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Only Oswego

Detzler: Grosskopf 'Made a Mistake' in Residency Uproar

Aug 11, 2015 08:31PM ● By Steven Jack

Oswego Township Highway Commissioner Gary Grosskopf (dark blue shirt) attended the Oswego Township Board last week, but did not comment on the controversy surrounding his residency in the state of Florida.

Embattled Oswego Township Highway Commissioner Gary Grosskopf was wrong to spend so much time at his home in Florida during the past 15 months, conceded Township Supervisor Jim Detzler Tuesday night. 

The Township Board held its first meeting since the controversy first erupted in July surrounding Grosskopf’s residency outside the township. The Township Building on Templeton Drive was standing-room only as residents spoke out for and against Grosskopf, whose phone records show spent the majority of his time since April 2014 living in Port Charlotte, Florida. 

And while Detzler said Grosskopf is an elected official over whom he has no control, he acknowledged the two have spoken about the issue and Grosskopf has pledged to spend the rest of his term living in the Township. His current term expires in 2017, and Detzler said this term likely will be Grosskopf’s last.

“I can’t do anything about it. He’s elected,” Detzler said after the meeting. “He made a mistake. He admitted he made a mistake by spending too much time away working on his house, but he’ll be here now until his term is up.”

When asked if he plans to keep tabs on Grosskopf's residency, Detzler acknowledged Grosskopf will ultimately be responsible for keeping that pledge. 

"This will be up to Gary," Detzler said. "... I and the board have no control over what Gary does. ... Taxpayers hired him. They are the only ones that can fire him, or me, or the board. They do that at election time.”

Grosskopf did not address the issue during the meeting nor afterward when followed through the building’s parking lot by CBS-2 investigative reporter Pam Zekman, who first exposed the controversy. Grosskopf apologized for his actions to residents of the Township in a letter sent to Only Oswego July 22.

Township resident Jan Alexander was one of a handful of residents angered over Grosskopf’s absence. 

“It’s almost like taxation without representation because you are not here everyday representing the people of Oswego (Township),” she told the Township Board. “… I was shocked. A lot of our elected officials would like to live in Arizona, Florida, Tennessee or any place else where the weather is mild and you can get a good deal on a home and live like retirement, but they know the duties are back here.”

Others spoke in support of Grosskopf, who has held the position of supervising township roads for 26 years and collects an annual salary of $95,000.

"I think that Mr. Grosskopf is doing a wonderful job,” said Boulder Hill resident Ed Reuland. “My neighborhood has come out really good this year, and I support him 100 percent.”

Grosskopf’s residency is currently under investigation by the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Dwight Baird has said he intends to release the results to State's Attorney Eric Weis for review of any possible criminal activity. 

Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette also has launched a separate investigation over Grosskopf’s voter registration records and whether he was legally allowed to vote in the November 2014 election. Without the ability to vote in the area in which he was elected, Grosskopf would be ineligible to hold the office, according to, Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections.