Former Buffalo Grove trustee Lisa Stone logs 35 calls to 911
BY RONNIE WACHTER Sun-Times Media March 26, 2013 7:06PM
Lisa Stone booking photo. She pleaded guilty to violating an order of protection, filed by her stepmother. | Photo courtesy Mundelein Police Department
Updated: April 28, 2013 6:57AM
Lisa Stone wants you to read this story.
The former Buffalo Grove trustee has made 35 calls to 911 this year so that her voice — and her message — will become public documents.
Among the messages Stone wanted to share: her concern that the northwest suburbs’ drinking water was drugged with heroin. She also told dispatchers that she fears a sniper is after her; she plans to recall the current Buffalo Grove Village Board; and she offered her recommendation for the next Buffalo Grove police chief.
Stone was arrested March 8 by Mundelein police for allegedly violating an order of protection filed by her stepmother, which originally also listed Stone’s father. In court, Lake County Judge George Strickland ordered Stone to stop calling 911 for nonemergency matters.
The Northwest Central Dispatch System, which fields area 911 calls, records them and keeps the files for 32 days. Pioneer Press obtained 18 calls through a Freedom of Information Act request made from Stone’s home and mobile numbers. In many of the 911 calls, dispatchers pressed Stone several times to explain what she wanted, but Stone said she simply wanted to be documented.
In an interview with Pioneer Press, Stone restated her purpose: “To memorialize issues I have addressed in government,” she said.
Stone said she called 911 to create records that could not be misinterpreted later. She said minutes of meetings when she was a trustee are incorrect recordings of what she said and did, so she created recordings that would be indisputable.
“They don’t read back as the meeting played out. Rather than go to more meetings and subject myself to more abuse, I made records that could not be misinterpreted,” Stone told Pioneer Press. “At least now I made my point.”
But 911 dispatchers often did not understand her reasons for calling.
“Lisa, Lisa, you called 911 for an emergency, do you need any help?” asked the dispatcher who answered Stone’s calls March 7.
“No, I want it on audio, why do you think I keep calling?” Stone said.
But, it usually took her several minutes — and several exhortations from dispatchers — to get to each point.
“What is it that you’re calling 911 about now, Lisa?” asked the dispatcher who answered the first of her two Feb. 28 calls.
“I’m telling you, I’ve got high blood pressure, so just give me a minute,” Stone said. “OK, I’ve got hypertension, from government.”
On Tuesday, Buffalo Grove police Cmdr. Jim Newton said Stone has heeded the judge’s warning, ending the calls that he admitted have become a nuisance to emergency personnel. He added that the department did not seek criminal charges against Stone for the nonemergency calls.
“We had that option but did not go that route,” he said, saying the matter was handled by the department’s social worker.
During Stone’s rash of 911 calls, Buffalo Grove police officers went to Stone’s home on several occasions to conduct well-being checks. When asked whether police have launched any follow-up investigations related Stone’s claims of narcotics set ups and drugged water, Newton said Stone has been bringing up those fears for a decade.
“They have been looked into and there is nothing more to it,” he said.
Still, Stone continued to call 911.
“It’s narcotics,” Stone said. “OK, it’s Buffalo Grove, it’s an emergency.”
Stone’s 18 most recent calls, from Feb. 25 to March 11, took 47 minutes and 15 seconds of emergency response time. Two of her conversations exceeded seven minutes in length. She called around the clock, including 4:24 a.m. on March 10 and 3:11 a.m. March 11.
“I have no addiction but cigarettes,” Stone said during a Feb. 25 call. “I just want to say I’m a human rights activist. I hate politicians except for Susan Garrett and Nancy Rodkin Rotering of Highland Park, and Terri Voss of Mundelein, the trustee. I like a lot of others, mostly women.”
On March 3, Stone talks about her support for a former mayoral candidate in an area suburb.
“I believe he should win, and I think everyone should vote for him and sign his donation,” she said. “He’s a black African-American man that’s honest who is marginalized much like me, fighting for the people, all ethnicities and all creeds.
“I am completely level-headed,” she added. “I’m courageous, I’m brave.”
Most police departments do not record calls taken by their front desks. The recordings end when the 911 center transfers a caller to a local officer.
On March 6, she told her dispatcher: “This is the last time, I’m never calling again.”
She made 10 calls after that.
In later calls, Stone says she called the wrong number. Given the frequency of the calls, Stone has become familiar with the Buffalo Grove officers who receive her calls transferred from 911.
The most recent call available was placed at 3:11 a.m. March 11.
“Don’t worry,” she told the dispatcher. “Everything is fine. Good night.”