Stop NorthPoint spokeswoman responds to robotext

Group says it is turning over information to local and federal authorities after Friday flood of phone calls

Stop NorthPoint spokeswoman Erin Gallagher said she and the attorney for the organization are contacting authorities about a robotext that they say urged thousands of people to call her cellphone number on Friday.

The robotext appears to be fallout from the April 6 Joliet City Council election, blaming Gallagher for an election-related robocall with which she said she was not involved.

“Friday my phone starting lighting up with messages and phone calls,” Gallagher said Monday. “Some of them were really vile – people accusing me of having an anti-union agenda in Joliet.”

Gallagher said she has been talking with local law enforcement, and Stop NorthPoint attorney Robert Fioretti has contacted federal authorities about the robotext.

A statement issued by Stop NorthPoint on Monday said “thousands of robotexts we sent to Joliet registered voters as well as union members statewide encouraging recipients to call Mrs. Gallagher’s private cell to tell her to keep her ‘anti-union agenda out of Joliet.’”

Gallagher lives in the Manhattan area. However, she and her organization, which is trying to stop NorthPoint Development’s proposed Compass Global Logistics Hub from being built in Joliet, did support anti-NorthPoint candidates in the April City Council election.

The robotext accused Gallagher of using “our local Joliet council election to push her shameful anti-Joliet agenda” with a political phone call the text describes as “hateful” issued over the Easter weekend. It lists Gallagher’s phone number twice and tells people to call her immediately to “tell her to never call your house again.”

The robotext does not identify the source of the message.

“This is apparently saying I was involved with that, and I wasn’t,” Gallagher said. “I was not involved with any robocalls that happened over Easter.”

Gallagher said she received more phone calls supporting her than criticizing her.

“But the vile ones were really vile,” she said.

The statement from Stop NorthPoint quotes Fioretti saying that information concerning the robotexts is being turned over to local and federal authorities.

“These personal attacks on her (Gallagher) and her family are not only false, they demonstrate the lengths certain people will go to,” Fioretti says in the statement.

Stop NorthPoint is the lead plaintiff in a Will County lawsuit trying to block the Compass Global Logistics Hub from being built. A hearing on that suit is scheduled for June 10.

The project enjoys broad support from local building trades unions, which also backed candidates in the City Council election.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News