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Urbana Loses FOIA Lawsuit, Judge Rules Improper Denial of Public Records

At a FOIA lawsuit hearing on December 9th, 2020, Champaign County Judge Jason Bohm ruled that Urbana had incorrectly withheld public records and documents related to the alleged retail theft by Illinois State Representative and Chair of Champaign County Democratic Party Carol Ammons. On January 10th, 2020, Urbana Police Department…

Police Chief Finally Acknowledges Violation of Policy During Violent Arrest of Urbana Resident

After more than seven months of internal and external reviews claiming no wrongdoing and clearing all officers involved in the violent arrest of Aleyah Lewis, Urbana Police Chief Bryant Seraphin acknowledged that there was a violation of policy during the incident. Local activists have been voicing their concerns about the…

Urbana Mayor Mutes Speakers for Criticizing Public Officials at City Council Meeting

While chairing the November 9th, 2020 City Council meeting, Mayor Marlin readily enforced a recently passed ordinance regarding public input during public meetings. The ordinance prohibits speakers from addressing elected officials and City staff by name, and shortens public input time. During the public input session of the meeting held…

Urbana City Administrator Continues to Push for Administrative Hurdles to Police Complaints

At the November 2nd, 2020 City Council Meeting, Urbana City Administrator Carol Mitten pushed ahead with her plan to excluded certain types of complaints from the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) appeal process. A week prior, Mitten presented an update on the status of CPRB complaints and appeals. She focused…

Urbana Withholds Records of Illinois State Representative’s Alleged Retail Theft

The City of Urbana and Urbana Police Department have been withholding records and documents related to the alleged retail theft by State Representative and Chair of Champaign County Democratic Party Carol Ammons. On January 10th, 2020, Urbana Police Department was contacted regarding an alleged theft by Ammons at the Carle…

Urbana City Administrator Pushes for Less Civilian Oversight of Police Complaints

At the October 26th, 2020 City Council Meeting, Urbana City Administrator Carol Mitten presented an update on the status of Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) complaints and appeals. For months, numerous residents have voiced concerns about the shortcomings of the CPRB, and the lack of public trust in the complaints…

Community Watchdog Illustrates Fault in Investigation on Violent Urbana Arrest

Local activists have been voicing their concerns about the inadequate investigations into the violent arrest of an Urbana resident. The City of Urbana has maintained a silent stance as these faults have been brought to light (Public i article here). On April 10th, 2020, Urbana Police officers violently arrested Aleyah…

Urbana City Council Passes Ordinance Restricting Public Comment

On October 12th, 2020 City Council passed an ordinance that allows censorship of public comment during meetings. Several of provisions in the ordinance are in violation of the Open Meetings Act as they pertain to content-based regulation of public speech. The passed ordinance can be viewed in full here: Ordinance…

Mayor Marlin Proposes Ordinance to Restrict Public Comment During Electronic Virtual Meetings

At the October 5th, 2020 Urbana City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Diane Marlin put forward a second iteration of an ordinance that would restrict public comment during meetings. Marlin’s proposed ordinance came following her new rules for public input during the September 14th, 2020 Urbana City Council…

Mayor Marlin Proposes Ordinance to Restrict Public Comments

At the September 21st, 2020 Urbana City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Diane Marlin put forward an ordinance amending Urbana City Code, Chapter 2, Section 2-4 (Public Comment During Public Meetings). Marlin’s proposed ordinance came following her new rules for public input during the September 14th, 2020 Urbana…

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