47th Ward Dem Leader Calls Assault Charges ‘Politically Motivated’

By Mike Fourcher | Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Celtic Crown Public House. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

William Helm, 47th Ward Democratic Organization President, says his dramatic arrest at the 47th Ward Democratic Organization meeting last Saturday by the 19th District tactical team and subsequent charges filed against him that day were, “politically motivated,” and that, “The facts will come out when we go to trial.”

Helm is charged with allegedly assaulting Chris Randall, a former 47th Ward Democratic precinct captain, at 47th Ward Aldermanic candidate Tom O’Donnell’s election night party at the Celtic Crown Public House, 4301 N. Western Ave. Allegedly there were two other assailants, but they were not been named in the police report.

Randall’s charges against Helm were made as an addendum to the original police report, according to a Chicago Police spokesman. As president of the 47th Ward Demcratic organization, Randall would have reported to Helm.

Randall has not responded to numerous attempts to contact him.

The overwhelming display of force, sending a tactical team to a ward organization meeting, has Helm’s attorney, Tim Grace, asking questions about the process.

47th Ward Democratic Organization President Bill Helm speaking at a fundraiser for Ald. Eugene Schulter in October 2010. Photo by Samantha Abernethy.

“The case to me doesn’t pass the smell test. I don’t know why the police reacted the way they did,” said Grace. “The 19th District doesn’t have anything better to do with their TAC team than to send it to a meeting of a political organization? Couldn’t they have made a phone call?”

Grace says Helm was at the election night party, but had nothing to do with the fight.

“It’s my understanding that this guy Chris…got into a bar fight with some people at the Celtic Crown and Bill had nothing to do with it. This Chris guy got mouthy with some people and at some time later he decided he wanted to charge Bill,” said Grace.

Helm, who has been charged with Misdemeanor Battery, a Class A misdemeanor, can be sentenced to up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine, if found guilty. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 20 at Branch 29 of the Cook County Court at Belmont and Western Avenues.

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  • Anonymous

    Sounds mighty close to an accusation of filing a false police report.

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