Clark Co., IL. (ECWd) –
During the Special Meeting last night, the Clark County Park District had three “security” employees present. Normally this would not have been an issue, however, since this is the first meeting after employee Mike Church decided to berate meeting attendees, is has become an issue.
So Church decided to show up with more “security”, although it was not clear whether they were there in their official capacity or simply there wearing their colorful Park Security shirts as a member of the public.
This could be viewed as an attempt at intimidation it if wasn’t so laughable. They stood in the back of the room the entire time.
As soon as the meeting was over, I went to where my audio recording device was located and was in the process of turning it off when Board Chairman Ewing asked me if I was recording, and I said that I was. He then preceded to go on ranting about how I should let everyone at the meeting know I was recording and that it was considered eavesdropping if I didn’t.
I tried to reason with him, but it became somewhat obvious that Mike Church had complained about my recording him at the last meeting (in this article) and was using that to deflect any disciplinary actions against him by claiming I was violating the eavesdropping law.
So later last night, to set the record straight, I emailed Ewing the exception on the law that I tried telling him was there.
It specifically states exactly what I was trying to inform him of, that recording an open meeting is a right, and no notice or permission need be stated or obtained in exercising that right:
(720 ILCS 5/Art. 14 heading) Illinois Criminal Code
ARTICLE 14. EAVESDROPPING
(720 ILCS 5/14-3)
Sec. 14-3. Exemptions. The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this Article:
(e) Recording the proceedings of any meeting required to be open by the Open Meetings Act, as amended;