Current events keep DeKalb’s officials busy

Some things that happened in DeKalb since the last edition of The Northern Star…

About four blocks of DeKalb residents were evacuated for a few hours as a result of a chemical spill at the Del Monte Corp. May 21, said DeKalb Assistant Fire Chief Al Berg. A Del Monte employee and two DeKalb fire fighters received minor injuries from exposure to chlorine, Berg said.

Berg said the leak was caused by heat from a boiler, which caused an emergency relief plug to release chlorine from the one-ton cylinder. Berg said the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the DeKalb Health Department tested the water and the air after the incident and found no public health hazard.

Two DeKalb County Jail prisoners attempted to break out through a skylight window sometime between May 14 and May 28, said State’s Attorney Phil DiMarzio. Matthew Reimann, 20, was charged with attempted escape, and Nathan Jefferson, 23, was charged with attempted escape and conspiracy to escape, DiMarzio said. He said Reimann allegedly broke the skylight glass and allegedly conspired with Jefferson to break out.

eimann was charged with the murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault of Sharon Rollins, 41, in DeKalb August 24. Jefferson, of Elgin, is being held in connection with five residential burglaries that occurred in DeKalb in 1986.

Former NIU student Michael Montpas, 24, pleaded guilty June 9 to one count of residential burglary and one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. DeKalb Assistant State’s Attorney Duke Harris said Montpas was sentenced to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Montpas led DeKalb Police on a high-speed chase April 4 after police spotted him driving a stolen car. Police said they believe Montpas is linked to 29 DeKalb crimes, which include car thefts and business and residential burglaries. Montpas was believed to be linked with up to 45 burglaries in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Phil DiMarzio sent a letter June 4 to the Illinois Attorney General asking for an informal legal opinion concerning the Open Meetings Act in relation to a DeKalb City Council meeting May 26.

The City Council held a closed meeting concerning the hiring of two attorneys: former City Council member and campaign manager for DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow, Ron Matekaitis, and DeKalb lawyer Richard Turner. A local reporter told DiMarzio he thought the Open Meetings Act was violated, DiMarzio said.

DiMarzio said the purpose of the letter was “to get a more definitive interpretation of the law rather than to prosecute (City Council members).”