SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Community leaders around Illinois are responding to comments a state representative’s brother put on social media.
Brad Halbrook represents the 102nd District, which covers parts of Central Illinois.
On a post allegedly referring to looters, someone wrote baiting is illegal in the state to which Brian Halbrook responded, “That’s why u can’t hunt ’em in a watermelon patch either.”
His brother, Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), is a member of a group known as the Eastern Bloc. Members of the group have called for Chicago to become its own state and filed a lawsuit against the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Rep. Halbrook said his brother’s comments do not reflect his views. He said in a comment:
I have had some conversations with my brother about his social media posts, and I have expressed my deep concerns about the nature of those comments to him. Having said that, he is a private citizen and not an elected official. Unfortunately, because I am his brother and I hold an elected office, he has become a target.Representative Brad Halbrook
Representative Chris Welch (D-Hillside) said Representative’s Halbrook’s behavior in recent years has not been conducive to the social climate in the state. “As elected officials in our perspective communities, we have a voice. People look to us to set the tone. Representative Halbrook has been very divisive in his rhetoric to divide the state and many of the policies that he is proposing,” Welch said.
Halbrook’s brother was a vice chairman on Shelby Electric Cooperative’s board when he posted the comment. The company said Halbrook’s comments were very offensive and they plan to take appropriate action. The state chapter of the NAACP is calling on Halbrook to go now.
“He needs to be fired,” said Illinois NAACP President Teresa Haley. “I mean, if this co-op is going into organizations and people’s homes, that’s not the type of person we want representing our companies and our businesses throughout the United States. In terms of his brother being a state representative, hopefully he will have a real conversation with him because he’s here to represent all citizens, especially those in your district, and the last thing we need is someone inciting a riot or racism.”
Shelby Electric released their statement reacting to Halbrook’s comments Wednesday. Late Thursday afternoon, CEO Jason Shallenberger told WCIA: “The matter regarding the personal comments posted on the personal social media account of a Shelby Electric Cooperative board member has been resolved. The individual has resigned from the board effective immediately.”