Todd Wilhelm Investigates and Rep. Tom Morrison Pulls HIs Written Support of Tom Chantry

“You don’t carry in your countenance a letter of recommendation.” Charles Dickens

I’m so glad that Todd Wilhelm returned home from Dubai just in time to cover the Tom Chantry trials. To recap: Chantry was convicted of two felony assaults on children and is awaiting new trials due to a new victim stepping forward and the mistrial of 4 sexual assault claims in the first trial. He is being held on $1,000,000 cash bail unless his lawyers can get the judge to reduce the terms. He got probation for the felony assaults.

Todd is a real investigator, unlike Dee who wishes she was one. Todd decided to do some investigating to see who wrote letters of support of Chantry to the judge. Well, lo and behold, he found some fascinating recommendations, including one which was written by an unexpected source.  Rep Tom Morrison is a Republican who is seeking reelection to the 54th District state rep.

Although I usually eschew politics, this is one instance in which I must dip my toe into the shallow end since it involves a former Christian school co-teacher. Morrison’s letter asked that Chantry be given a lenient sentence because he is a good guy. That letter would come back to haunt him…

Before we get to that, let’s look at the post that Todd recently wrote:


Why Does Christian Liberty Academy Support Convicted Felon Thomas Chantry?

Why would Christian Liberty Academy want to insert themselves into the Thomas Chantry child abuse case?

Why would CLA Superintendent Philip Bennett claim Chantry was a “model teacher” as recently as September 25, 2018, in an interview with the Arlington Heights Daily Herald? Bennett knew at this date that Chantry had been convicted of two felony counts of assault on children; Bennett had taken part in a Police investigation of Thomas Chantry in 2004 for the extreme paddling of a five-year-old boy while Chantry was a teacher at CLA; Bennett also undoubtedly knows that there were at least four or five additional occasions (according to my source) of Chantry using excessive force as he beat students with a paddle.

Why would CLA Superintendent Philip Bennett not be willing to inform all parents who had children enrolled at CLA while Chantry was teaching (from 2002-2006) to ask their children if they had ever been abused by Chantry? This would seem to be the right, decent and Christian response to take when one learned that the Arizona prosecutor had described the incidents Chantry committed while a pastor in Prescott, AZ as “unspeakable acts of sadistic physical abuse.”

Why would people from CLA encourage individuals to write positive character reference letters to Judge Astrowsky on behalf of Thomas Chantry in hopes of obtaining a more lenient sentence? According to Illinois State Representative, Tom Morrison “people he knows from Christian Liberty encouraged him to send a letter on Chantry’s behalf.”

What would cause Philip Bennett to revoke CLA’s longstanding and what they continue to believe to be Biblical, practice of administering corporal punishment to wayward students?

These are all questions that deserve answers, questions that parents who are plunking down $10,000  per year tuition for their child to attend CLA should be asking. In my opinion Law Enforcement also needs to investigate this matter.

Below is a Police report of an incident of severe paddling administered to a five-year-old child by Thomas Chantry. I wonder, as the parents of the child did, why Chantry, a 5th-grade teacher, was beating a child in Kindergarten.

I witnessed Thomas Chantry swear an oath on the Bible, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God and then get up on the witness stand and tell lie after lie. When interviewed by the Police in this incident Chantry was under no such oath, so I would say it’s highly probable he did not speak truthfully to the Police.

 


Remember this, folks, everything you write for public perusal could come back to haunt you. Recently, Todd posted this tweet.

It appears the news media found his support of Chantry interesting. Here is one post: State Rep. MORRISON vouches for child abuser. Morrison defended what he said, at least for a few hours…

Reached by phone, Morrison said, “I stand by what I wrote. I’m not going to talk about anything beyond the brief time we taught together.” He dismissed the media attention to his letter, saying voters have bigger concerns. “They want to talk about property taxes and the fact that they’re making plans to leave the state. Those are the real issues.”

That brave stand didn’t last long. Todd tweeted:

Shortly after this, (the same day, actually) Chicago’s Daily Herald posted Morrison retracts letter supporting pastor convicted of physically abusing kids.

State Rep. Tom Morrison on Thursday retracted his earlier letter of support for a Christian teacher and pastor convicted of aggravated assault for severely spanking children in Arizona.

…In it, Morrison called Chantry “professional, courteous, and caring to students, parents and fellow staff.”

“In the time we worked together, in a variety of settings, he had his students’ best interests at heart,” Morrison wrote.

Morrison sought to walk back those statements Thursday, saying the letter was penned when he didn’t know the full extent of charges against Chantry.

…”What I learned this morning is not reflective of the person that I once knew,” Morrison wrote Thursday in an email to the Daily Herald. “These are the most serious allegations and at the time I was unaware of them — and I wholeheartedly condemn them.”

In a follow-up statement, Morrison said he “made a grave error” in not doing further research into the full scope of the situation.

Here is what was posted by those supporting Morrison’s opponent, Maggie Trevor.

My thanks go out to Todd Wilhelm who has gone above and beyond in the Tom Chantry saga. he continues to demonstrate why he is TWW’s Official Hero.


Comments

Todd Wilhelm Investigates and Rep. Tom Morrison Pulls HIs Written Support of Tom Chantry — 35 Comments

  1. “Christian Liberty Academy plays an important role in Morrison’s life. Along with being a 5th grade teacher there for six years, his parents had helped found the school in 1969. Chantry taught there from 2002 to 2006.”

    Check it out:

    http://www.christianlibertyacademy.com/academics/founders-scholarships.html

    “The Susan Teegarden Morrison Founders’ Scholarship
    …The Morrisons were then one of the five families present when Pastor Paul Lindstrom began the Church of Christian Liberty on March 28, 1965.”

    “$500…Each scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior of Christian Liberty Academy…Student applicants must fulfill the following criteria…Write an essay on how they feel God is currently calling them to take dominion in His kingdom”

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  2. Jerome: “$500…Each scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior of Christian Liberty Academy…Student applicants must fulfill the following criteria…Write an essay on how they feel God is currently calling them to take dominion in His kingdom”

    Future Commander of Gilead training.

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  3. Ken P.:
    Rep. Morrison is a Representative to the Illinois State house, not the US House of Representatives.

    Looks like the State Assemblyman got snookered.
    Predators don’t just groom their victims. Friends in High Places are also a valuable asset.

    And if Predator is a ManaGAWD, the Angel of Light mask is already there.

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  4. –According to Illinois State Representative, Tom Morrison “people he knows from Christian Liberty encouraged him to send a letter on Chantry’s behalf.”

    –Morrison’s letter asked that Chantry be given a lenient sentence because he is a good guy.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    someone in public office uses his influence for leniency for a child abuser?? unbelievably naive, stupid, immoral… i’m sure i can come up with more words that hit the target.

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  5. Recently a friend asked me to write a letter of recommendation for her son to the judge who would decide his case. I said I needed more information about what had happened as she was very vague. I had written a letter a decade earlier when her son got in trouble at school. Then, I had details, it was a petty crime, and he was willing to get counseling. I’m glad I didn’t write the letter this time. I found out he was arrested for a probation violation for a previous offense involving a gun. He has been a busy guy in the past few years. Moral of the story: Know what the offender has done before you write, even if you think you are well-acquainted with them. Right now mom is totally blind about the level of trouble her son is in.

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  6. Not long ago there was a fairly high-profile election campaign in which one of the candidates was, at various points, challenged over his past derogatory speech and behaviour towards women. I remember watching an interview with some of his supporters in, interestingly, some kind of seminary or other christian setting – I forget the details.

    Anyway, what I certainly remember from that interview was a comment by one of the young men supporting this candidate:

    “… we believe in the power of forgiveness.”

    Well, forgiveness is certainly a Thing, and if anything, I wonder whether its importance sometimes isn’t stressed enough; but that doesn’t mean we should accept any old nonsense talked about forgiveness. For me, the quote above raises questions, such as:

     Who holds this “power” of forgiveness?
     Power to do what?
     For whose benefit?
     On whose authority is this power invoked?
     When I wrong someone else, how does forgiveness help them?

    That last point is by no means trivial. If someone wrongs me and I don’t forgive them, then whether it’s fair or not, my lack of forgiveness may lead me to mull over the wrong until it does me more harm than it can ever do to them. But at the same time, nobody can ever compel me to forgive someone else: only I can choose to do that. (I use the first person to keep the pronouns unambiguous, but if that is true for me, it’s equally true for everyone else, of course.)

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  7. Too bad for Rep. Morrison. His campaign press went from a positive “I was a teacher at a Christian school” to a negative “I was a teacher at a Christian school, but vouch for a child abuser.” Whoever sought his support of Chantry didn’t think this through … it ended up giving more attention to both men than they would have had otherwise.

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  8. Headless Unicorn Guy: Looks like the State Assemblyman got snookered.
    Predators don’t just groom their victims. Friends in High Places are also a valuable asset.

    In light of this, what is even the point of ‘character witness’ letters and so on in such cases? Does it matter if you were nice to your coworker if you attacked your wife or kids? Can we just d/c these for a while? Sheesh.

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  9. Nick Bulbeck: Who holds this “power” of forgiveness?

    IMO, anyone who tries to ‘forgive’ a person who has not actually wronged them, or on behalf of someone else who has been wronged, is missing the mark.

    If Bob has harmed me, I am the only one who is in a position to forgive him. I don’t care what tom dick or harry think of the matter.

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  10. Lea: In light of this, what is even the point of ‘character witness’ letters and so on in such cases? Does it matter if you were nice to your coworker if you attacked your wife or kids? Can we just d/c these for a while? Sheesh.

    It pegs out the needle on my built in incredulity meter.

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  11. Max: Whoever sought his support of Chantry didn’t think this through … it ended up giving more attention to both men than they would have had otherwise.

    I suspect that may have been a “Radar and Colonel Blake” moment, where the request for support came across his desk mixed with a lot of others and “well, OK”.

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  12. I would prefer to give Morrison the benefit of the doubt, but how does someone write a letter of recommendation for leniency to a judge without knowing what the person has been convicted of? I know that would be my first question if someone asked me to write such a letter.

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  13. Robert M: how does someone write a letter of recommendation for leniency to a judge without knowing what the person has been convicted of?

    Yes, with just a little checking, he would have discovered that Chantry was in jail on a $1 million bail … $1 million! … that would have been a big red flag!

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  14. Robert M,

    “I would prefer to give Morrison the benefit of the doubt,”
    ++++++++++++++

    he is a public figure, a person of influence. (that’s why they asked him to write the letter)

    he was extremely careless (to put it mildly). there are consequences for others when people of influence are careless.

    i think he needs to be held accountable for his actions rather than be the recipient of the benefit of the doubt.

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  15. ION: CGI film characters

    For several years, I was convinced that Andy Serkis had no teeth and giant eyes, and that Zoe Saldana was blue.

    IHTIH

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  16. Jerome:
    Student applicants must fulfill the following criteria…Write an essay on how they feel God is currently calling them to take dominion in His kingdom”

    Well, that would be a red flag on the school for me!

    And I’m sure they really mean only male students can have dominion….

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  17. ishy,

    yeah, how would this brand of a christian woman answer that question? Take dominion in His Kingdom by quietly observing the men take dominion?

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  18. elastigirl: i think he needs to be held accountable for his actions rather than be the recipient of the benefit of the doubt.

    ========================================
    A man can tell a thousand lies
    I’ve learned my lesson well
    Hope I live to tell
    The secret I have learned, ’till then
    It will burn inside of me

    The truth is never far behind
    You kept it hidden well
    If I live to tell
    The secret I knew then
    Will I ever have the chance again

    — Madonna, Live To Tell, 1986 —

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  19. GreekEpigraph:
    elastigirl,

    Eh?By breeding pure-bred scions of the Kingdom and ensuring they are appropriately trained and seasoned.Of course!

    By becoming the pits below Isengard, spawning Uruk-Hai for the Culture War.
    “Our Wombs Shall Be Our Weapons!”

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  20. HUG, you will someday be the death of my keyboard. Fortunately, the coffee spray missed it this time. I love your sense of humour.

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  21. elastigirl:
    ishy,

    yeah, how would this brand of a christian woman answer that question?Take dominion in His Kingdom by quietly observing the men take dominion?

    I got a political mailing today sent out by the wife of a candidate, bashing the opposition and urging all to vote for her husband.

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  22. Commenting after a long while!

    Anyone writing a character letter for this guy isn’t groomed! They know darn well after the facts have come out exactly what they are doing! It’s either they are sick abusers themselves or they have no concerned for children who have been abused by their buddies!

    This guy Morrison I hope he never runs for the senate or presidency because this will bite him in the ass as it should !

    So sick of hearing about ridiculous people supporting sick twisted disgusting abusers!

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  23. Tom Can do anything he wants, As a private Citizen. When he starts abusing his Power he needs to RESIGN! His best buddy and defender Jeanne Ives is all show. She will defend her little buddy Tom Morrison until death. Tom and Ives are tight. They call her the new leader of the Republican Party in Illinois. Heaven help us all. Hey! Want another rabbit trail to follow? There is an ALEC you-tube exposing the Organization. Tom Morrison is the Official State chair of ALEC in Illinois. They wine and dine legislators and their families at big fancy resorts and then get them to pass bills that benefit their companies.

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