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Crime & Courts

State Rep. Peter Breen reportedly receives death threat in voicemail message

Threat comes in wake of email he sent about Illinois House candidate's alleged remarks

State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, reportedly received a death threat in the wake of an email he sent to fellow Republicans about Winfield Township Republican Party Chairman Burt Minor and the comments he allegedly directed toward Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.
State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, reportedly received a death threat in the wake of an email he sent to fellow Republicans about Winfield Township Republican Party Chairman Burt Minor and the comments he allegedly directed toward Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.

State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, reportedly received a death threat in the wake of an email he sent to fellow Republicans about Winfield Township Republican Party Chairman Burt Minor and the comments he allegedly directed toward Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.

In a Facebook post, Breen said he received the death threat Feb. 23 in a voicemail message.

"This caller was responding to my actions last week, blowing the whistle on a Republican candidate... Our family has dealt with plenty of harassing phone calls over the years, and the First Amendment protects a wide range of speech. But there's a line you don't cross – you don't threaten physical violence. That's a crime," Breen said in the post. "There's just nothing like having your wife listen to a voicemail recording of a lunatic saying that her husband should be 'shot in the f****** head.' "

Breen has reported the threat to the Lombard Police Department, according to the post.

Minor is running for the seat currently held by state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who is running for governor. In his email, Breen said Minor allegedly asked Harold personal questions about her marital status and sexual orientation, "going so far as to inquire whether she was a 'lesbo.' The chairman also used the full n-word repeatedly in front of Ms. Harold and her assistant, asking whether she found its usage offensive."

In a Feb. 22 Facebook post, Minor apologized if his words had offended Harold.

"Last October, I met with Erika Harold in my capacity as Winfield Township Republican Chairman, at her request, to discuss the challenges she might face in her campaign for the Republican nomination for Attorney General," he said in the post. "Our meeting has been greatly misrepresented. Not all Republican voters are comfortable discussing issues of race and sexual orientation. I wish it were different, but it is a reality those of us active in the Republican Party's leadership confront, not infrequently.

"My discussion with Erika was an attempt to point out this unfortunate reality, it was in no way meant to be offensive. I honestly left our meeting unaware that our conversation might have made Erika uncomfortable. My apologies to Erika if she was in any way offended. Erika is a great candidate who has a bright future in the Republican Party."

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