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Lawyer: Ceasefire chief’s wife’s injuries ‘substantial...bruising and swelling’

Tio Hardiman mugshot/Hillside Police Department

Tio Hardiman mugshot/Hillside Police Department

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Updated: July 3, 2013 7:00AM

Tio Hardiman, the director of CeaseFire Illinois, was ordered held in lieu of $20,000 bail Saturday on charges of domestic battery.

Arms clasped behind his back, a contrite-looking Hardiman, who is accused of attacking his wife, was also ordered to surrender his weapon and to have no contact with his spouse.

In the wake of the charges, the University of Illinois at Chicago, which oversees CeaseFire, also placed the 50-year-old on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the case.

“We are troubled to learn of the allegations concerning Mr. Hardiman, Director of CeaseFire Illinois, and take these allegations very seriously,” said CeaseFire founder Dr. Gary Slutkin.

“As a matter of established policy, CeaseFire and the University of Illinois have zero tolerance for anyone with domestic-related charges, or crimes against women or children, currently or in their background.”

Hardiman’s wife wasn’t in court Saturday. But Ferdinand Serpe, attorney for Alison Hardiman, told reporters his client would face her husband at his next court date in Maywood on June 4.

“The 72-hour, automatic, no-contact order will carry us over till Tuesday. At that time, the complaining witness will come forth. We will be asking for an interim order of protection,” Serpe said. He added that his client intends to see her husband of some eight years prosecuted to the full extent of the law on the misdemeanor charge.

At his bond hearing, Hardiman was represented by an assistant public defender.

In khaki pants and a striped polo, he stood with his head down as prosecutors provided details of the incident that west suburban Hillside police on Friday said led to his wife coming in to file a domestic battery report.

“The defendant and his wife got into a verbal altercation. The defendant punched and kicked the victim,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Nils Wyosnict. “Police and the Fire Department responded. There was a 20-year-old relative in the home who witnessed it.”

The source of the altercation between the couple was unclear.

“They had a disagreement. That’s all I know. She is physically recovering,” Hardiman’s wife’s attorney said. “The injuries were substantial . . . head, back, neck, face, torso
. . . bruising and swelling. She did contact her physician. . . .
It is my understanding he had a prior history, 12 years ago, with his former wife.”

Prosecutors confirmed it was not the first time Hardiman has faced charges of domestic battery. Records show Hardiman pleaded guilty to the charge in 1999.

“The defendant received supervision, along with an order of protection from a different victim,” Wyosnict said.

After Hardiman’s arrest on Friday, influential aldermen said the incident may compel the city to review its contractual ties to CeaseFire, which has a one-year, $1-million contract with the city to mediate gang disputes in two troubled neighborhoods.

CeaseFire addresses homicide as a public health issue, and Hardiman came up with the concept of hiring ex-offenders to mediate disputes before shots are fired.

The group’s mediators, which it calls “interrupters,” often are felons.

A spokesman for the city’s Department of Public Health, which administers the contract, said the department is awaiting details on the case before deciding if any action is needed.

The incident added fuel to already existing opposition to the group by many Chicago Police who distrust it. While not commenting directly on Hardiman’s arrest, Mike Shields, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, “The city is still several thousand officers short [in staffing levels] while it is giving money to convicted felons.”

The Sun-Times reported last year that at least six people have been charged with committing drug-related crimes while on the group’s payroll over the prior five years.

Contributing: David
Roeder and Becky Schlikerman

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