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Suzi Schmidt: Lawmaker in trouble over domestic 911 calls rose from outsider to insider


When Suzi Schmidt first won a seat on the Lake County Board in 1988, she was such an outsider that board leaders sometimes turned off her microphone during meetings.

She would not be shut out for long.

With her energetic, blunt style — and her willingness to take on pro-development leaders as an advocate for open space — Schmidt went on to become the board’s first female chairman and to hold on to the job longer than anyone in recent memory.

By the time she defeated an incumbent Democrat last year to join the state Senate, Schmidt — as a Republican woman from a suburban county with chief executive experience — was considered a rising star.

But now, questions about possible misuse of her hard-won insider status threaten to become her political undoing.


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