August 24, 2016 · 7 Comments
CHATHAM, IL. (ECWd) –
Chatham Mayor Tom Gray, also President of the Illinois Municipal League, decided he didn’t like a citizen telling him she would fire him if it were up to her.
During the August 23, 2016 village board meeting, a resident told the board that she would personally fire 3 or 4 of them for acting like idiots (concerning the alleged contaminated water issue) – that’s when Gray decided it was a “personal attack” and shut off her comments, calling for the next person.
We believe this to be a violation of the Open Meetings Act (and her First Amendment rights) by restricting the content of her speech because it hurt their feelings and he didn’t like what she said.
In WSDR v. Ogle County, the Court referenced an Illinois Attorney General Opinion which said in part:
“…public officials are subject to criticism for action they take. . . and anyone who undertakes a public office should be aware that his actions will be subject to criticism. Anyone who is unwilling to subject himself to such criticism by the public should not accept public office or membership of a public board…”
Maybe it is time for Mayor Gray to resign if he can’t take the heat.
Watch the exchange below:
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