Naperville man charged with hate crime for swastikas on signs pleads not guilty

DuPage County Sheriff photo of Keith Klingeman man accused of hate crime in defacement of campaign signs
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The Naperville man charged with a hate crime for allegedly putting swastika stickers on the campaign signs of a candidate for DuPage County Board entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment on Thursday.

Charges against Klingeman

Keith Klingeman, 49, appeared before Judge Daniel Guerin in DuPage County Court. Klingeman is charged with two counts of hate crime and one count of criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say last year between Oct. 2 and Oct. 16., Klingeman allegedly placed homemade swastika stickers on two of Patty Gustin’s campaign signs in Aurora. At the time, Gustin was running for a District 5 seat on the DuPage County Board, which she was elected to in November.

On Dec. 9, Judge Jeffrey Mackay issued a $50,000 bond for the incident, with 10% to apply to the warrant. Klingeman turned himself in at the Naperville Police Station that day and was released on bond from custody. 

Klingeman’s attorney says waiting on evidence

Klingeman’s attorney Jason Kunowski said they were still missing some information.  

“We are still waiting on the evidence,” said Kunowski. “(Keith) is entitled to his day in court. And so far, we’ve received no evidence of any kind.”

Gustin at arraignment has faith in the court system

Gustin was present at today’s arraignment. She said people shouldn’t discriminate against those of different backgrounds.

“We need to stop labeling and work with each other,” said Gustin. “I have full faith in the DuPage County court system.”

Klingemen’s next court date was set for March 23.

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