CRYSTAL LAKE – A day after his firing, Nick Provenzano was elected to another term as a precinct committeeman in Nunda Township.
In the uncontested primary race Tuesday, the 56-year-old former McHenry County Board member – who lost his job as an aide to U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren after a police report surfaced describing a sexual encounter Provenzano had with a 17-year-old boy last year – received 100 votes to win a precinct committeeman seat in Nunda Township’s Precinct 17.
Multiple attempts to reach Provenzano for comment were unsuccessful. Dustin Smith, the attorney named in a McHenry police report, also could not be reached.
Precinct committeemen are characterized in the Republican Party as ambassadors of the GOP – the men and women elected to knock on doors, recruit voters, choose nominees to run for office and push the party’s agenda.
Provenzano has served as a precinct committee member in Nunda Township since the 1990s. There are two ways a precinct committeeman can be removed from a post: if they move out of the precinct where they serve or if they resign.
Republicans in Nunda Township and McHenry County at large have been reluctant to talk about Provenzano’s ongoing role in the McHenry County GOP.
McHenry County Republican Party chairwoman Sandra Salgado declined to comment on Provenzano’s post as precinct committeeman.
Nunda Township’s Republican Party vice chairman Mark Daniel and precinct committeeman Mike Lesperance declined to comment.
Lesperance said Nunda Township’s GOP is slated to meet soon, and Provenzano could be a topic of discussion.
On Oct. 21, a pair of McHenry police officers rolled down a dead-end McHenry street and found an SUV with its headlights turned off, according to a police report.
Inside, they found a shirtless man and a 17-year-old boy. The man in the driver’s seat was Provenzano, according to the report.
They had met on Grindr, a popular gay dating app, the 17-year-old told police.
McHenry police questioned Provenzano about what happened inside the car. He said they were “hanging out,” according to a redacted McHenry police report obtained by the Northwest Herald using the Freedom of Information Act.
Provenzano, who earned a reputation as one of the County Board’s most outspoken conservative members, declined to give police a statement, and he has not been charged with a crime.
The 17-year-old told police the meeting was “sexual” in nature and consensual, according to the report. The age of consent in Illinois is 17.
Hultgren fired Provenzano on Monday.
In August 2016, Provenzano resigned from his District 3 seat on the McHenry County Board to work full time with Hultgren.
Provenzano has served Hultgren, R-Plano, on a part-time basis since 2013 as his senior district representative. His last job in the congressman’s office was as Hultgren’s liaison for McHenry, Lake and DeKalb counties, and working on transportation initiatives for the entire district, which also includes parts of the other collar counties and Kendall County.
Provenzano served 12 years on the County Board, narrowly losing his 2008 re-election bid but winning the 2010 election. He unsuccessfully ran for county clerk in 2014, losing in the GOP primary to fellow County Board member Mary McClellan.