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Champaign Posts False Press Release on COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Just hours after unanimously passing an ordinance that grants “extraordinary powers” to Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen, the City is making efforts to deceive citizens about what was actually voted on. The ordinance that was discussed at Friday morning’s emergency Council meeting contained a list of 30 “orders and regulations”, or…

Champaign Councilwoman Fourman Fearful Mayoral Powers During COVID-19 Pandemic Will Cause Liquor Drought

On Thursday March 12th City of Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen called for an emergency council meeting the following morning. The Council met in full attendance at 9:30am and had significant public attendance, plus at least four news agencies were present as well. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss…

The Champaign Police Review Subcommittee is Nearly Defunct

On March 11, 2020, the Champaign Citizen Review Subcommittee (CRS) held a meeting, but board members had virtually nothing meaningful to say. Once again, the only item discussed during the open portion of the meeting was public input on how dysfunctional and ineffective the police complaint process is for victims…

Lt. Tod Myers to City Council: We Don’t Use SWAT-Team Images for Recruiting

The City of Champaign Police Department has been struggling with declining employment numbers for years. At the 2020 March 10th Champaign City Council meeting, this issue was discussed at length during CPD’s “Police Department Update”. The Department is having trouble attracting applicants, and the primary reason cited by council members,…

Urbana Council Picks Insider William Colbrook to Replace Dean Hazen

CU-Underground recently posted an article which showed that resigning Urbana City Council Member Dean Hazen was attempting to transfer his seat to his “good friend” William Colbrook. In an email dated January 28th, 2020, Hazen assures Mayor Diane Marlin that if she would cooperate with this, “I will continue to…

Assistant City Attorney Laura Hall Violates Her Own Rules on Public Input at Meetings

Just weeks after Champaign City Assistant Attorney Kathryn Cataldo sent out a warning letter about interacting with citizens at public meetings, Assistant City Attorney Laura Hall is already breaking the rules. The letter, which was sent by Hall’s subordinate to all of Champaign’s boards, commission, and subcommittees, advises board members…

Urbana Council Member Dean Hazen Attempts to Transfer Elected Position

CU-Underground is in receipt of some concerning emails between Urbana City Council Member Dean Hazen and Mayor Diane Marlin. In the correspondence, Hazen attempts to directly transfer his own elected Council seat to William Colbrook, a fellow law-enforcement officer, an action which is a clear violation of Illinois State law.…

Champaign Assistant Attorney Kathryn Cataldo Warns Volunteer Board Members Not to Interact With the Public

Champaign, IL Assistant City Attorney Kathryn Cataldo (photo credit: ILDocs.com) CU-Underground is in receipt of a concerning memo which was sent to all of the Champaign Citizens who volunteer their time to work on various boards and subcommittees of the City of Champaign. Targeted boards include the Board of Trustees…

Urbana Police Search Citizens’ Mailboxes “All the Time”

The body camera footage from a recent Urbana Police complaint revealed a rather disturbing act by Officer Collin DeDecker. After a hit & run incident, DeDecker went door-to-door in an effort to identify a vehicle owner. DeDecker was then seen opening and searching inside of a resident’s mailbox without permission.…

Attorney General to City Clerk Charlie Smyth: Urbana is Violating Public Records Laws

We have obtained a copy of a letter from the Illinois Attorney General which indicates that the City of Urbana is in violation of public records laws. The letter, addressed to Urbana City Clerk Charlie Smyth, says that records were improperly withheld by the Smyth’s office in a recent Freedom…

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