McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is getting police protection after he received what he interpreted as death threats on a local political activist’s blog.
Franks, a former Democratic State Representative, says the threats were posted after a March County Board meeting, where a local official made a statement comparing the goings-on at the County Board to weasels terrorizing chickens.
Franks, was characterized as one of the “weasels."
On the blog, moderated by former Republican State Representative Cal Skinner, a poster identified as “LTResident” stated, “Schoot ‘em would be faster, quick, and easy for all.”
That was followed by another reader, identified as “Klaatu Barrada Nikto” who said, “I know a fellow who specializes in terminating weasels of all kinds…..if you need it to look like an accident $10,000 each.”
Skinner, the blog moderator, added after that last post, “One can run a campaign for that.”
“The taxpayers, unfortunately, our resources are being used to make sure my family and I are safe,” Franks told NBC5, adding that he has asked his children to stay away and not return home from college, and that his wife has been making frequent trips to visit relatives out of town.
“Crazy people read this stuff and incite hate and incite violence,” Franks said.
Franks said he holds Skinner responsible for what’s happened, pointing out that the former State Representative had even joined in the conversation.
“He moderates his blog, and he’s the one who posted it,” he said. “He could have contacted law enforcement.”
Franks did contact law enforcement, and the matter is being investigated by the Lakewood Police Department. The chief there confirmed the investigation, but declined to elaborate on its status.
“Until we identify a person from the anonymous comments, I really can’t comment on our investigation,” he said.
In the meantime, Franks said he is taking the matter extremely seriously, especially regarding the safety of his family.
“I couldn’t forgive myself if anything would happen to them,” he said. “My kids, I have not seen them since this has occurred.”
Skinner did not respond to a request for comment.