Genoa- Former Genoa Mayor Dave Rood was acquitted by 16th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Douglas Engel Tuesday afternoon on all counts filed against him by a DeKalb County grand jury.
The grand jury charged Rood Aug. 14, 200 with the unlawful restraint, criminal sexual abuse and battery of former Genoa resident Kimberly D. Sullivan. She could not be reached for comment.
The unlawful restraint charge was a Class 4 felony, which carried a maximum penalty of one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The other two charges were both Class A Misdemeanor charges that carried a maximum penalty of up to one year in the DeKalb County jail.
"I knew it would work out this way," Rood said. "This is the best news. I don't think I've ever been happier."
The charges stemmed from a three-month long investigation by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department of an incident that was alleged to have occurred in a rural part of Kingston in April, 2000.
The charges against Rood killed any thought he had of running for re-election as Genoa's mayor in the April, 2001 election.
"These charges destroyed my political career," Rood said. "I enjoyed being mayor. I think I was able to save the city some money by filling the former city administrator position and by bringing in some grant money that we hadn't had access to before. I'm proud of my record but these charges, these false charges, did me in politically. I don't even want to talk about the personal cost this has had on me."
Rood, originally elected mayor in 1997, was asked by the Genoa City Council for his resignation because to the charges against him. Rood refused to resign and the council abruptly walked out of a scheduled council meeting last fall.
Upon Rood's decision not to run for re-election, Todd Walker was selected by Genoa voters as Rood's replacement in the April 2001 municipal election.
Rood shrugged off what he said was a personal loss of a political career.
"That's the way it goes," he said. "I'm going to celebrate with my family a little first, before anything. This has been a long, hard road and it didn't ever need to be this way at all."