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Worst. Spin. Ever.

Thursday, Mar 12, 2009

* Oy

“No money was exchanged. Nobody was naked.”

That’s how Gary Skoien decided to fend off allegations by his wife that she caught him in their children’s playroom with two prostitutes. Skoien is the Palatine Township Republican Committeeman and former Cook County GOP Chairman.

* More

Inverness Police say former Cook County Republican Chairman Gary Skoien admitted having two prostitutes in his children’s playroom when his wife walked in on him early Sunday morning.

The allegation is in a domestic battery report from Skoien, 55, against his 36-year-old, 5-foot-4-inch, 110-pound wife. He said she beat him with her fists and an electric guitar.

But Skoien said the police report inaccurately stated that he had prostitutes in his home. Skoien said he and a friend were talking in the playroom when his wife came down and began beating him.

Eni Skoien spent two nights in a lock-up before being released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

* More denial

Skoien said two female friends were visiting around 1 a.m. Sunday, when his wife, Eni, who had returned home a bit earlier, came downstairs and attacked him.

“I was not in a compromising position other than I had friends over to my house,” Skoien said.

* Karma?

Allies of Mayor Daley in both parties had been upset with Skoien since he offered a $10,000 “bounty” four years ago for information leading to the conviction on corruption charges of the Chicago mayor.

The remark got Skoien fired from his real estate job, cost him a seat on the Metra board and resulted in calls for his ouster as county Republican chairman.

But he survived a re-election vote, serving from 2004-to-2007 as the head of Cook County’s Republican party, which has not succeeded in electing a Republican to countywide office in 17 years.

* Republicans take flight

As word of the incident got around local political circles, two candidates on the Republican slate for Palatine Township board asked the Daily Herald to remove Skoien from their lists of endorsements.

“I think Gary needs to respectfully resign and work on mending his family,” trustee candidate and retired Des Plaines police officer Sharon Johnson said. “He’s not the person of character I had originally thought.”

Sue Johnson (no relation), who’s running for township collector, also backed off Skoien’s endorsement. But later Wednesday she said via e-mail that she was no longer seeking to remove Skoien’s name from her list of endorsers, having made the initial request “without having all the information. … My concern is for Gary and his family during this difficult time.”

A person who answered the phone at the home of Carol Tesmer, the Palatine Township GOP committeewoman, simply called the story “a lie” but would not elaborate.

I think it’s best to keep comments closed on this one. Sorry, but I just can’t stomach the prospect of dealing with this all day.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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