Wabash Co, IL. (ECWd) –
Village President (Mayor) of Bellmont, IL., Gary Lance, had previously filed sworn affidavits against five Bellmont, IL. residents in an attempt at securing Orders of Protection against them for the filming of, and for our publishing of, his illegal use of the Village Tractor to spread gravel on his private property earlier this year.
Bellmont Mayor Gary Lance must now pay $5040.00 in sanctions for his frivolous and failed attempt at punishing residents for exercising their rights and doing their patriotic duty to expose his illegal use of the village tractor. The Court used fee recovery provisions of the Citizen Participation Act and those found for prevailing in an Order of Protection to sanction Lance, along with his false testimony.
We have previously written about Gary Lance’s threatening me (Kraft) (here), his locking Trustees out of Village Hall (here), his use of the Village tractor on his personal and private property (here), his filing for the Restraining Orders (here), his pleading the “5th” and lying under Oath in his own case (here), his admitting to perjury and skipping court hearing (here), his flipping a Trustee off at the Village meeting (here), and his confession in court that he lied for fun (here).
Today, the Wabash County Circuit Court issued an Order For Sanctions, signed by Judge Dunn, against Gary Lance stating the following:
- The facts support and the court agrees with Attorney Turpin’s argument and finds that, the Petitioner, without a reasonable belief as to the identity of the person(s) responsible for the acts complained of, and, without making a reasonable inquiry into the underlying allegations, pleaded wanton falsehoods about each and all of the five (5) Respondents
- The verified written allegations against all five of the Respondents were patently false; Petitioner knew or should have known such allegations were false; Petitioner knew or should have known these allegations were false at the time he completed and signed his verified petition and presented testimony to Judge Hudson (at the hearing on Petitioner’s request for an Emergency SNCO) and to Judge Dunn at the hearing on the remaining Petitions (20-OP-29 and 20-OP-32); Petitioner did not complete any let alone a thorough investigation into the facts or his specific verified allegations against any one nor all of the Respondents prior to completing, signing and presenting his verified petitions to the court
- The videos and photos about which Petitioner complained were taken and published (circulated) by an internet journalist, John Kraft of the Edgar County Watchdogs, an internet news website. Petitioner not only should have known this but he did know this when he signed and presented his verified petitions. Indeed, Petitioner confronted and threatened Kraft regarding these photos/videos prior to his completing, verifying/signing and presenting his verified petitions to the court
- Under oath during the hearing on April 16, 2020 and/or at the subsequent sanctions hearing held on July 23, 2020, the Petitioner testified that he proceeded against these three (3) Respondents, not because they had committed any act of harassment or stalking but merely because these three (3) were related to or associated with the other two (2) Respondents
- this court (Judge Dunn) saw and heard evidence from both sides – including the testimony of the Petitioner (Gary Lance), the Respondents (Bill Eblin and Jon King) and of journalist, John Kraft. At the conclusion of such hearing, this court granted Respondents’ Attorney’s motion for directed finding and ruled that there was no basis for a Plenary SNCO, that the allegations of Petitioner in each and all of his petitions were without merit, that John Kraft took/published the photos and videos that were taken from a public roadway or at least a public vantage point where Kraft (and, frankly anyone else had the right to be), and that Petitioner had not been stalked or harassed by any of the five (5) Respondents herein
- The court exercises its discretion and awards attorney fees as an appropriate sanction under both Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 and 735 ILCS 5/1-109, and, the court finds that the Petitioner, Gary Lance, can and should pay/reimburse each and all five (5) of the Respondents for their reasonable and necessary attorney fees. Petitioner, without a reasonable belief as to the identity of the person(s) responsible for the acts complained of, and/or without making a reasonable inquiry into the underlying allegations, pleaded wanton falsehoods about each and all of the five (5) Respondents. Petitioner also testified falsely during the proceedings. The court acknowledges, in mitigation, that Petitioner was not originally represented by counsel, Petitioner did eventually correct his prior-false-testimony, and, Petitioner did apologize at one point during his testimony at the sanctions hearing. Nonetheless, the court exercises its discretion in favor of granting of Respondents’ requests for sanctions/attorney fees
- The court also finds that the Citizen Protection Act authorizes and is a further basis for the granting of the Respondents’ request for sanctions/attorney fees under the facts and circumstances of this case. The court finds that Petitioner’s actions in seeking the SNCO against the five (5) Respondents was an abuse of the judicial process and aimed at intimidating, harassing, or punishing the five (5) Respondents for their involving themselves in public affairs, including their rights to petition, speech, association, and/or to otherwise participate in government. These actions of Petitioner are covered by the letter and underlying public policy addressed in the Citizen Protection Act, and, this is an appropriate basis for the granting of the Respondents’ request for sanctions/attorney fees under the facts and circumstances of this case. The court finds that Petitioner’s actions in seeking the SNCO against the five (5) Respondents was an abuse of the judicial process and aimed at intimidating, harassing, or punishing the five (5) Respondents for their involving themselves in public affairs, including their rights to petition, speech, association, and/or to otherwise participate in government. These actions of Petitioner are covered by the letter and underlying public policy addressed in the Citizen Protection Act, and, this is an appropriate
- Thus, the court enters judgment in favor of Respondent(s) and against Petitioner in the sums requested by Respondents as follows: $1008.00 for each of the five Respondents
Gary Lance should resign, and the new Wabash County State’s Attorney should consider filing criminal charges against him after she takes office in December – not only for his lying under Oath and on sworn court records, but also for his illegal use of the village tractor.
Signed Order For Sanctions below (or here):ORDER FOR SANCTIONS
BMontResidentPosted at 17:49h, 16 November
Mayor needs to resign. No if and or buts about it! Hes a lier and Tyrant.
MMF27Posted at 23:43h, 16 November
Why is he allowed to retain his position? If us “regular” joes/janes did any of that , we’d be fired in a heartbeat….wtf?!?!!
jamiePosted at 08:11h, 17 November
Looks to me like he could be our next Illinois governor….
Anita SweaterPosted at 08:43h, 19 November
What a classy guy!
Cool GuyPosted at 19:58h, 23 November
What’s been going on with Darren Bailey and all the lawsuits against Pritzker? Haven’t heard much. Everybody scared out of their skulls and give up freedoms so quickly. It’s sad…