Steinys, 56, was accused of hitting a rival campaign volunteer with a car door, then grabbing him with both hands and attempting to punch him following a disagreement over campaign signs on the eve of the Nov. 6, 2012 election.
Joliet firefighter Michael Carlin, a volunteer with state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's campaign, said he noticed signs that had been placed in a field near Route 59 and Fraser Road had been removed and replaced with signs for opponent Garrett Peck. According to his testimony, he spotted a man in black lying in the grass near the field and confronted him.
As Carlin called a fellow campaign worker to verify that only the Bertino-Tarrant campaign had the right to place signs on the property, he said the unidentified "man in black" got into a car with Steinys. He testified that he approached the car, exchanging words with Steinys, who then struck him with the car door before exiting the vehicle and grabbing him with both hands. Carlin also testified that Steinys gave chase, telling him, “I’m sick of this, I’m going to f--- you up, I’m going to f-----g kill you.”
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Steinys did not respond to a request for comment following Polito's ruling.
"The judge took everything into consideration and decided the village had met its burden," Steinys attorney Paul Napolski said after the hearing. He noted that since it was a local ordinance violation charge, the ruling will not appear as a criminal conviction on Steinys' record.
Since the November 2012 incident, Steinys was elected to the Plainfield Park District Board of Commissioners after running unopposed in the April election. Peck, who also serves as a Village of Plainfield trustee, lost the November election to Bertino-Tarrant, and in May was hired as the new park district executive director.