- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—South Jacksonville Village trustees went into a closed session Monday night after hearing remarks from the public asking the board to end the nearly two-decades-long relationship between the village and Jacksonville law firm Rammelkamp Bradney.

Following the closed session, Trustee Stacey Pinkerton asked her fellow board members if they could tell the audience of about 20 people what the board discussed during closed session.

“We need to inform everybody of the topic that was discussed,” she said. “I think they need to know what was talked about.”

Trustee Kem Wilson agreed with Pinkerton.

“What we could say is that we know we will have an action item (on the meeting agenda) Aug. 6,” she said. “We don’t have to go into detail. We should say the subject.”

Other trustees disagreed and it was decided informally not to say anything about what was discussed during the closed session aside from noting that the board’s Aug. 6 meeting agenda will contain an action item.

After the meeting was adjourned, Wilson confirmed that the village’s future legal representation was one of several topics discussed during the closed session. She declined to confirm if that will be the subject of board action Aug. 6.

Village Attorney Allen Yow was not present at Monday’s meeting. Attorney Dan Wright with Brown Hay and Stephens of Springfield — the firm hired to serve as special legal counsel for the village’s ethics commission — was seated with the trustees where Yow normally sits.

Earlier Monday, Morgan County Watchdogs site administrator Mike Woodyard released documents relating to the 2014 Illinois State Police investigation into allegations of theft and official misconduct at village hall.

Woodyard said the documents show that Yow “shielded” former President Gordon Jumper and former Police Chief Richard Evans from state police investigators. He also cites a memo delivered to village employees instructing the employees that documents and records requested by the investigators could not be turned over without the “approval and knowledge of (Yow’s) office.”

Also calling for Yow’s removal was Colby Huff, administrator of My Social Jacksonville and creator of an online petition circulated in March that called for the resignations of Jumper, Evans and former Treasurer Linda Douglass.

“I don’t know what other information we need to have brought out to show that (Yow and Rammelkamp Bradney) are not acting in the best interest of the village,” Huff said.

Huff said in recent weeks he has sought the details of a contract between Yow’s office and the village, but found none.

“I was informed that, to the best of Clerk (Dani) Glascock’s knowledge, there is no working agreement (between Rammelkamp Bradney and the village),” Huff told the trustees. “This village and Rammelkamp Bradney have been working for at least the last several years on a ‘gentlemen’s agreement.’ As such, that gentlemen’s agreement can be broken by either party at anytime.”

Reach bcopper@civitasmedia.comBre Linstromberg Copper can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1220, or on Twitter @JCNews_bre.


(c)2015 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.)

Visit the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) at www.myjournalcourier.com

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