Cicero president’s wife quits town job, cites ‘horrific mental abuse’
BY STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2012 7:05PM
Cicero town president Larry Dominick and his wife Elizabeth on their wedding day, in December 2006. Cicero Town President Larry Dominick ended 2006 with a flourish, surprising hundreds of family members, friends, and supporters at the annual Cicero Voters Alliance Christmas Party on Friday night by marrying his fiancÈe Elizabeth Garcia. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Larry Terrell performed the ceremony but Dominick stole the show as he serenaded his wife on the dance floor with his rendition of Elvis Presleyís classic, ìCanít Help Falling in Loveî post ceremony.
Updated: August 26, 2012 6:16AM
Citing “horrific mental abuse,” the wife of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick has quit her job as the director of the town’s health clinic, saying many top town employees do not show up to work and calling her husband’s family members “very dysfunctional” who undermine them both.
“It is with great Joy (sic) that I have finally made the decision of resigning my position as The Health Director of the Cicero Health Department,” Elizabeth Dominick writes at the start of her resignation letter, submitted earlier this month and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I can no longer remain at this capacity due to horrific mental abuse that I have had to endure for the past four years as Director,” she continues in the letter, dated July 9.
She says her only regret “is that I failed in leading more people to Christ.”
In an interview this week, she said Cicero Town government is “just a mess. I hate it here. I hate everything about Town Hall. There are a lot of good workers, but not in the upper echelon.” She estimated that more than 50 percent of top level town employees do not keep regular work hours.
Elizabeth Dominick has been a polarizing figure in Cicero, with some appreciating her work while others privately blasting her.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t like me because I come to work every day,” Elizabeth Dominick said.
She said she was sick over the stress from her job, which paid her more than $80,000 a year, after the town failed to pay her department bills on time and other indignities.
Still, she praised her husband as a great mayor who she expects will win re-election next year.
“Larry has been a phenomenal mayor; it’s just that he lets his children run his life,” she said of his two adult sons from a previous marriage.
“He’s undermined by his family. It just isn’t Larry. It’s been in the culture in Cicero forever. It’s just like Larry told me, ‘You don’t know how things are done in Cicero.’”
She declined to provide specifics but acknowledged she has a tense relationship with her husband’s family.
She blasted two of her husband’s brothers as “nuts” who want to destroy him.
“I think his brothers are trying to desperately find something on him,” she said.
One brother, Richard Dominick, has a lawsuit pending against the town and Larry Dominick contending he was fired from a town board after informing the IRS about allegedly illegal activities involving Larry Dominick.
“All I’m really doing is my duty as a citizen to show the corruption in the Town of Cicero,” Richard Dominick said Tuesday, adding that his allegations are all based on fact.
Another brother, George Dominick, has filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests with the town, seeking information on how the town is run and spends taxpayer money.
George Dominick said on Tuesday he and Richard Dominick “have done nothing but tell the truth. I’m doing my civic duty. I am willing to speak out when I know the truth. They can’t handle it.”
Larry Dominick’s elderly mother has even alleged that her daughter-in-law has tried to kill her, Elizabeth Dominick said. Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the mother has made that claim.
Elizabeth Dominick, a registered nurse, scoffed at that allegation and said she has only tried to help care for her mother-in-law.
She also said she clashes with Larry’s two adult sons, Derek, who works for the Town of Cicero, and Brian, who works for the local high school district.
“They’re saying I don’t allow them in my house,” she said. “That’s a lie from the devil.” Her husband told her that his sons are afraid of her.
“He tells me his sons fear me. They fear the Christ they see in me. They fear that I’m a good person,” she said.
“They are such a dysfunctional family, they make mine look like ‘Leave it to Beaver.’”
Elizabeth Dominick’s own family made headlines in October when the Sun-Times reported that the Town of Cicero had hired at least eight of her relatives since her husband was elected president in 2005 and had paid them more than $1.1 million.
But she insisted in the interview that she told her husband not to hire them.
“I never asked him to hire any members of my family, never, ever, ever,” she said. “In fact, I asked him not to. ... When my family comes to him, it’s hard for him to say no.”
For nearly two weeks, Cicero Town Spokesman Ray Hanania had repeatedly refused to confirm that Dominick resigned from her town job, much less provide her letter of resignation, final salary and other basic information that municipalities typically provide whenever a high-ranking official departs. Larry Dominick hired Elizabeth Dominick in early 2007, a few months after they married.
On Tuesday, Hanania finally confirmed her resignation, saying, “Elizabeth Dominick was an excellent department head and she helped expand and improve health services to families, youth and seniors while she was there. For the Chicago Sun-Times to once again turn a story into a political attack against President Dominick is not journalism, but rather, cheap politics.”
When Elizabeth Dominick was asked why she believed the Town of Cicero had said so little about her departure, she said: “They think I’m coming back. But I’m not.”
She said she would have never resigned if her husband had her back, but that didn’t happen.
When asked about the status of her marriage, she said on Monday that she and her husband were still together, but added: “It’s complicated.”