CLARK COUNTY, Ill. – Illinois citizens are taking matters into their own hands and bringing politicians to justice.
NBC 5 reports members of a watchdog group recently placed an entire parks board under citizen’s arrest after it repeatedly broke state law.
The parks board wasn’t allowing public comment on its agenda or other issues, in violation of state law.
“Around 30 people showed up at a Clark County Park District Board meeting in May, hoping to speak openly about recent park-related controversies. After most sat through a 2-1/2 hour closed session, the board returned to open session only to inform the crowd that they would not be allowed to speak to board members,” NBC 5 reports.
John Kraft, a leader of a group called “Illinois Leaks,” had had enough and he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He announced the members of the board were under citizen’s arrest and asked someone to call 911 to get a sheriff’s deputy.
“Board attorney Kate Yargus could be heard on You Tube video saying there would be no public comment that night, and told the board members they were ‘free to go,’ even after Kraft’s citizen’s arrest announcement,” the news station reports.
But when the sheriff himself arrived, he agreed with Kraft’s interpretation of the law, not the lawyer’s.
“It’s not that they should have [allowed comment]. They’re mandated to,” Clark County Sheriff Jerry Parsley said. “The people need to have their voice. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy.”
Kirk Allen, another leader of Illinois Leaks, filed a lawsuit aimed at forcing the government board to follow the law.
“Allen said the lawsuit was necessary, and both he and Kraft say since an Open Meetings Act violation is technically a misdemeanor, they’d welcome criminal charges against the board as well, although he admits it’s unlikely,” NBC 5 reports.
See Kraft’s video of the whole episode here: