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Chaos in Preckwinkle’s Hyde Park condo: neighbors say she ignored their concerns

Toni Preckwinkle

Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle speaks during a recent forum on crime and violence at University of Chicago Institute of Politics. | Gett­y Images

Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle owns a Hyde Park condominium where Chicago police have repeatedly responded to domestic-disturbance calls involving her 37-year-old son — and some residents say she doesn’t seem to have done anything to address their concerns.

Chicago police officers visited the condo in the 5100 block of South Cornell eight times since January 2018, and one resident sought an anti-stalking order against Preckwinkle’s son, Kyle Preckwinkle, according to police and court records. Police didn’t make any arrests.

In the last emergency call from a neighbor on Feb. 24, police were dispatched to the building because of a dispute between Kyle Preckwinkle’s wife and a female resident. They were involved in a heated argument, police officials said.

In 2016, a man who lives above Toni Preckwinkle’s condo obtained a temporary no-stalking order against Kyle Preckwinkle, court records show.

The man told the court about a series of unprovoked confrontations with Kyle Preckwinkle, including incidents in which he came to the man’s door and accused him of purposely making noises that could be heard in the downstairs unit and then swearing at him and threatening him.

Judge Patrice Ball-Reed, a political donor to Toni Preckwinkle, decided not to extend the man’s no-contact order against Kyle Preckwinkle. Toni Preckwinkle, who is Cook County Board president, was sitting in court during that April 2016 hearing, sources said. Ball-Reed couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kyle Preckwinkle, left, the son of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, leaves court in 2013 after being found not guilty on a misdemeanor battery charge. | Sun-Times file photo

Kyle Preckwinkle acknowledged the police had been called a number of times to his residence but said it was either because of “vindictive” neighbors or his wife wanting him gone because she was angry with him.

But he insisted that there’s never been any violence in his household and the three children they’re raising are safe and have never been in jeopardy.

“Are you joking? No, it’s not unsafe for the children,” he said.

He said that his mother is aware of the problems he’s faced since living in her unit — including the order of protection.

Asked why she’s been so seemingly hands off, he said: “You’ll have to ask her.”

Kyle Preckwinkle, his wife, Ronisha, and their three children live in the condo, which Toni Preckwinkle bought in 2015. Toni Preckwinkle, who lives elsewhere, is running for mayor in the April 2 runoff against attorney Lori Lightfoot.

Toni Preckwinkle wouldn’t comment. A campaign spokeswoman said, “This has nothing to do with the mayoral race. It is a private matter regarding a private citizen. Toni loves her son, who is accountable for his own actions.”

But residents in her building say they’re worried about what’s happening in the condo where her grandchildren live.

They pointed to a Feb. 26 statement Toni Preckwinkle made after she cinched a spot in the runoff, in which she said she was “doing this for my grandkids . . . That they’re safe and happy, that they’re thinking about their futures and not worried about their present.”

One property owner said “swearing, yelling and slamming” have been common sounds coming from the Preckwinkle condo.

Residents, who asked that their names not be published, said condo association officials and the building’s manager appear to have done little to address the problem — only recently sending Toni Preckwinkle, as the owner, a letter highlighting some of the troubles.

For months, complaints to the condo board were met with a response along the lines of, “It’s a private matter and we can’t do anything about it,” according to one of the property owners. “This has been swept under the rug for years.”

Residents noted one past leader of the condo association is tied to Toni Preckwinkle. Irene Sherr was listed as president of the condo association for 2018, according to the Illinois secretary of state’s website.

Also in 2018, Sherr was an assistant deputy bureau chief of the Bureau of Economic Development for the Cook County government overseen by Toni Preckwinkle, payroll records show.

Sherr donated $3,800 to Preckwinkle’s political campaigns between 2004 and 2012, according to state election records.

Sherr didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

Kyle Preckwinkle and his wife previously rented an apartment in the 5400 block of South Cornell. Their landlord sued them three times from 2011 to 2014 for not paying rent, court records show.

Asked why the family was evicted from their last apartment several blocks away, Kyle Preckwinkle said, “We went into debt, never recovered . . . I’m not going to apologize for being poor.”

He also indicated they’ve fallen behind at their current unit paying assessment dues to the extent that the condo board weighed legal action.

In 2012, Kyle Preckwinkle was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly kicking a man and punching him in the face several times in the 5400 block of South Cornell.

Cook County Judge Tommy Brewer — who contributed to Preckwinkle’s campaigns before he was appointed judge in 2010 — found Kyle Preckwinkle not guilty after a bench trial in 2013, court records show.

Toni Preckwinkle attended her son’s initial appearance before Brewer, according to a Sun-Times story at the time.

Brewer said his verdict was the right call based on the evidence, and while he knows Toni Preckwinkle, “I know a lot of people.”