TEACON Organizer Absent Amid Prostitute-Related Arrest Report
TEACON organizer Steve Stevlic was absent from the second day of the conference following a report in Gawker that he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute on June 25.
UPDATE 2:54 p.m.
TEACON 2011 organizer Steve Stevlic did not attend the second day of the conference he helped organize amid a report on Gawker that he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
The arrest occurred more than year ago in June 2010, Tea Party officials stated.
"My family and I dealt with this matter and we've successfully moved forward in our relationship," Stevlic said in a prepared statement. "The charges surrounding this incident were dropped against me over a year ago and with all the issues we are facing in our country right now, I'm not sure why this deserves a headline."
Chicago Tea Party spokesperson Eric Kohn said the issue was an "internal matter." When asked if Stevlic had resigned from the Tea Party, Kohn had no comment.
"I know Steve is upset with himself over the pain he has caused his family, but the charges against him were dropped over a year ago — this is old news," Tea Party Patriots State Coordinator Denise Cattoni said in a prepared statement.
"Steve has demonstrated a tremendous amount of leadership and commitment to growing the Tea Party movement in Chicago and TeaCon is the culmination of his efforts," Cattoni stated.
TEACON 2011 is the Tea Party's Midwest convention. Organizers expect about 640 to attend. WIND AM 560 radio is one of the chief sponsors. Other organizations involved in the event include the Illinois Tea Party and the Chicago Tea Party Patriots.
Kohn said that the conference is meant to promote the Tea Party "intellectually and financially." Although he said some of the money raised would go toward event expenses.
Kohn said the Chicago Tea Party is not a 501(c)3 nonprofit, but described it as a "nonprofit corporation."
As for the Stevlic situation, Kohn said that it was a personal matter and that the Tea Party was focused on taking the state and federal government back from Democrats and President Obama, who are "running both into the ground."
Earlier Saturday, Marcus Brown, program director for WIND 560 AM, said Stevlic had addressed the Chicago Tea Party Friday night. Brown said Stevlic would not be attending the conference Saturday.
"I hope everyone can respect my family's privacy and I apologize for unnecessary pain this has caused my family," Stevlic said in a prepared statement.
Chicago Tea Party Patriots Director Steve Stevlic was absent from TEACON 2011 following a report on Gawker that he was arrested June 25 2010 for soliciting prostitutes.
"He was here last night; he is not here today," said Marcus Brown, program director for WIND 560 AM, one of the organizers of the event.
When asked about the Gawker report, Brown said the issue was an an internal Tea Party matter. He said Stevlic addressed the Chicago Tea Party group at a meeting last night.
Palatine Patch has sent Stevlic an email seeking comment.
Stevlic was one of the main organizers of TEACON 2011, the Tea Party's Midwest convention.
Brown said about 640 people were expected to attend the two-day event which kicked off Friday evening and will culminate Saturday with an appearance by Glenn Beck. Patch will be liveblogging Beck's appearance.