The February 14, 2002 Edition of The Daily Herald reports:
Smrt, 73, of 10014 S. Grant Highway, Marengo, turned himself in
to Cary police at 10 a.m. Feb. 6 on a McHenry County warrant for
simple assault and battery, according to a police report. The
incident occurred on the 600 block of Industrial Drive
later (April 21, 2003) The Daily Herald reports:
businessman Thomas Smrt may not be an ideal boss, but that
doesn't make him a criminal.
That was the ruling last week from a
McHenry County judge who acquitted the 74-year-old Marengo man
of two misdemeanors stemming from his treatment of a former
Smrt, who owns Cary-based Fox Valley
Systems, was charged last year with battery and disorderly
conduct following a Sept. 18 run- in with former worker Deborah
According to the allegations, Smrt
threatened and screamed at Powers, then grabbed her arm while
taking away her time card.
However, during a one-day trial last week,
Smrt attorney, Mark Uteg, argued his client never threatened
Powers, but engaged in a verbal dispute not uncommon between
worker and boss. As for the time card, Uteg said it was company
property and Smrt had every right to take it.
In her ruling, Judge Sharon Prather
scolded Smrt for his behavior, calling it
"ungentlemanly." But ultimately, she said, he did not
commit a crime.
"I would suggest in the future you
be more careful in how you treat your employees," Prather
added. "Your actions may not be criminal, but nonetheless,
if this happened, they were not appropriate."
Last week's acquittal does not end
Smrt's legal woes. He is scheduled to return to court June 23
for a pretrial hearing on misdemeanor battery and assault
charges stemming from a confrontation with another former
employee last year.
That worker, Kathleen J. McLemore, is
suing Smrt as a result of that incident.
Roller Coaster ride isn't over yet!