UIC: Staffer on leave after bringing handgun to campus

Kathleen Loviscek (Cook County sheriff's office / February 13, 2013)

A University of Illinois at Chicago staffer has been placed on administrative leave after she brought a legally purchased handgun to work because she didn't want to leave it at home while her house was being renovated, a UIC spokesman said.

A judge set bail at $25,000 Wednesday for Kathleen Loviscek, 55, according to the Cook County sheriff's office. She is expected in court again on Feb. 19.

Loviscek, of Westmont, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, said UIC spokesman Bill Burton.
 
“There was no apparent intent or threat,’’ Burton said. “It was never brandished nor was it loaded.’’

Loviscek, an information specialist who works in research administration, was placed on paid administrative leave indefinitely, Burton said.
 
The employee at a UIC building near Polk and Wood streets brought the gun to work Tuesday, and another employee saw it and called police, said Mark Rosati, another UIC spokesman. Initial reports incorrectly said the employee with the gun was a man.

Police were called at 4:30 p.m., and determined that the employee had recently purchased the handgun, and had brought it -- unloaded, and in a case -- to work because the staffer did not want to leave it at home while her home was undergoing remodeling, according to Rosati. The employee had a valid Illinois firearm owner's identification card, Rosati said.

A nearby hospital sent out an alert to employees saying that there was a standoff involving police at the UIC building, but Chicago police and Rosati said no standoff occurred.

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