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June 17, 2024

City of LaHarpe Conducted Secret Meeting –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 1, 2016


On September 26, 2016, the City of LaHarpe decided it would go to closed session to discuss whether or not to send the City Mayor a water bill or to choose not to charge him for it. None of which they have the statutory power to decide, however, they are upset it keeps being brought up at “their” open public meetings, so decided to deal with it in closed session.

The problem is, discussions of this nature cannot occur in closed session, and must be discussed in open session where the public can hear their deliberations.

Video of this portion of the meeting:

It appears from this video that each and every elected official at the table could be guilty of a Class C Misdemeanor for violations of the Open Meetings Act.

It also appears the City needs a new attorney, one that will keep them in compliance with the law instead of assisting them in violating the law.

Atty:I have to do what the board tells me to do

ECWd:Wrong answer

Her comments are the weakest excuse to hold a secret meeting I have ever heard.

Consider this a demand to the City of LaHarpe to release all audio recordings of this illegal closed session.

Citizens of LaHarpe deserve better than this.

Below is the complaint about violation of the Open Meetings Act sent to the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor:

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  • Warren J. Le Fever
    Posted at 16:36h, 01 October Reply

    This is a classic example of what is wrong with local government all over Illinois. These officials should be arrested and taken to court and justice handed out and it won’t happen. We have no law enforcement that will bring wrongdoing officials to justice. If we did, an incident like this wouldn’t happen. Local government is like the roots of a tree. If local government can behave like this, how do you expect officials in Springfield to be better? Good government starts at home with law enforcement that acts when wrongdoing occurs.

    • Ed Pence
      Posted at 17:57h, 01 October Reply

      You are so right Warren. Especially in this county were this Mayor, council and attorney have been aloud to run rough shod over this city since this Mayor took office. Notice the smug look on the Mayor’s face when he reads the agenda item. He knows what the outcome is going to be.

      • Ed Pence
        Posted at 18:01h, 01 October Reply

        May I ask who decides if or not to charge each councilman with a crime?

  • Bart Thompson
    Posted at 18:08h, 01 October Reply

    I’m glad someone else is putting some pressure on the shady acts of this council. Being that I live in La Harpe I’ve been witnessing some of these atrocities for the past 11 months. It’s exactly as Mr. Le Fever stated, certain citizens have already taken numerous complaints to the Hancock County States Attorney and I believe even the Attorney General, with zero results. Law enforcement and attorneys hesitate to get involved unless its a “slam dunk case”. So as I greatly applaud the Watchdogs for their work that they put into this and I hope something will come of it, I will be holding my celebration until I see the resignations laying on the table! THANK YOU WATCHDOGS!!! and good luck.

  • Tim Graves
    Posted at 19:05h, 01 October Reply

    I would like Thank ECWDG for taking a interest in what is taking place in Laharpe. I wish you the best in seeing that justice is served.

  • Mark Finch
    Posted at 21:21h, 01 October Reply

    Thank You ECWDG for getting involved in just one of what I believe is numerous violations. Perhaps with your involvement we will see some justice since we’ve been stonewalled for months on getting answers, or results. The multiplicity of careless and egregious acts against the city of LaHarpe and its citizens will hopefully come to an end with your involvement. They will not listen to us, perhaps they will be more so inclined now. Thank You.

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 11:34h, 02 October Reply

    actually, LaHarpe Trustees, wouldn’t the Mayor be better off if you voted not to collect real estate taxes from him? Really, now, how much is that water bill anyway? If you are going to help with your omniscience, powers and authority, geez, help the guy! And do it, Miss Attorney who represents the best interests of who???

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