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Reality Bites

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 26, 2007 2:50PM

Having a troubled family member is a classic story in politics. We all remember Roger Clinton, failed rock musician, alcoholic and convicted cocaine user, who's legacy lurked in the shadow Bill Clinton's presidency. And who could forget Billy Carter, Jimmy's good ol' boy brother, who endorsed Billy Beer and registered as a foreign agent with Libya in exchange for nearly a quarter million dollars? Rod Blagojevich should be so lucky to have a relative as colorful as that. Instead he has to settle for Dick Mell and Frank Schmidt, Chicago alderman and illegal dump operator, respectively.

2007_1_finger.jpgLate last month Schmidt was arrested in Glenview on charges of domestic violence after getting into a fight with his fiance and trying to bite the ring off her finger. Schmidt tried to blame the altercation on pain medication, saying "I don't remember anything. . . . I was a walking dead man jacked up on pills." You may remember Frank Schmidt from the very public feud a few years back between Mell and Blago. Schmidt, a "troubled relative" and ex-convict who was trying to operate a landfill with Mell's blessing, got shut down by Blago for violating state environmental laws. This led to the falling out between the alderman and the governor, which only got patched up recently after the death of Mell's wife.

The state's attorney has no comment on the case, but Schmidt is vowing to fight the domestic violence charges against him. In his defense, his fiance has said publicly that this behavior is not typical of Schmidt. Although apparently driving on a revoked license and bragging about his clout is.