A strange incident at South Jacksonville’s Village Hall on Friday afternoon results in police being called in after a resident says he wanted to use the building’s copy machine.
Village resident Tyson Manker, a lawyer, tells WLDS-WEAI News he went to Village Hall to make copies of a flyer advertising next Thursday’s board of trustees meeting.
In our investigative series that aired earlier this month on an Illinois State Police investigation into allegations of theft against former village clerk and water clerk Linda Douglass, Mayor Gordon Jumper admitted to state police that Douglass made photocopies of a political flyer for her re-election campaign.
In the report, Jumper is quoted as saying any resident of the community is allowed to make photocopies on the village copier, and that Douglass monetarily reimbursed the village. State police said what Douglass did was illegal because she was using village equipment on village time for political purposes.
With this in mind, Manker says he wanted to make several hundred copies of his flyer and had the cash ready to pay for it. He claims Linda Douglass, now the office manager and treasurer for the village, told him he could have two or three copies made.
When Manker asked what the actual rule was for village residents who wanted to make photocopies, this is how he says Douglass reacted:
“She looked at [a village] employee and said, ‘call the police.’ And I just kind of laughed,” he says.
Jumper wouldn’t go on tape with WLDS-WEAI News, but he told us Manker became “uncooperative” after he was denied access. Jumper says South Jacksonville residents have the freedom to make copies at Village Hall, but that Manker’s request was too excessive.
Manker says he was very taken aback by what happened.
“I left the situation bewildered. I show up to city hall to make copies, and I get the police called on me. It was unbelievable, really,” says Manker.
No arrests were made.
Thursday’s village trustees meeting is at 7 p.m. Manker says he’ll probably speak during a public comment period.