Highland Park Ravinia Festival’s CEO Kauffman facing drunk-driving charge
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:36PM
Ravinia Festival CEO and president Welz Kauffman was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence last week, less than a half mile from his Highland Park home and the famed outdoor concert venue.
Kauffman, 51, of the 200 block of Elder Lane, Highland Park, was arrested at 8:46 p.m. June 7 at Roger Williams Avenue and Sheridan Road, Highland Park police reported Monday. In addition to the drunk-driving charge, Kauffman also received an illegal-lane-use citation after police responded to a vehicle accident that Kauffman had called in after striking another motorist.
Deputy Police Chief David Schwarz explained that Kauffman was headed south on Sheridan Road when he sideswiped a vehicle turning left in front of him.
Police said Kauffman registered a .154 blood-alcohol content, nearly twice the legal limit.
Ravinia Festival, which hosted Concert Dance Inc. June 7 in its Bennett Gordon Hall, released the following statement early 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 Robert Krebs, chairman of the Ravinia Board of Trustees. “Both Welz and we recognize that he has an illness, and the Ravinia family will support him as he works to overcome it.”
Kauffman, who was unavailable for comment, was released on his own recognizance with a court date of June 29 at 18 N. County St., Waukegan.