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Wife of former CeaseFire leader drops battery charge against him

Updated: August 4, 2013 6:18AM

Former CeaseFire leader Tio Hardiman said he’s been “vindicated.”

His wife Tuesday dropped a domestic battery charge against him. Outside the Maywood courthouse, Hardiman said he’s “grateful” to his wife.

“We’re going to do the best we can to make a comeback,” said Hardiman, who now is without a job. “That’s what life is all about — making comebacks.”

On Tuesday, Alison Hardiman told a Cook County judge she wanted to drop the charge and the order of protection, citing her health and counseling with her pastor.

“I want to work on my marriage,” she said in court. “I love my husband.”

Tio Hardiman, for his part, said he had no idea his wife would drop the charge Tuesday.

“I love my wife and that’s a reality. I hope we can reconcile and take care of our business,” he said as he left the courtroom. Just outside its doors, the couple hugged.

The former leader of the anti-violence group had been accused in May of punching and kicking his 47-year-old wife, leaving her with bruises, a cut to her neck and a swollen lip. After his arrest, officials with the anti-violence program announced Tio Hardiman’s contract, which expired June 30, would not be renewed.

Alison Hardiman also filed for divorce last month, but is now asking attorneys to withdraw the divorce filing, said her attorney Ferdinand Serpe.

Hardiman’s wife declined to comment after the hearing. But she told Cook County Judge Terence MacCarthy that she’s suffered from multiple strokes, a heart attack and has a blood clot in her neck.

Serpe said the ordeal took a toll on his client.

“The stress on her, physically was overwhelming,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tio Hardiman said he’s “grateful” to his wife and is “concerned about taking care of” her.

When asked what his next step was, Tio Hardiman choked up and had to pause to regain his composure. “My next step is to revive my career,” he said.

He said he hopes to continue advocating against violence, including domestic violence.

“I don’t want to move too quick, I plan to revisit a few things as it relates to my role with CeaseFire and then we’ll see what happens from there,” Tio Hardiman said. But he’s not sure if he wants his old job back.

Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the University of Illinois at Chicago, which houses the anti-violence program, on Tuesday said the dropped charges do “not change anything with regard to his current employment status.”

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