Exclusive: Citizens Arrest Park District Board for Refusing Public Comment

Exclusive: Citizens Arrest Park District Board for Refusing Public Comment

On Tuesday, around 30 citizens attended a meeting of the Clark County, IL Park District Board. Most wished to address the board over several recent controversies and allegations of corruption. In the face of this, the board said a public comment period wasn’t on the agenda and quickly moved to adjourn the meeting. Citizen John Kraft then informed the board that he was making a citizens’ arrest of the members as provided under Illinois state law. 

Illinois law requires public bodies to allow citizens the right to make comments, whether or not the public comments are “on the agenda”. The relevant statute:

Specifically: (5 ILCS 120/2.06) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.06)

Sec. 2.06. Minutes;  right to speak.

(g) Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body.

The failure of the board to allow the public a chance to address the board, even after being informed they were required to, means they have violated the open meetings act.   That particular violation does not qualify as an exemption listed as it pertains to being guilty of a class C Misdemeanor.  That means their actions constitute a Class C Misdemeanor.

Kirk Allen, with Edgar County WatchDogs, which neighbors Clark County, has more information on the relevant laws. 

One Board member left the meeting before Kraft could read the arrest statue. Two board members submitted to the arrest. At that point, the Board’s attorney, who is daughter of the Park Board President informed the remaining board members that they were free to go. She made this recommendation after being shown the statute that authorized the citizens’ arrest. 

Clark County Sheriff Jeff Parsley arrive on the scene and told Kraft and Allen that they were within their rights to make the arrests. Allen told Breitbart News that the Sheriff told him in a subsequent phone call that “you were acting within the scope of the law when facilitating the citizen’s arrest and asking them to submit to custody until the authorities arrived.” The Sheriff also told Allen that he was not the deciding authority but would conduct an investigation and forward the matter to the state’s attorneys office. Parsley has promised to release his report on Monday. 

Below is exclusive video of the entire event. The camera was in plain view of the board members and they understood they were being recording. 

Breitbart News will continue to monitor this development. 


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