Ravinia President Arrested for DUI

Ravinia chairman says Welz Kauffman will continue to lead the festival.

President was arrested for driving under the influence and improper lane usage last Thursday, according to the Highland Park Police Department.

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Police said he was arrested after they responded to a car accident near the intersection of Roger Williams Avenue and Sheridan Road. Kauffman was released on a personal recognizance bond with a court date of June 29.

Kauffman will continue his role at Ravinia despite the arrest, according to a statement issued by the festival Monday evening.

"For more than a decade the Ravinia Festival has flourished on and off stage under the leadership of Welz Kauffman, and we believe it is in our best interests for him to continue to lead the Festival," said Ravinia Board of Trustees Chairman Robert D. Krebs in a statement. "Both Welz and we recognize that he has an illness, and the Ravinia Family will support him as he works to overcome it."

Highland Park Patch is waiting for more information about the accident and will update this story when we get it.

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Shelly Sella June 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Mr. Welz should have his license removed so that he doesn't kill anyone on the way to his dutiful employer, Ravinia Festival. Ridiculous on both ends.
David Greenberg June 13, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Interesting - did he get the alcohol from the on-site restaurant? Did he pay for it? If not, the City could have a financial interest, since they derive a certain percentage of sales from Ravinia. A one-off situation could be de minimus, but if this is truly an "illness" - maybe it's been going on for a while and it's not financially de minimus. If he's a known alcoholic, the dram shop insurer for Ravinia may take issue with allowing access to the alcohol stocks by this individual. And since he's the President, it's challenging to keep him out even if locks are changed, etc. I'd also be quite surprised if the insurer didn't take issue with him being served alcohol if he was a known or suspected alcoholic. If he owns more than 5% of Ravinia Festival stock, that could also present a problem for Ravinia's liquor license... cf: 235 ILCS 5/6-2 If this has been going on for a while, it makes you wonder how many other people are getting served at Ravinia who shouldn't be, and who are driving while under the influence...Traffic out of and around Ravinia during event nights is already pretty hairy, now it's getting scarey.
David Greenberg June 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM
No actually the person who was arrested for driving under the influence brought this upon himself. I'm merely asking questions that should be asked.


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