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February 29, 2024

Village of Lerna tried to ban video cameras at their meeting –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 7, 2015

Lerna, IL. (ECWd) –
Edited with the video at bottom of article…
The Lerna Village Trustee Meeting was held on October 6, 2015.
From the start, even before entering the building, one of the Village elected officials told me if I recorded audio, took any pictures, or recorded video, that he throw me out of the meeting, and if I didn’t leave when asked he would have me arrested.
I stayed the entire meeting while recording video and audio on two separate devices.
About 3 1/2 minutes into the meeting, the acting board president stated that he noticed I was recording and recording was allowed, that the village had the power to say what was done with the recording after I recorded it, and since I was going to post it on youtube he told me to turn the camera off.
That did not happen.
Then the person that threatened me outside the building if I recorded anything at the meeting tried to tell me to leave the room.
That did not happen.
The village board eventually gave up their losing cause and proceeded with the meeting.
A citizen did say he would call the sheriff department, and I gave him the phone number, but he never called.
The learning experience these local public officials should take away from this is:
Any person has the statutory right to record audio, record video, and take pictures, at every open public meeting. The only rules a public body can place on that right is to designate a particular place for setting up cameras, and it must be a REASONABLE rule. If handheld devices (cell phone, etc) are used, those placement rules do not apply. The eavesdropping law specifically exempts recording at open public meetings – meaning no permission or notification required. Record at your leisure at an open public meeting.
Other “useful” statement I heard that night: “This meeting is only an open meeting to the village residents” and “the State’s Attorney told us we could make you shut the camera off” and “I’ll call the sheriff department” …the night was filled with comedy!
Video of this exchange of ideas will be added to this article when I can finally get it uploaded.

In the meantime…he wanted to stand in front of camera:



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  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 21:52h, 07 October

    NO video………it didn’t happen!

  • Jim
    Posted at 00:11h, 08 October

    good job guys, keep it up, maybe the people on the Lerna village board need to read the laws before running for an elected position

  • Kevin
    Posted at 00:37h, 08 October

    LMAO. I guess you CAN FIGHT IGNORANCE after all!

  • Mike Rekart
    Posted at 05:12h, 08 October

    Wow! That is crazy! Keep up the great work fellas!

  • Dave
    Posted at 06:51h, 08 October

    The little town of Lerna certainly has a high opinion of itself…. LOL, good grief!

  • Dave
    Posted at 07:00h, 08 October

    That foolishness on the video only begs the question; just what are they trying hide!

  • John Slagel
    Posted at 09:32h, 08 October

    My goodness, I hope those trustees do not get re-elected! What a disgrace to their position.

  • Philo Beddoe
    Posted at 09:53h, 08 October

    Another “tough guy”. A relative of the mayor, perhaps?

  • Philo Beddoe
    Posted at 09:56h, 08 October

    They can set the rules as they go according to the complete moron just off camera.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 10:06h, 08 October

      LOL – Yeah, “and you have to do what they say” LOL