City Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson accused Mayor Bob O’Dekirk of “intimidation” and somehow getting his hands on nude photographs of him, according to a Joliet police report obtained by The Herald-News.
The report, filed Monday afternoon, lists Dickinson as a victim in the case, O’Dekirk as a suspect and Joliet Park District Commissioner Jennifer Jobe-Gavin as “other.”
“During executive session of a city of Joliet Council meeting, Robert O’Dekirk (Mayor) turned and look(ed) at V/Dickinson and stated ‘And you Dickinson, the truth is going to come out about you,’” the report said.
Dickinson “was later advised that S/O’Dekirk was informing people that S/O’Dekirk claimed to have nude photos of V/Dickinson,” according to the report.
The incident occurred in March, the report said.
O'Dekirk denied having any photographs of Dickinson other than one he says the councilman sent of himself from when he was in high school.
"It's outrageous that he would say that," O'Dekirk said.
"Filing a false police report in Illinois is a crime," said O'Dekirk, who is an attorney. "And without reading the report and just taking your representation, Don Dickinson committed a crime and I fully expect him to be prosecuted for what he's done."
Jobe-Gavin could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dickinson confirmed that he suspects a Joliet elected official has been plotting to blackmail him with a nude photograph but would not comment on the police report or the alleged involvement of O’Dekirk or Jobe-Gavin.
Dickinson is an employee of the park district.
"I feel like I'm being hunted, harassed, intimidated, blackmailed," said Dickinson, telling how the pressure prompted him to announce he would not seek reelection to the city council in April.
But now, after reporting his allegations to the Joliet Police Department, he said he has reconsidered and plans to pull petitions to run again.
“I’ve heard from several residents, and residents want me to run,” he said.
Dickinson spoke of the meeting at the end of Monday night’s council meeting, saying, “Over the last six months I have been put in a position that has been very uncomfortable for me with my role on the council. This has affected all the decisions that I need to make to help the city of Joliet move forward.”
Dickinson said he has been “harassed, badgered, tormented and now blackmailed unfairly.”
“This is over a relationship I had a few years ago with another consenting adult,” he said., “Photos were sent between us, for us and for us only. This issue is being held over my head.”
O'Dekirk questioned the statement Dickinson made during the meeting, saying, "It looks like a political stunt."
Dickinson said the other woman “sent me pictures of her chest and stuff, whatever,” Dickinson said. “And I deleted them.”
But he suspects his former lover held on to a photo he sent her of his genitals, and that the picture has since fallen into the wrong hands.
“My whole life, I’ve done things to try to help this city,” Dickinson said. “And now this.”
During an Oct. 6 city council meeting, frequent public commenter — and defender of the mayor — Jerry Hervey confronted Dickinson about “sexually insensitive” text messages.
“And Don, you got caught in a really nasty situation,” Hervey said. “So I don’t think you need to wait until April to resign. You need to resign now. You’ve been caught up in some really nasty text messages. Racially insensitive and sexually insensitive. Have you made your colleagues aware of what you’ve been involved in? Because you made a tactful plan that you were going to run for the mayor’s seat and you needed a Black girlfriend to win that seat. Is that what a Black woman is worth to you?”
Dickinson said he did send a message to an African American woman with whom he was in a relationship that said, “Joliet is not ready for a power biracial couple.”