lauren Jiggetts and BJ Lutz
|  Saturday, Jul 17, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM CDT
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Carlos Salgado

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Debauchery, Death in Public Pool

The family of a Calumet Township official who drowned in a public pool isn't buying the official claim that there was no foul play involved.
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Calumet Township plans an investigation into the behavior of its employees who attended an after-hours pool party that degenerated into nudity, sex, drunkeness and the drowning of a township trustee.

"This investigation will be conducted by an independent council who is not employed by the township, the city of Blue Island or the Park District," township Supervisor Rose Rita said at Thursday night's township board meeting.

Carlos Salgado, 26, was found at the bottom of the Blue Island Park District's Memorial Park pool on June 26, hours after a late-night party attended by employees and guests from Calumet Township and the park district.

A police report of the incident details a night of booze, topless women, sex in a bathhouse and the claim that Salgado was making some of the guests feel uncomfortable.

Officials have said there doesn't appear to be any foul play in connection with Salgado's death, but his family finds that difficult to believe, given the details of the police report.  The family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Blue Island Park District President and Calumet Township Clerk Fred Bilotto, the park district and the city.

Bilotto had little to say about the incident when asked about it this week, but said he was mourning Salgado's death.

"I've known him since grade school. We worked on many campaigns together. And Carlos was a very good friend of mine," he said.

Bilotto "had knowledge of the after-hours gathering and instructed people to bring their swimsuits," the Blue Island police report indicate.

When asked about whether she thought someone should resign over the scandal, Rita said she hadn't yet read the police report.

"We don't know yet. I don't know exactly what happened," she said.

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