Hebron’s village president was arrested and charged Monday evening with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to documents provided by the village of Hebron and the McHenry County courthouse.
Robert Shelton, 62, 10200 block of Sharon Lane, also is charged with reckless driving and three counts of disobeying a stop sign, according to citations provided by the Hebron Police Department through a public records request.
Shelton was elected village president last year on the platform that he would slash Hebron’s police department budget, which he later did by laying off several officers. He is set to appear at the McHenry County courthouse July 28, court records show.
In response to a Northwest Herald request for all police reports and citations for traffic stops this month involving Shelton, the Hebron Police Department supplied the citations, a report from the Richmond Police Department, a booking photo and other documents, all of which had the driver’s name redacted.
According to an email from Police Chief Rich Donlea, the records pertain to the arrest of “the village president/mayor believed to be named Robert Shelton.”
When asked why the driver’s name was redacted, Donlea pointed to an exemption for personal information under the Freedom of Information Act and asked for time to consult the Illinois Attorney General’s Office’s public access counselor.
The Freedom of Information Act specifically requires the disclosure of arrest reports, including the person’s name, age and address. When provided a copy of the statute language, Donlea said he would provide the records Saturday.
Nonredacted copies of the citations obtained through the McHenry County courthouse confirmed the person charged was Shelton.
According to the citations, Shelton was driving a motorcycle when he allegedly disobeyed a stop sign at Illinois Street and Prairie Avenue in Hebron.
Hebron police officer Christopher Roberts subsequently called for back up, to which Richmond police officer Paul Davies responded, according to a narrative provided by the Richmond Police Department. Davies arrived about 9:30 p.m. at Bigelow Avenue and Main Street in Hebron.
Roberts conducted a standardized field sobriety test, and Davies assisted in administering a preliminary breath test for alcohol, which showed the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration at 0.9%, or above the legal limit of 0.8%, according to the redacted narrative.
The driver was arrested and taken to the Hebron Police Department, where Davies tried to perform another breath analysis, according to the redacted Richmond police report. The driver refused to submit to the test, Davies said in the report.
Attempts to reach Shelton, his attorney and the Richmond Police Department were unsuccessful.
This isn’t the first time a Hebron village president has been in legal trouble.
In 2016, then-Village President John Jacobson was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia along with possession of a firearm and ammunition without the required firearm owner’s identification card.
The items were found in Jacobson’s home after police were called for an emergency check on him, during which he was found on the bathroom floor after an apparent overdose from a night of smoking crack cocaine, police said at the time.
The felony drug charge was dismissed after now-retired McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather ruled that the search that led to the discovery of the items was unlawful. Her ruling was based on a state law that grants some immunity against prosecution of drug possession charges if police are called in the event of an overdose.
Jacobson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to probation. He was found not guilty of felony possession of a firearm by a jury.