A Lemont schools superintendent who was set to retire from the district was arrested early Thursday after police said he solicited an undercover female officer for sex.
Thomas F. Cusack, 62, superintendent of Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A, was among nine people arrested during a police sting in Maywood, officials said.
Cusack, who has held the superintendent's post for five years, did not return calls for comment; however, the Lemont school board president said Cusack had informed the board of his arrest and that the seven-member panel would meet Friday in executive session to discuss it.
"This is an extremely serious matter and will be treated as such," board President Robert Kobylski said, adding that he did not know what school policy dictates in such a situation. Cusack is scheduled to retire on June 30, 2006, and the district is just beginning a search for his replacement, Kobylski said.
Maywood police have been conducting regular prostitution stings in response to citizen complaints about the activity in their community. This sting ran from 11 p.m. Wednesday to about 3 a.m. Thursday, said Deputy Police Chief Donald Mobley.
Cusack of the 0-100 block of Pepperidge Road in Naperville was arrested about 1:30 a.m., according to officers. Police alleged he offered the officer $40 for sex. They said he told officers he was returning home from a Cubs game. In the sting operations, a female officer in civilian clothes walks the street but does not solicit passersby, Mobley said. When she is offered money for sex, she signals other police who make the arrest, he said.
Cusack and the others were charged with solicitation of a sex act, a misdemeanor, and had to post $100 bail, Mobley said. Their vehicles were impounded, and they must pay $500 to the village to have it returned, plus a fee to the towing company.
Cusack became superintendent of the elementary district in 2000 after the previous top administrator, Thomas Reiter, was fired. At that time, the board released a 23-page document alleging Reiter lied about paying a $2,500 fine the board required of him. The fine stemmed from an incident in 1997 when Reiter displayed a box of penis-shaped pasta at a staff meeting.
Police said the other eight people arrested Thursday listed addresses in or near Maywood.
"Prostitution activity is down since we've been doing the stings, but it's not eliminated entirely. However we are going to continue going out there until it's gone completely," Mobley said. "Nobody wants to see that kind of activity in their neighborhood. The streetwalking, the sex in cars and in alleys--nobody wants to be around that sort of thing."