TINLEY PARK, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago mayor moved traffic safety cones and shouted “mayor coming through” as he demanded that police allow the party bus he was on to bypass regular traffic routes following a Paul McCartney concert in July, a newspaper reports.
Police records obtained through a public records request show that, without permission, Tinley Park Mayor Jacob Vandenberg began moving traffic cones set up to keep traffic flowing after the July 26 concert, The Daily Southtown reported.
The officers responsible for directing traffic following the concert at the village’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre wrote in their memorandums that they had to hold up traffic to give the bus Vandenberg was a passenger on preferential treatment.
One officer wrote in her memo that Vandenberg shouted “mayor coming through” as he began moving cones at her post, and then yelled, “I’m the mayor” as he moved a second set of cones to allow the bus to successfully pass.
She wrote that once she recognized him as the mayor, she didn’t stop him from moving the cones.
Another officer at a post closer to the venue said in his memo that Vandenberg also moved traffic cones to open a path for the bus, saying, “I am the mayor of Tinley Park and I need to get out of here.”
One officer’s memo noted that as Vandenberg stood at an intersection near his post, several vehicles had to maneuver to avoid striking the mayor.
Vandenberg said in a statement Friday that he “should not have interfered” with the officers’ duties and apologized for any “interference or offense they perceived that evening.”
The mayor said he, relatives and friends were on the bus, and that while leaving the concert, “I, like many concert goers that evening, grew frustrated with the traffic pattern and the gridlock it was causing.”
Six police personnel — three of whom are auxiliary officers — filed memos regarding their encounters with the mayor. The officers were instructed to file the documents by the sergeant in charge of the venue’s detail that night, said police Chief Steve Neubauer.
He declined to comment regarding the officers’ encounters with the mayor.