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State Politician Apologizes For Lying, Breaks Blogging Rules

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 22, 2008 8:45PM

2008_10_22_gentes.jpgLooks like Round Lake Mayor Bill Gentes told a little fib on his resume. Gentes, a Democrat who is campaigning for the state senate seat in 26th district, said he took a leave of absence as operations director at the Realtor Association of NorthWest Chicagoland. As it turns out, he was actually fired from the position early this year. Oops! Gentes told the Chicago Tribune that he didn't come clean about his employment history because he was "embarrassed." Still, it's probably not as embarrassing as being caught in a lie because you were too embarrassed to tell the truth in the first place.

Dan Duffy, the Republican nominee in the 26th district race, said Gentes's little white lie raises serious ethical questions but refused to stoop so lows as to call Gentes a "liar, liar with pants on fire." The Republican contender also points to a lucrative village contract made to a real estate company that employs Gentes's wife. Gentes defended the decision by saying the village had a long history with the company (where he was also a licensed real-estate agent) even before he became mayor.

Gentes may also be in violation of the village's ethics act by including a link to his campaign blog on his "Mayor's Blog," which can be found on the Village of Round Lake website. According to the ethics code, "no officer or employee shall intentionally use any property or resources of the village of Round Lake in connection with any prohibited political activity." Prohibited political activity can mean "distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question."

While it doesn't exclusively say "website" or "blog" in the act, the mayor's campaign blog could be considered campaign literature. Lets see if he's too embarrassed to admit it.

By Hunter Clauss