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District 200 board candidate harassed incumbent board member in 1980s

Thomas Hudock pleaded guilty in 1986 to telephone harassment against board member Jim Mathieson

WHEATON – Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 board candidate Thomas Hudock pleaded guilty in 1986 to misdemeanor telephone harassment against incumbent board member Jim Mathieson, according to court records.

Hudock and Mathieson are among the eight people running for four seats on the Board of Education in the April 4 election. The seats are four-year terms.

Hudock pleaded guilty to the charge in November 1986. When reached by phone on March 14, he declined to discuss the matter.

"My attorneys are handling all of this matter [at] this time," he said. "When they have something relevant, they will come forward to the public."

Mathieson has been on the board since 2013. He said he started getting threatening phone calls from Hudock following a traffic altercation between them in 1985 that Wheaton police investigated.

"Starting say, a month or two later, going on for almost a year, I got phone calls in the middle of the night threatening my life and my family's life," Mathieson said. "We finally had the police put a phone trap on there."

Mathieson said he would have to step down from the board if he wins his re-election bid and Hudock also is elected to the board.

"I feel uncomfortable with the guy," he said. "We have a debate coming up, and I'm concerned about it."

Mathieson said he hopes the issue does not dominate the election.

"I don't want this to be the guiding conversation in a debate about serious school issues," he said.

The district has a $132.5 million referendum on the April 4 ballot to pay for improvements to the district's facilities, including a new early learning center.

The Wheaton League of Women Voters will hold a meet-and-greet for District 200 candidates from 6:30 to 7 p.m. March 20, followed by a candidate forum from 7 to 8 p.m., at the Wheaton Park District Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton.

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