Tinley Park, IL. (ECWd) –
In Tinley Park (a southwestern suburb of Chicago), a local resident named Christy Heins has been caught on video harassing a reporter who has been covering the story about the local Village government engaging in shady and questionable dealings with zoning issues.
Megan Fox was the first reporter on the scene and has been filming a documentary of all the twists and turns at each Board or Planning Commission meeting. She has been interviewing local residents as more information keeps being uncovered that points to impropriety in Tinley Park’s Planning Department.
We reported on Fox’s ongoing documentary and findings so far here and here. You can watch her ongoing real time documentary, currently up to Episode 25, here.
Video of Christy Hein’s harassing, intimidating, and bizarre behavior is here:
Megan Fox has so far been the only reporter to address the corruption angle in this story, focusing her documentary on catching Tinley Park officials in lies and demanding answers from Board members about what they knew and when they knew it. Another government watchdog, Kevin DuJan, has also now caught the Village of Tinley Park in what appears to be several Open Meetings Act violations that are now being reviewed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. These stem from the Village Board and its attorney (Thomas Melody of the firm Klein Thorpe Jenkins) demanding people who wished to speak during public comment give their names and addresses before they were allowed to speak on 2/2/16 and 2/4/16.
With a police officer standing by her side, a Village employee also demanded that anyone who spoke at the meeting write down their names and addresses on a clipboard when the Open Meetings Act does not allow for a government body to be doing this (let alone with an armed police officer intimidating the public while this is happening). Additionally, at the 2/4/16 Planning Commission meeting, the Village restricted the speech of people who wished to address the Board by not allowing the public to address questions, thru the village board, to the Village Planning Director Amy Connolly, who is a member of the Planning Commission. The OMA does not allow for a public body to restrict who the public wishes to address during the public comment portion of a public meeting.
If the public wanted to question Connolly, who was in attendance and a member of the Planning Commission, then the Village had no legal right to restrict speech and censor the public and prohibit anyone from asking Connolly questions. Connolly had the right to not answer questions and to not speak, but the Village appears to have violated the Open Meetings Act by telling the public it could not ask questions posed directly to Connolly.
Over the last few years, DuJan has successfully challenged the firm Klein Thorpe Jenkins in Orland Park, where the Attorney General handed down multiple determinations that the Village of Orland Park and the Orland Park Public Library had repeatedly violated the OMA and the Freedom of Information Act. Because of DuJan’s watchdog efforts, both the Village of Orland Park and its Library were forced to remove illegal restrictions from their various policies that had made it harder for the public to obtain information or address concerns with these public bodies. It is likely that DuJan will prevail against the Village of Tinley Park and Klein Thorpe Jenkins here as well.
Clearly, the Village of Tinley Park’s actions of late are a newsworthy story of great public interest, which is why Fox is covering the story. This is exactly the sort of reporting that local watchdog groups follow and Fox’s ongoing documentary series has proved popular on YouTube.
Tinley Park resident Christy Heins, who is an Admin for a closed Facebook group restricted to just “real residents of Tinley Park” (whatever it means to be a “real resident” according to that group), attended the 2/16/16 Village Board meeting, after which she charged up to Fox and began shouting at her. A policeman had to intervene and ask Heins to stop. The video speaks for itself, as Fox repeatedly asks for Heins to back off and allow this reporter to do her job. Heins can be heard demanding to know where the reporter lives and harassing and intimidating Fox, which prevented this reporter from conducting the interviews with meeting attendees that she was filming for her documentary.
We have encountered this kind of phenomenon ourselves, almost everywhere we go, when we attend public meetings and report on public corruption around our state, where people like this Christy Heins character take it upon themselves to decide that “outsiders” are not entitled to participate in First Amendment protected activity on “their turf.”
We question the true motives of anyone such as Heins who tries to silence a reporter or scare away or intimidate a watchdog from covering the activities of a public body such as the Village of Tinley Park and its Planning Commission.
Whether Christy Heins likes it or not, Megan Fox has the right to make her documentary and report on this story.
If you didn’t know any better, it would make you wonder whose side someone like Christy Heins is on if she is trying to stop the documentary that is exposing all of the Village’s bad deeds with this housing project debacle. Since the corrupt people in the Village also don’t want their misdeeds being reported, it would appear that Christy Heins is on their side in also wanting to shut this documentary down. Was that her plan from the beginning?
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Tinley ResidentPosted at 18:42h, 22 February
That’s fantastic. Ms Heins is clearly a unstable individual and should seek professional help. She very obviously has no understand of the law, or the First Ammendment. There is no expectation of privacy in a public location, and anyone could film her. She was probably on multiple security cameras just walking in the building. If anything, she could of been charged with disorderly conduct and harassment. The police officer could of done a better job, but he was acting as a peace keeper as low key as possible, so I can understand that.
Good job ECW, keep up the good work!!
ColleenPosted at 19:15h, 22 February
This sickens me. I am embarrassed for Christy. She needs help. She is out of her depths. In America you cannot shout at someone to stop filming or to stop being a reporter. I don’t know what she was thinking doing this. I am embarrassed for her family to see this. I also am concerned that the police had to tell her to stop. This means she does not know when to stop on her own. I am praying that her husband or someone takes her to the side and tells her to stop. Because the next stop for her looks like it will be jail if she keeps doing this. Christy brought shame on herself.
BeeLadyPosted at 19:24h, 22 February
This one is not right in the eyes. Who does she think she is? Who died and made her the queen of everything. I’d like to see her credentials!
Jack D.Posted at 21:42h, 22 February
Where do you guys find this stuff? Every day its soething else outrageous in Illinois. When will the public be embarassed enough to stop this crap? I’m so tired of living in a state that is a joke. Keep up the good work, guys. HOpefully one day people will learn.
ScottPosted at 17:06h, 23 February
Jack, the problem is our local government is not doing what they we’re elected for which is the keeping the best interests for the people of Tinley Park! What would be embarrassing to the public is to let the elected trustees do what ever they wanted and destroy our town!
DeenieMariePosted at 21:45h, 22 February
I was at this meeting and I saw that nut throw a fit. I hope she’s too ashamed to come back to another meeting. She really makes us look stupid. She spoke that night too and had nothing to say. We were trying to hold the board accountable for wrongdoing and she got up and complained about not being able to hear and that she didn’t get picked for some committee. People were booing her and telling her to sit down and shut up. Maybe she should take a hint and go back to watching the Kardashians.
JoannaPosted at 21:52h, 22 February
I am not a fan of Ms. Fox or her style of reporting. I find her to be shrill and unpleasant and uncivil. I am offended by her brand of coverage. That being said, over the years she has produced results. I find it troubling that Ms. Heins would think she can do what she did to a reporter, even a reporter who is not a favorite of mine. I can do without Ms. Fox in our area and wish her career would take her to another beat besides local government in the SW suburbs, but it appears that she has stumbled onto a big story in Tinley. I believe in the Constitution. I believe in free speech. I believe in a free press and whether I like it or not Ms. Fox is a member of the press. It is reprehensible what Ms. Heins did in that video. I hate having to agree with Megan Fox on anything but I must stand with her on this issue. Ms. Heins is lucky she was not ticketed for disorderly conduct because she easily could have been. She crossed a line. She disturbed the peace. Hers was not civilized behavior acceptable to me.
Ashley HarringonPosted at 13:08h, 23 February
Why does the harassment continue on this certain individual? There’s so much left out in this article, so one sided, and it’s sad that you can’t let things go. This is coming from someone on both of Tinley’s page who has witnessed it all go down. What started as a simple question/concern from Christy (one that many people had) has turned into this. Pathetic. Stop spending so much time on a parody page – maybe try making a good difference in the world.
lawyerlyonePosted at 21:05h, 28 February
Why is this one individual being harassed? (and I mean the reporter). That’s a good question. I saw this so called “parody” page you’re complaining about and the author isn’t the reporter so what does it have to do with anything? the page say its written by a gay guy so why are you blaming Meagan Fox? Is this Christy Heinz? “what started as a concern”???!!! wow. that’s a stretch. Is it “a concern” to continually post lies about someone in a public forum and links to videos with crazy people screaming about taking away a reporters children for having an opinion on something when you’ve been asked to stop? the so-called concern was really just character assassination. And why? the reporter is doing a good job covering the transparency problem in Tinley Park. i don’t care if she made videos sitting on cakes for fun in the past, the ones she’s making now are interesting and important. Why does this woman want to stop her? whose side is SHE on? she brought up all this crap from some other story meagan worked on that has nothing to do with anything and years old youtube comedy videos? Who cares? those of us in Tinley Park just want to stop Buckeye and this idiot thinks the reporter is the real problem. Make sure you keep her off the board! She’s not very bright!
Over ItPosted at 15:35h, 23 February
How is this news? I am so sick of hearing about this issue between these two women. I feel like reporters probably encounter a lot of eccentric behavior in their line of work so I’m confused as to why this article is even written. It seems like a personal issue between the two of them and everyone should grow up and act like professional adults. All this is doing is reflecting negatively on the village and people within.
lawyerlyonePosted at 20:44h, 23 February
It’s news because this is America and not Thailand where reporters go missing in the dead of night because someone in power doesn’t like what they are digging into. If this woman didn’t want to be a news story she shouldn’t have tried to silence and intimidate a reporter working on a corruption story.
Tinley Home OwnerPosted at 16:39h, 23 February
As a Tinley resident, I would of never known about this if if was not for ECW. That is exactly why we need people like ECW to report on this stuff! If you don’t think this is news, then you’re either numb to behavior like this or just near sighted. If this individual will openly harass and make a scene to a reporter like this, what are they doing behind closed doors? What are they posting on websites and Facebook when they really don’t hold back?Further, every time her name is Google’d, this article will pop up. Good luck on future job interviews. If you choose to act like a fool, you deserve everything you have coming.
Tinley MomPosted at 17:04h, 23 February
I respectfully ask JMKraft to please take this article down. I have known Christy personally for several years and our boys play together. This is not the Christy that we know and love. You are not seeing the real her. I do not see what “reporting” on this accomplishes. To shame Christy? She knows she made a mistake and is embarrassed. Her husband is upset and ashamed. Christy is not a bad person but has problems. She needs help and not your scorn. You don’t know the issues and problems people have and it is not fair to judge them without knowing. It is clear Christy needs help and Mike is going to get her that help. Everyone else should mine their own business.
Not Buying the B.S.Posted at 14:06h, 25 February
Bullsh*t. She walked into the situation willingly and deserves everything she has coming to her as a result. She did not appear embarrassed or contrite for one single, solitary second during that video. If “She knows she made a mistake and is embarrassed” then let her come forward and offer a public apology for her actions. Otherwise let the chips fall where they may.
Billy RayPosted at 11:39h, 28 February
How can you defend this? Not the real her? Cmon we all know without knowing this woman that this is who she is.
BulldogmomPosted at 23:27h, 23 February
I watched the video a few times. WGN brought me here. Had to think about how I feel. What I saw was the blonde woman (presume CH) clearly come over to start crap. Not cool. CH instigated conflict. CH then shouted for police and tried having MF arrested for videoing in public space. Not cool. I ignored the text and just watched listened. Facts are easy to see. CH is quick with lies and jumps from one thing to another trying to take MF down. CH is at fault. Cop saw it too. No right to demand credentials or try to shut off another person camera. Not OK. Newspapers dying every day. Get with program because newspapers won’t exist in 5yrs. Stupid to think newspaper is only kind of reporter. TV radio online NPR all kinds of reporter besides newspaper. Get real and grow up and stop trying to control what others do. Who died and put CH in charge of everything? CH is control freak bully. Video is proof.
Not SurprisedPosted at 16:23h, 24 February
Christy is a neighbor of mine in Fairmont Village. Let’s just say that nothing she does in this video surprises me from her. I am happy someone finally got her on tape. Maybe she will tone herself down so we all can benefit. Would make for a nicer summer. Fingers crossed.
MarkPosted at 00:10h, 25 February
This woman has quite large following and a facebook feed that she controls. When the members of her group are not bad mouthing others or making a Megan Fox supporter list, they have talked of aspiring to get people from their click onto Tinley Park Board of Trustees. would not be good.
MMAMomPosted at 17:32h, 25 February
I read the sorry not sorry post that Christy made about this on her RRTP page and rolled my eyes. She tried to get ahead of this and admit she ‘lost her s***’ as she put it and embarrassed herself. I give her credit for trying. She is an inventive liar and do not underestimate her. She said she was ashamed of her behavior but then talked about how it was wrong for anyone to put this video up. She is incapable of accepting responsibility and ever truly saying sorry or admitting she is wrong. I have known Christy socially for years because our families are both in MMA. I feel like she badgered everyone in her email contacts to join RRTP. This felt like how we were all badgered to buy doTerra from her when she started pushing that stuff hard last year. She would not stop harassing me about doTerra. I had to block her from my contacts. If it is not one thing it is another with Christy. She is not sorry she did this to Meghan but she is sorry she got caught. Christy is someone I wish I didn’t have to know but my son loves MMA and so I have to see her and smile. I am glad this side of Christy is caught on video and posted because she has come at me like this before over various things and it is nice having this video to refer to when I need to show people how bad Christy can be. This article is a public service and I am grateful to whoever wrote it. Bookmarking it and favoriting.
Mom22Posted at 13:27h, 26 February
I would love to see that apology. How could anyone defend what the village is doing? Are people that ignorant of the facts? Does she not know she’s leading the sheep to the slaughter? I hope it’s not too late for these sheeple.
CheerMomPosted at 13:34h, 28 February
I came here from a link on another article. A lot has been said already but I want to comment on the ‘this is not the real Christy’ comments I see. Maybe you know a different Christy from me. What is in this video is accurate for the Christy I know. Several years spent with daughters in cheer together showed me this Christy plenty. I know this Christy well. I am happy to hear there is another version of Christy out there that some lucky people know but the Christy in the video is the Christy I had to deal with. This is the Christy that made cheer less fun for my daughter. This is the Christy I will always remember. I never met the other Christy.
Justin TPosted at 15:06h, 28 February
Sorry to sound like a jackass but where does CH get her drugs because she looked like she was high or drunk. I have lived in tinley park for almost 20 years and it’s idiot’s like her that screw things up. Also why would someone want this post removed, clearly this woman made her decision when she stepped in front of the camera and made a fool of her self.
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
SparkfirePosted at 12:05h, 05 March
I am horrified that this woman has launched an attack on not just a reporter but now one of the COTP founder’s wives in a vicious and unfair smear job online trying to destroy her reputation. It is clear to me now that she is working for the Zabrocki old guard and will do anything to stop the people of tinley park from changing the guard from the old business as usual crowd to people who actually care about taxpayers. Im sick of it. Chicago politics is alive in Tinley Park and it’s time to stop it.
BackoffPosted at 14:06h, 05 March
Christy Heins is nothing more than a low life piece of pond scum everyone should piss on. These kind of people have one thing in common. Their life is so miserable they want everyone to join them.
Jamie GPosted at 22:31h, 05 March
I didn’t want to get involved in this but now i feel i have to. What that RRTP group is doing is terrible All they do is fight and bash people.Tey try to stop people from doing things to help stop BCHP. We should all have the same goal but they just want to fight and start stuff. Enough. Now today we find out zabrocky is behind this and has been part of it from beginning. Should of know this. A lot makes sense now. If Christie ever reads this you should be shamed for yourself. You are a bad person Christie. Does BCHP pay you?
UNION STRONGPosted at 00:27h, 06 March
WHO IS PAYING CHRISTY TO CHASE AWAY REPORTER???? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FIREMAN FROM VILLAGE IN CHRISTY GROUP ATTACKING CTP????? WHY CANT YOU SEE THIS WAS SETUP FROM BEGINNING TO MAKE IT HARDER TO FIND THE TRUTH> SEAMAN IS CROOK WHO DOESNT” WANT TRUTH TO COME OUT. HOW MUCH IS CHRISTY GETTING PAID TO BE FLY IN OINKMENT IN ALL THIS????????
Mom22Posted at 23:55h, 07 March
Sometimes all it takes to get someone to perform the way you want is to stroke their ego. I believe Christy and Amy Connolly fit that mold. A weak and feeble mind is perfect fodder for evil doers.