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Viking Dodge v. Wayne Beto

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Topics:  Viking Dodge

Viking Dodge v. Wayne Beto

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 27, 2008

Viking Dodge Crystal Lake

Another day in McHenry County Court came and went in the battle of Viking Dodge v. Wayne Beto. When I pulled into the courthouse parking lot this morning, there was Wayne's car, right in the first handicapped parking spot near the building.

Wayne was on-time in Judge Caldwell's court, although his attorney from Franks & Gerkin was AWOL. And AWOL through the second call of Wayne's case.

And what happened later? Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. Viking Dodge has apparently asked for ANOTHER continuance. I didn't wait around longer. Wayne thinks today is the 11th (count 'em: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11) continuances in a case that was started two years ago - in June 2006!

It seems to me that somebody at Franks & Gerkin ought to be grabbing the reins and putting a stop to this legal nonsense. After the second continuance, I would have been ordering my attorney to grow some backbone and ask the judge - politely, professionally, respectfully BUT firmly - to dismiss the case. And after the 3rd or 4th continuance?

Well, maybe Franks & Gerkin is representing Wayne pro bono. I didn't ask. If they are, I guess Wayne won't care how many continuances there have been or will be.

Wayne, as you may already know, is a disgruntled former customer of Viking Dodge of Crystal Lake. Wayne has been picketing Viking Dodge by parking the Dodge Magnum he owns on the shoulder of U.S. 14, just east of Route 176 (Terra Cotta Avenue). On some days he'll even walk along Terra Cotta Avenue in front of Viking Dodge with one of his signs. Wayne is careful to stay in the public right-of-way and off of Viking Dodge's property.

Oh, Wayne drives a Dodge? Indeed, he does. One that he bought at Viking Dodge. One that he had serviced at Viking Dodge. One that he intended to trade in on a new car from Viking Dodge. A car that Viking was to order from the factory, built to the specifications in the order Wayne placed at Viking Dodge.

Up until that point, Wayne was a satisfied customer of Viking Dodge. And then everything changed. Wayne is not now just a dissatisfied customer of Viking Dodge. Make that a DISSATISFIED Customer.

And he won't go away. He won't be silenced. Wayne has big signs on his car, informing all passersby of his disappointment and displeasure.

Wayne can't get any press coverage in "the" daily newspaper of McHenry County. They won't take any interest in the story, even when Wayne approaches them with new information, like nails scattered along the highway shoulder - coincidentally, right where Wayne parks. Now, who would have done such a dastardly act???

Like when an employee of Viking Dodge stole (and was convicted of) stealing one of Wayne's signs. Like when a manager approached Wayne and said something like, "You have no idea who I am!" Like when three Viking Dodge employees drove big pick-up trucks over the corner where Wayne was parked and then blocked his Magnum by parking inches in front of and behind him, and alongside on the highway side of Wayne's car.

Two of the pick-up trucks had no license plates. I was there that day and asked a Crystal Lake police officer to ticket them; instead he telephoned his sergeant, who called Viking Dodge, who sent license plates across the street for the trucks. Favoritism? You bet! Viking Dodge is a huge sales-tax payer in Crystal Lake!

Crystal Lake ticketed Wayne a while back for illegal signs on his Magnum. Gee, I wonder who sicced them on Wayne. Any guesses?

Wayne and I talked about that a lot, and I supported him in keeping after the Administration of Crystal Lake and the City Council. This was clearly a Freedom of Speech action supported by the U.S. Constitution, and finally the City Attorney wrote Wayne and said the charge would be dismissed by the City. But why was Wayne harassed in that manner in the first place?


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