PARIS, IL. (ECWd) -
After a contentious county board study session in January, board member Mike Heltsley decided to attempt to obtain a Stalking, No Contact Order against Rob Bogue. Judge Everhart rightfully denied the OP, stating it was the wrong remedy. the Order and Transcripts of the Court hearing are below.
What Led Up To The Disagreement?
Heltsley's first complaint was that Rob "Jumped" from his seat during a meeting in November and told Heltsley to quit pointing his finger at him. First of all, nobody "jumped" from their seat, and Heltsley doesn't need to be pointing his fingers at anyone during a public meeting. It is not against the law to tell someone to quit pointing their finger at them - but Heltsley must think it is. There is no rule for county meetings stating that people have to remain seated.
The second complaint was a result of what happened during the January meeting and I will run down the timeline obtained from the audio recording I have of this meeting:
-The board spent well over ten minutes discussing a business lease at the airport about a new prospective leaseholder. Personally, I considered the discussions completely out of line and a validation of all of our claims in reference to the airport and the lease situation for more than the past year. Previously, the board had to rewrite a lease "to protect the county". they had been given sample leases from surrounding airports, include Terre Haute's lease, but immediately rejected any discussions of them - but now the Terre Haute lease "has all the bases covered" and they should use it for the new business lease. No more worries about "protecting the county" or anything else. So this validated our argument that the real problem with RSB Aviation and the airport lease was nothing more than an attempt to push him out of the airport - nothing more. Otherwise, why is it so easy to use a new lease now?
-After this insulting discussion, Heltsley swung his chair around, looked at Rob, and said "Mr. Bogue, how much longer do you think those planes will be in the main hangar?". Something Heltsley should have never asked in an open meeting, and Rob responded that "I don't think it's any of your business". Which it wasn't because its the job of the Airport Manager to supervise all activities of the airport. The rent is paid, there is no signed lease with anyone else.
Rob then asked why he even opened his mouth about it. Heltsley then raised his voice and started shouting that "I can say anything I want in here, I'm an elected official", that is when Rob stood up as they were both yelling at each other. Heltsley tried telling Rob to sit down, then told him to get out of the room because of "colorful" language. What Heltsley fails to understand is that he does not have the authority, elected official or not, to tell anyone to do anything during a public meeting. That authority lies squarely on the shoulders of the Chairman and no one else. In this case, the Chairman chose to let it continue - condoning it by his silence.
-The chairman finally regained order after Rob was attempting to answer a question from another board member, in which Heltsley kept trying to interrupt him and cut him off from talking, while Rob rightfully claimed he had the floor and Heltsley didn't have any authority to cut him off. That authority lies with the Chairman and no one else. In this section, the Chairman did stop the arguments and said if it didn't get quiet he would clear the room. It got quiet and stayed that way.
Yes, Rob approached Heltsley during the shouting match, and no it wasn't within an inch or six inches, and there was no threat of physical violence exhibited by either party.
The request for a No Stalking-No Contact Order: Heltsley v Bogue...
Heltsley, claiming need for protection, waited ten full days before filing for an OP. He even stated a claim in the request that Bogue went to Horace Link, where Heltsley's wife works, to ask about putting the reward poster in their window. Is that against the law?
Helsley claims Bogue is "unstable, armed, dangerous, suicidal, and will do violence to plaintiff", and other items that he had absolutely no personal knowledge of. Speculation is that he used these excuses in an attempt at keeping Bogue from attending public meetings in the future because he got his feelings hurt. Did Helstley file a false report? False because if he truly felt Mr. Bogue was armed, dangerous, suicidal and feared he was violent, why on earth would you wait 10 days to take any action?
Here is a question everyone should be able to answer: When did it become "unstable, violent, suicidal, and dangerous" to loudly object to some idiot trying to demand you do something when they have absolutely no authority to make such demands? Especially when that same person was helping to drive the train on the lies, stall tactics, failed evictions and faux lease writings of the past year - and removed from the airport board because of it.
What the brilliant mind of Mike Helstely fails to understand, and its spelled out very clearly in the No Stalking statute, "Stalking does not include an exercise of the right to free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful".
What makes this even more disturbing is the fact this same type of an action was being discussed as a method to stop us from coming to meetings and holding Adonna Bennett accountable.
When the peoples most basic civil rights are impinged upon by elected officials, no matter how minor you think it may be, there is a problem. The 1st Amendment is there for a reason and its high time more people stand up to these elected morons who think they can twist the system to shut you up because they don't like being questioned.
The Transcript of the case - Judge Denied the Order: