The 47th Ward, a district that covers parts of Ravenswood and Lakeview north and west of Wrigley Field, was home to the biggest political surprise of Chicago's municipal elections on February 22. Retiring Alderman Eugene Schulter had backed candidate Tom O'Donnell in the race to replace him, but young upstart Ameya Pawar stunned the political establishment by winning an outright victory that night, seizing just over 50 percent of the vote.
According to the Chicago Police Department, one of Schulter's close allies lashed out on that election night. William Helm, president of the 47th Ward Democratic Organization, was arrested over the weekend on charges of battery for allegedly attacking a man outside a Western Avenue bar around midnight.
The victim alleges that Helm punched him in the face outside the Celtic Crown sports bar, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Helm confirms that he was at the bar that night, and the he witnessed an altercation, the Sun-Times reports. But he was "amazed and shocked" at being arrested more than a month after the incident, and claimed that he had no part in the fight. He had his suspicions about why charges were only now coming out.
“It’s politically motivated," he told the Sun-Times. “I look forward to going to court."
Geoff Dougherty at Chicago Current had a snarky rejoinder on the charges being "politically motivated": "Which is more than you can say for the party's ward regulars," he wrote Monday.
Helm is reportedly scheduled to appear in court on April 20.