COLLINSVILLE, IL. (ECWd) -
What does it say about a Mayor that cannot sit there and listen to a citizen exercise his right to address the council during a public meeting?
Mayor John Miller committed a criminal Class C Misdemeanor during Collinsville's City Council meeting on July 11, 2016 by not allowing comments he deemed critical of himself. After a citizen started addressing the council, he was talking about a former councilman and said "the Mayor said he was corrupt a year ago" - and almost immediately Mayor Miller gaveled him down and told him he was done and could make no further comments.
Apparently feeling guilty about something to begin with, Mayor Miller misunderstood the comment, thinking he was calling the mayor corrupt, which even if he did call the Mayor corrupt, was still protected speech and made during a public meeting where citizens have the statutory right to address the council.
We are not sure what occurred during the abruptly called recess, but when they came back, the citizen resumed his comments. We do not know whether he was coerced into changing what he had planned on saying or not, but the point we are making is that this Mayor did not have the right to prohibit the comments he prohibited, he committed a crime when he did, and he should be prosecuted.
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