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Illinois House candidate was in behavioral health unit; wife sought protective order

Belleville News Democrat

Friday, March 9, 2018  |  Article  |  By Joseph Bustos

Candidates--Legislative (11) Meier, Charlie--State House, 108
The wife of a write-in candidate for an Illinois House district sought a protective order against her husband, saying she had concerns about his mental health and that he spent a few days in a behavioral health unit, according to documents obtained by the Belleville News-Democrat.

Details have emerged on what led to the wife of 108th state House District candidate J. David Parker, of Centralia, to request an emergency order of protection in December. The order of protection request was dismissed when a judge determined there wasn't enough evidence to grant one, according to online court records.

In the petition filed Dec. 22 by Juanita Parker, the wife of J. David Parker, she said she was worried about her husband’s mental condition. The request stemmed from a Dec. 18 confrontation that included an argument with shouting and door slamming, according to her petition.

J. David Parker had consumed alcohol and had taken blood pressure medication at the time, according to the petition. Juanita Parker eventually took her husband to a hospital, and he was later admitted to a behavioral health unit, according to her petition.

J. David Parker on Thursday declined to comment on which facility he was in, but he said he is now in counseling, which includes anger management.

"This was very out of character for me," J. David Parker said.

J. David Parker said the incident happened during the first holiday season since his marriage to Juanita. He had gone into a room and pressed himself against the door.

"I wanted to be left alone, and she was trying to be supportive," Parker said.

In an interview, Juanita Parker said the two were still learning to live around each other.

It was "a lot stress of learning to live with one another and the adjustment period. We did get angry and frustrated with each other."

She wrote a four-and-a-half-page narrative in her request for an order of protection, and said in the interview that she regretted including some information that she said was personal and didn't apply. She added that she did not feel physically threatened at the time.

"Basically I wrote all of my emotional concerns that I didn't have to," Juanita said.

"He's a good husband, and we're working through issues," she added.

In her petition, she wrote that she feared her husband was "unstable," that he "has a lot of anger issues with his ex-wife." During the confrontation, she wrote, he was "drooling and drunk."

If Parker receives at least 500 write-in votes in the March 20 election, he would face the winner of the Republican primary, which features incumbent state Rep. Charlie Meier, of Okawville, and Madison County Board member Don Moore, of Troy.

There are no other Democrats seeking that party's nomination. The general election is Nov. 6.