Bellmont, IL. (Wabash County) – (ECWd) –
While preparing for an article today, I ended up going to Bellmont, Illinois, a small town in Wabash County with a population of less than 300 residents.
I was threatened by the Mayor and then he called the 911 to report that I was taking pictures of his gravel parking area.
Prior to driving there, I viewed a video taken by a Bellmont resident, showing Mayor Gary Lance using the village’s tractor to spread rock on his private property:
After watching the video, I attempted to call the Mayor several times last night, and once this morning. No answer. Mayor Lance called me this morning asking why I called him. We discussed the tractor use, and he refused to admit the tractor belonged to the village, told me it was none of my business, and then hung up the phone.
He called back a little later to get my name and to ask me why I wanted to know what he was doing with the village’s tractor. I thanked him for admitting the tractor belonged to the village. He told me again it was none of my business and told me not to contact him again or he would pursue harassment charges. Then he hung up the phone.
I considered that conversation an invitation to drive to Bellmont and see the new gravel driveway for myself.
As I was taking photos and video, Mayor Lance drove up and stopped in the road next to me – told me to leave, said he would call the law – then he said “Maybe I outta to get out and jist whip yer ass.”
Watch that interaction in this video:
After the Wabash County Sheriff’s Deputy showed up, he informed the Mayor that I had a right to take photos since I was in a public place – which he then told me that’s what he said to the Mayor.
More articles on Mayor Lance forthcoming.
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FedupPosted at 00:33h, 27 March
I think he was channeling his inner Buford T. Justice.
Madi98GTPosted at 02:25h, 27 March
FOIA the bodycam!
janniePosted at 07:37h, 27 March
The Mayor should be booted out of office. Not only does it appear he’s using public property for private use he’s also threatening the public. So… it makes me wonder, what else is he using for his own benefit and how many other people has he threatened;tried to intimidate so they’ll shut up & just go away when they question something.
DavePosted at 08:36h, 27 March
Just admit it Mayor
D JeanPosted at 09:16h, 27 March
The Mayor does not get hardly any money for all the headaches the job causes. People bug him 24/7. Why can’t he use the tractor, good grief. The man must be jealous. Lol I don’t know either man personally, but people nit-pick people to death. I heard the mayor only gets a few bucks a month for being mayor. Past mayors quit over this kind of thing. No one hardly wants the problems that come with the job. Just saying.
jmkraftPosted at 09:20h, 27 March
Because it violates the Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1(a) and is Official Misconduct, which could be prosecuted as a Felony.
Jean DPosted at 18:09h, 27 March
He is a public servant. lots of people make low wages. He is not entitled to use the tax payers property nor are the tax payers ( who pay his salary) allowed to use tax payers property. There is wear and tear on these machines. when it breaks down, are you willing to pay for the repairs?
Tracey L BakerPosted at 09:51h, 27 March
Unfortunately this goes on all the time it seems more so in small towns. I understand in time of emergency, the firedepartment haspumped out basements during bad rains or using town eqiupment to clear limbs in driveways for same storm. But with that said a public servant no matter position should use public supplies/equipment for personal use or to help
“a friend” it takes money from the taxpayer in wear and tear, fuel, etc. not to mention again the illegality.
D Jean, it is a big deal for all the above reasons. I was on our town volunteer FD for many years but that does not give me the right to use the fire truck to fill my pool )if I had one) or water my yard.
All these small infractions over time can add up to lots of tax money.
Robert O. BoguePosted at 09:51h, 27 March
Wow, is he ever full of himself. Then, because he’s caught red handed, on video, using the Cities tractor on his property; and now caught again being stupid, his defense is to bully, badger, threaten and blame others (for stalking)?
He should be arrested for theft of city property and threating citizens. You know, you could have shown the deputy the video. A resignation isn’t enough. Clearly he knows he shouldn’t be doing stuff like this and he’s gotten away with it before. He needs arrested.
Who would have guessed that Boss Hog lives in Bellmont?
HomerPosted at 11:12h, 27 March
So let’s see you drove 190 miles to see what a small town mayor did ? So you won’t practice stay at home ? How much did your tipper pay ? Must have been nice . You must be real bored . Have you gone to Walmart’s parking lot today looking for gov plates. Yes I’ve seen you drive through the lot looking. Just saw a pheasant go onto county road to get a rock for his crawl maybe you should go check it out !
jmkraftPosted at 11:38h, 27 March
The answers in order asked:
Actually, it was 182.8 miles.
Media is considered essential, therefore, we are exempt from the stay at home practice.
Yes, I am.
We don’t worry about pheasants.
David SomersetPosted at 19:03h, 27 March
“Maybe I outta get out and jist whip yer ass”
Wow! What a wonderful video debut. He’s got it all. Humor, threats of violence and arrogance by a public official. This puff pillow couldn’t whip cream.
But first you have to FOIA the body cam audio-visual of the colloquy between the deputy sheriff and Mayor Lance. Then score the entire video to music with close captioned titles. It might do 5-10 million hits on U-Tube, exposing Mayor Lance as a Rhodes Scholar, and bingo, just like the FBI surveillance recordings of Governor Pritzker, Mayor Gary’s a star in the pantheon of Illinois politicians.
Rory SteidlPosted at 19:28h, 27 March
All but one or two of your posters nailed it. That fat man aught not threaten anyone. His ignorance, along with his presumptuous, vile, and threatening attitude, clearly reveal him to be exactly as he depicts himself: A genuine RUBE.
Little IroquoisPosted at 21:42h, 27 March
That mayor screwed up … he let the Dogs out! Don’t mess with the Watchdogs! Good job guys!!!!
Molly BPosted at 14:47h, 19 April
I’m glad someone else referenced Boss Hog! I was thinking it the whole time! What a clueless old fool, He is making Bellmont a laughingstock. He needs to be removed – and I’d be looking at the 4 who voted for him, too. What kind of judgement do they have? Better than removing him, if he had any sense (which it looks like he doesn’t) he’d resign. He could be prosecuted, though, which might solve everybody’s problem with him. I too wonder how many other people he has threatened or bullied, because he is so obviously a bully.