Under apparent pressure to admit the truth, Pat Maher sent an email to the Southtown/Star regarding his secret past conviction in the brutal beating of a college friend back in November 1991 at Illinois State University.
The beating was so brutal, the victim sustained serious injuries. Maher was charged with felony assault in May 1993, but later pleaded guilty in June 1993 to criminal misdemeanor battery, according to published reports. Those published reports added that Maher's friend held the victim down while Maher continually beat the man on his face. The incident involved a woman who dated the victim and was then subsequently dating Maher.
Maher was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours community service, according to the SouthtownStar.
I have emailed Maher and his spokesperson Trevor Montgomery, first asking if Trevor was still working for Maher and second asking for Maher's response.
I received this response directly from Pat Maher today at around 3 pm:
"Almost 20 years ago as college student, I got into an altercation with another student and later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge resulting from the incident. I was deeply ashamed of my actions and learned some valuable lessons about personal responsibility. Lessons I will share with my children as they get older and begin to face the world on their own. I am running for Commissioner because I believe that my adult life experiences, as a small business owner, as an elected official and most importantly as a Father & Husband, make me the best qualified candidate to solve the problems facing Cook County."
Still, important questions I asked about public policy and office remain:
Maher never noted on any of his election filings that I have seen that he ever was convicted of anything. Was he intentionally hiding that conviction and does that now require that Pat Maher resign as the President of the Orland Park Fire Protection District and withdraw as a candidate from the 17th Cook County District?
Maher's resume always cited that he graduated from Northern Illinois University, but never mentions anywhere that he attended ISU. Was that an effort to hide the past?
Who else knew about this? Dave Maher, Pat's father and village clerk of Orland Park, had to know. Dave Maher works for the Cook County Sheriff's office and has worked there since 1994, starting right after his son's conviction.
I also had another question: What is Patrick Maher's birthday? Was it changed by one day? He is listed as being born Nov. 19, 1971 on his official bio, but is his real birthday Nov. 18, 1971?
Well, several reporters were already sniffing out the story. In Fact, one TV station was already at his house last week and confronted him for a story he is working on asking many of the same questions.
Here is what the Southtown reported:
"Almost 20 years ago as college student, I got into an altercation with another student and later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge resulting from the incident. I was deeply ashamed of my actions and learned some valuable lessons about personal responsibility," Maher wrote in the statement e-mailed to the SouthtownStar.The SouthtownStar story is at:
It was also picked up by the CBS affiliate, WBBM TV:
The real issue is this: Pat Maher, the college student, can be forgiven for his past indiscretion, brutally beating a man over a girlfriend they had both dated. But can Pat Maher, the politician, be forgiven for lying about it in news media candidacy questionnaires and trying to hide it from the public?
Maher says he learned lessons. What lessons did Pat Maher really learn?
The Orland Fire Protection District sent out another expensive newsletter promoting all of Pat Maher's achievements. I didn't see a mention of his past indiscretion.
-- Ray Hanania