Republican campaign aide charged in Will County with harassment, obscenity

Timothy Pawula

A campaign treasurer for a former Republican state lawmaker has been charged in Will County with harassment through electronic communication, obscenity and transmission of obscene messages, according to court documents.

The investigation into Timothy Pawula began with a telephone harassment complaint filed by state Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort, according to a statement provided by Illinois State Police Trooper Shannon Barrea.

The Illinois State Board of Elections’ website lists Pawula as the treasurer for Ozinga for Illinois, the candidate election committee for former Republican state Rep. Tim Ozinga.

Ozinga had abruptly resigned from the Illinois House of Representatives last April. Attempts to reach Ozinga by email Friday were not successful.

The investigation by Illinois State Police led to charges from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, and the investigation was limited to Hastings’ complaint, Barrea said.

In response to questions about the case, Raoul’s office provided a copy of Pawula’s pretrial release notice showing the case against Pawula was filed in Will County. Pawula signed the pretrial release notice May 2.

The pretrial release notice said the alleged offense involving Pawula occurred at 8:25 a.m. Nov. 8, 2022, in Will County.

As of Friday, Pawula’s case does not appear on the Will County Circuit Clerk’s website after searching for his case by name. Raoul’s office did not respond to questions on whether the case has been sealed from public view. The office did not provide a copy of the charges.

Pawula is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. June 5 in Courtroom 202 at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet. Cases in that room typically are handled by Will County Judge Donald DeWilkins, who presides over pretrial release hearings.

A representative at Hastings’ office in Springfield referred to communications firm Boyce Possley for comment. The company provided a statement from Hastings.

“I’ve been a victim of electronic harassment where someone – potentially affiliated with others – sent me digitally altered, sexually explicit images that are highly offensive,” Hastings’ statement said.

After Ozinga’s resignation, Patrick Sheehan, a former Lockport City Council member and Plainfield police officer, was chosen as Ozinga’s replacement by a representative district committee. In 2022, Sheehan had lost the election for Illinois’ 19th Senate District against Hastings.