Candidate says Worth mayor’s husband verbally assaulted him

  • Written by Joe Boyle

The former mayor of Worth and current candidate for the position filed a complaint with police claiming he was verbally abused by the husband of current Worth Mayor Mary Werner.

Randy Keller, who served as mayor of Worth from 2009 to 2013 before losing to Werner, said he was out campaigning door-to-door and passing out literature at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday along 109th Street and Depot, near Gale Moore Park.

It was at this point, according to Keller, that Steve Werner pulled up along the street in his truck and began shouting obscenities at him. Steve Werner, the mayor’s husband and the president of the Worth Park District, was angry about Keller’s campaign literature, stating the material was a “bunch of lies,” according to police. Keller responded that “the truth hurts” and kept on walking, reports state.

According to Keller, Steve Werner continued to follow him but remained in his vehicle. The mayoral candidate said that Werner continued to follow him just over a half hour.

“I didn’t know what he was going to do,” Keller said. “I was concerned for my safety.”

Keller said that as he approached at 108th Street and Depot Avenue, Erich Werner, the son of Steve Werner, drove up in his vehicle and allegedly approached him. He advised Keller to leave the area.

“You better get out of here (because) my dad is going crazy,” according to Keller in a statement to police. According to police, Erich Werner advised Keller to get into a car and leave. Keller soon entered his friend’s car, which was nearby.

Erich Werner then immediately left the area. Keller said he then noticed that Steve Werner drove north on Depot Street to 107th Street, turned around and continued south on Depot. Keller said Steve Werner drove past him and also left the area.

After the alleged incident, Keller called police from a friend’s home and filed the report. Police reportedly questioned both Steve and Erich Werner about what reportedly happened.

According to police, Steve Werner said that he did shout at Keller regarding the campaign literature, but never threatened him. Steve Werner told police that he never left his vehicle during his contact with Keller.