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Republican leaders urge Eli Nicolosi to resign

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The spotlight is on Eli Nicolosi as republican leaders call on him to resign as Winnebago County Republican Central Committee Chairperson.

After allegations that Nicolosi verbally abused his wife became public knowledge, leaders say an “unfavorable light” was cast over the WCRCC; and that changes need to be made.

“I believe there needs to be strong direction and leadership,” said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana. “I feel that right now Eli is not providing that.”

Twelve signatures on a letter from republican leaders share one clear message- that Nicolosi step down from as WCRCC Chairperson.

“We’ve got issues and we need to straighten them out,” said Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury. “And they feel like he’s part of the problem and I have to agree.”

The letter also points to an Emergency Order of Protection filed by Nicolosi’s wife, Jennifer, with claims that he told his wife he’d “rather see her dead, than with another man”, and falsely told Jennifer’s father she was suicidal. The order says that Jennifer is ‘”scared about what Eli would do to her”, and she “wants it documented that he’d be investigated if anything happens to her”.

Jennifer Nicolosi has since withdrawn the Order of Protection, and Eli Nicolosi has never been criminally charged.

“With all this stuff going on in the public, I think he just needs to relax and take a deep breath and say lets pass that ball and focus on this,” said Carauana.

Jury says the push back that committee members received from Nicolosi has lead them to have to take this extreme measure.

“Its too bad that has it come to this,” said Jury. “But to be quite honest with you, I think there’s been issues in that position for months.”

Caruana says in no way is the decision a target at Nicolosi, but strictly what is best for the future of the WCRCC.

“100% business decision,” said Caruana. “Nothing personal at all.”

Nicolosi faced accusations of unauthorized expenditures at the WCRCC in the past, which he denied, calling them a “blatant smear” painted by a political opponent to undermine his bid. He is running against long time incumbant, Dave Syverson, for the newly re-drawn 35th District State Senate seat.

Nicolosi says he plans to make his first public comments about the letter calling for his resignation at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 10.

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