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Latino group releases statement supporting Joliet Councilman Hug

Brock A. Stein | 4/27/2016, 10:40 a.m.
Hug was struck in the face by a patron at the Double J Sports Bar on March 31.
Larry Hug, Councilman, Joliet District 1 City of Joliet

A group calling itself Latinos for Joliet has released a statement supporting Joliet Councilman Larry Hug.

Hug was involved in an altercation at the Double J Sports Bar, 1001 Essington Rd., on March 31. In a video released by the Joliet Police Department, Hug is seen being struck in the face by another patron, Mark Koenig, after what appears to be a heated conversation.

Will County Board Member Annette Parker, and her husband Brian Parker can be seen in the video during the incident as well.

Koenig, 46, was charged with misdemeanor battery for the incident.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a motion this month to provide a special prosecutor to review the allegations.

Koenig’s first court appearance is set for May 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson Street where the special prosecutor is expected to make a determination about the charges.

The statement of support from the group Latinos for Joliet follows allegations made this week by Carlos Tinoco, a Channahon resident who was also at the Double J on March 31, that Hug used a racial epithet aimed at Latinos during the encounter with Koenig.

The group maintains that it will continue its support for Hug, as it did during his election campaign.

“We endorsed him during his last election. [In] which we made over 5,000 phone calls and knocked on over a thousand doors in District 1,” the statement reads.

The statement goes on to condemn the allegations as false and calls Hug “a man with integrity and strong moral values.”

The statement calls the reported comments of Hug by witness Carlos Tinoco “lies” and that “These comments are not in Larry’s character to make.”

Hug was first elected to the Joliet City Council in April 2011 to represent District 1 which includes parts of Kendall County to the west and stretches to Gaylord Road on the east. It also includes the Louis Joliet Mall and Wedgewood Golf Course.