Island Lake parks coordinator found not guilty of starting bar fight
Island Lake's recreation department administrator was found not guilty in Lake County circuit court this week of misdemeanor battery charges stemming from a bar fight she was alleged to have started, authorities said.
Karen L. Luebbers, 50, of the 400 block of Rose Avenue in Island Lake, said she felt vindicated by the ruling.
"All I can really say is that I knew I was not guilty and feel as though justice has been served," she said Friday. "I'm just happy to have this whole thing off my shoulders."
Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Dan Kleinhubert said a Lake County circuit judge ruled in favor of Luebbers because a videotape of the fight was somehow erased prior to it being shown in court.
"There was also conflicting information from witnesses of what took place, which resulted in the not guilty verdict," Kleinhubert said.
Luebbers said she didn't know what happened to the tape.
Luebbers was arrested at her home Dec. 30, 2010, about two weeks after an Island Lake woman filed a complaint with police claiming she was in the bar fight with Luebbers, police reports indicate.
The victim reported the fight occurred about 10 p.m. at the Fan Club Sports Bar and Grill, 213 E. State Road, reports indicate.
The security video of the fight allegedly later revealed Luebbers was the aggressor in the bar fight, Police Chief William McCorkle said following the arrest.
However, at some point, that tape was erased prior to it getting to prosecutors, Kleinhubert said.
Luebbers was initially placed on unpaid administrative leave from the village of Island Lake after the arrest. However, she said she was reinstated to her position on June 21, 2011.