Feds probe mom’s ‘threat’ vs. Obama
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2010 8:58PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
“It’s not like I’m gonna kill the (expletive) president.”
The words of a bloodless, would-be assassin? Or the words of a middle-aged waitress from Naperville at her wits’ end over the alleged bureaucratic bungling that has probably dashed her daughter’s plans for a yuletide wedding?
Officials of the U.S. Secret Service aren’t saying what action, if any, they intend to take against Sue Velazquez for her dubious referencing of President Obama during her 19-month-long effort to secure her daughter’s certificate of citizenship.
Velazquez, a 52-year-old mother of three, lives near Naperville’s Will-O-Way neighborhood. She works as a waitress at a family-style restaurant on the city’s northeast side.
Her nine-word diatribe came toward the end of a recent telephone conversation with a civil service worker who deals with passport issuance. It prompted two Secret Service agents to interrogate her Tuesday morning at the Naperville police station.
Velazquez traces her trouble back to May 19, 2009. That was when she began trying to secure passports for her now-16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son for a planned trip to Mexico.
All four members of the family are U.S. citizens, but after Velezquez went into premature labor in 1994 while visiting Mexico, her daughter ended up being born there. “That makes her an American citizen who happened to be born in Mexico,” Veaezquez said.
Representatives of the U.S. Department of State/U.S. Passport Agency told Velazquez she would have to relinquish her daughter’s certificate of citizenship before her passport could be issued. Velazquez said she turned over the certificate and paid just more than $513 in passport-related fees.
Velazquez said she has been waiting ever since for the passports to be issued and the certificate to be returned.
She sent a letter Aug. 10 to the state department’s office in downtown Chicago, “asking them to please relinquish my daughter’s certificate of citizenship.”
Getting the document back is crucial because Velazquez’s daughter earlier this year announced her intention to be married, ideally by Christmastime.
“But I cannot get her a marriage license” without the certificate, Velazquez said.
That quest recently led Velazquez to a state department support office on Naperville’s far west side. She recalled being alternately calm and angry during her telephone conversation with a worker there, who told her she needed to download a form from her computer and then fill it out and submit it.
“I said to him, I said, ‘Sir, I can’t even get an appointment to get my paperwork back’” concerning the passports and certificate of citizenship, Velazquez said in frustration.
“And then I said, ‘It’s not like I’m gonna kill the (expletive) president.’”
Secret Service notified
The support office worker apparently told his supervisors about their conversation. The supervisors, in turn, apparently notified the Secret Service.
A man who identified himself as a Secret Service agent called Velazquez Tuesday morning on her telephone, informing her he was standing outside her home on Palace Street in Aurora.
“I said to him, ‘Well, then you’re stupid, because I don’t live there. I live in Naperville. I’ve never in my life lived in Aurora.’”
The agent placed two more calls to her before apparently contacting Naperville police, whom Velazquez said gave her “a three-car escort to the police station.”
She, the agent and a second agent then spoke there in an interviewing room.
A terse, written Naperville police report indicated officers responded at 7:14 a.m. Tuesday to Velazquez’s home to “assist federal law enforcement.”
Police Sgt. Gregg Bell on Wednesday confirmed Velazquez was in the police station a short time later, although police are not involved in the case.
Derrick Golden, assistant to the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Chicago office, on Wednesday would not say whether Velazquez is the focus of an investigation or potentially faces criminal charges. “The Secret Service at this time declines to comment,” Golden said.
‘Waste of time’
Velazquez said the ordeal has left her both frightened and livid.
“I was up all night with colitis,” she said. “I’m 52, but right now I’m 102.”
“When (the agents) asked for my driver’s license, my hands were literally shaking. And then they wanted me to sign a medical release, and I said, ‘You can kiss my (expletive.)’”
“The Secret Service acted like I wanted to kill Obama,” Velazquez said incredulously. “I told (the agents) ‘You’re wasting your time and our taxpayer money in this economic time on this BS?’”
“And I really wish I could get some help from somebody with the passports and certificate of citizenship. I’ve sent repeated letters to the passport office starting in August of this year, asking them to please relinquish those papers. Right now, I can’t even get (my daughter) into a driving school,” much less obtain a marriage license, she said.
“But I am a straight-up person and I talk straight from the hip,” Velazquez said a bit defiantly of her dealings with federal officials. “And you can’t take that away from me because I live in America.”