DuPage Prosecutor Chides Elmhurst Politician

ELMHURST, IL — A DuPage County Board member from Elmhurst was rebuked Wednesday by DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin for telling reporters that he was speaking on behalf of Berlin.

DiCianni, a Republican running for County Board chairman, took part in a news conference Friday evening outside Oakbrook Center Mall, where a shooting had taken place.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Berlin, a Republican, announced that authorities made two arrests in the shooting. But he made a point in the news conference to address DiCianni's earlier comments.

"I do want to clear the record regarding statements made by a certain DuPage County Board member," Berlin said. "He does not speak on my behalf. He had no authority to do so when he spoke at the Oakbrook Mall on the night of the shooting. His statements were certainly not part of this investigation."

DiCianni, a former Elmhurst mayor, told the Daily Herald on Friday that he was shopping in neighboring Elmhurst when the shooting happened. At Friday's news conference, DiCianni was standing next to Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger. Besides Kruger himself, DiCianni and Oak Brook's mayor were the only speakers.

In his remarks near the end of the 11-minute event, DiCianni said much of DuPage County's violent crime was coming from the east, referring to Cook County. He said Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx didn't take crime as seriously as she should.

"I can tell you these offenders, speaking on behalf of our state's attorney, will be fully prosecuted," DiCianni said. "We need to send the message that we don't tolerate this kind of crime in our county. As a former mayor right next door, I saw my police officers helping out this community."

He said area towns pride themselves on safety.

"We will keep that pride and fully fund our officers, as we have been," DiCianni said.

DiCianni did not return a message for comment Wednesday afternoon, but he told Patch a day earlier that he was sick with COVID-19.

DiCianni has long portrayed himself as pro-police.

In June 2020, DiCianni took a lot of heat for a videotaped confrontation with Black Lives Matter counterprotesters who showed up at a pro-police rally in front of the Elmhurst police station. He told them, "You leave our town then." He later responded to an email from a constituent who supported Black Lives Matter by telling her to "stick" her vote in her "a--."

DiCianni later sent automated calls to residents that said DuPage County Board members were considering defunding the police.

In a statement in July 2020, County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, an Elmhurst Republican, said no effort was underway by any member to defund police. Cronin did not mention DiCianni by name, but it was obvious he was referring to him.

At a meeting soon after, DiCianni stopped short of an apology, but admitted to regrets in his dealings with Black Lives Matter supporters. Under pressure from Cronin and others, DiCianni stepped down as chairman of the board's Health and Human Services Committee.

DiCianni is facing County Board member Greg Hart, R-Hinsdale, for the Republican nomination for County Board chairman. Cronin endorsed Hart.

This article originally appeared on the Elmhurst Patch