Veteran Diana Howard courageously confronts abusive Orland Park Mayor
By Ray Hanania
Most people have come to know Orland Park Village Board meetings as a distasteful bully pulpit where Mayor Keith Pekau belittles his critics, lies and portrays himself as the victim of a vast conspiracy.
Pekau claims everyone who criticizes his government actions defames him, and asserts he and his family are victims of deranged robocalls that most Orland Parkers have never received or heard.
The only time the disgusting alleged robocalls were played was when he played them during a public meeting of the Orland Park Chamber of Commerce, which has come under his control led by a chamber president who Pekau awarded a lucrative consulting contract.
Pekau uses the alleged robocalls to depict himself as a victim, so he can distract the public from his failures. It allows him to make vicious and personal attacks against anyone who challenges or questions his policies.
The only person making vicious personal attacks is Keith Pekau, who portrays himself as a war hero, wrapping himself tightly with his military service and constantly reminding everyone that he served. Like, he is the only one who did.
I served, and so did others like Diana Howard who, at the August 21 Pekau bully pulpit meeting, courageously stood up to and exposed Pekau’s lies. Pekau’s only response was to personally attack Howard, even blaming her for being involved in the alleged robocalls.
Howard is legitimately upset because Pekau is relocating the American Legion hall (many of whose members have criticized him) to a new location where he can control the meetings.
Standing fearless in the face of the Pekau bullying, Howard detailed how the mayor viciously attacked the veterans because they didn’t let him speak.
“I am just disgusted with this whole thing I have been hearing about the [American] Legion. The building. The village wanting to take it,” Howard began in addressing Pekau and his Politics over People sycophants.
“I am really sick of the robocalls. I don’t care which side they are coming from. I am sick of the robocalls. I am sick of this. I am sick of the games that are being played up, by all of you.”
Military veteran Howard continued, “Specifically, what I am really sick of; please tell them about the expletive tirade you let out on the veterans about a month ago after you came to the meeting and were denied to speak because you did not fill out an agenda. I would really love that read into the record about how you told them that we didn’t know who we were f-ing with. If you want to deny it, there was a whole legion that was there that night.”
Pekau huffed and puffed during her remarks, interrupting her several times to say her 3 minutes to speak was running out.
“Oh, I can continue. Would you like me to keep going?” Howard taunted as Pekau breathed fire. “About a few other things that were said? How now we weren’t going to get a damn thing?”
Howard paused, and then said, “Nothing to say. huh? I just want the record to show what’s actually being done and said when all these people are not sitting here, behind the curtain, to the veterans, and I am sure probably other people who are sitting out there at the time. It wasn’t just me at that meeting. There were a whole bunch of veterans sitting there. You can pull anyone of them in here and ask them what happened during that meeting and afterwards. Way to go.”
Howard walked away and Pekau immediately attacked Howard and claimed she was lying, “reading false things into the record.”
When Pekau asked how many Veterans were in the meeting, Howard tried to respond and Pekau told her she should shut up because she had already had her time to talk. He then went on an extended personal rant attacking her, claiming his paid employees were witnesses that he never said anything bad about Veterans or the American Legion after being denied the chance to address their meeting. (Like his paid employees or contractors or political sycophants would ever question his authoritarian assertions.)
Pekau even falsely accused Howard of being involved in the robocalls, just as he has falsely accused me in his bully pulpit rants, asserting I am involved in the alleged robocalls. I am not and never have been, but in Pekau’s world, his lies mean more than truth and he gets to spout his vicious political attacks from the podium of the taxpayer paid village board meetings.
His minions on the board, who did not attend the American Legion meeting, praised Pekau as such a great person, a war hero, who could never lie.
But that’s not true. Pekau is the name-caller-in-chief who attacks his critics with his lies, because he refuses to be held accountable. He doesn’t support all veterans, only those who support him.
And that is my opinion.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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