Musician seeks order of protection against Gerard; mayor denies accusations

Musician seeks order of protection against Gerard; mayor denies accusations

CHAMPAIGN — A new filing asking a judge for an order of protection against Champaign Mayor Don Gerard alleges the mayor harassed a musician during a volunteer event on Saturday.

Jim Bean, a Champaign musician, says he was in the middle of a song during the event when Gerard allegedly approached Bean and accused Bean of harassing Gerard's daughter.

Bean said the argument escalated to the point where Gerard called the police, but no one was arrested and no charges against either Bean or Gerard were filed. A summary police report only lists that "subjects (were) accusing each other of harassment — no arrests."

The Saturday afternoon incident took place during Boneyard Creek Community Day, when participants volunteered to pick up trash near the creek. Bean said the Champaign Park District had asked him to volunteer to provide entertainment during the event.

Gerard vehemently denies Bean's accusations and said Bean "wants attention. That's what he's doing."

"The guy's a sociopath," Gerard said.

In an interview with The News-Gazette on Wednesday, Gerard accused Bean of "cyberbullying" his daughter when she was 14. He said Bean made "inappropriate advances" and posted derogatory comments about his daughter on social networks.

Bean denies that he ever harassed Gerard's daughter and said he has "no idea where that came from."

"That is just so not me, anyone who knows me," Bean said. "I don't know Don's daughter. I would never harass Don's daughter."

Gerard said his daughter wants the situation to go away, and the mayor said he is nervous for his family.

"The guy's crazy," Gerard said. "The police have been monitoring his social networks for six months."

Gerard's version of the story has the mayor walking past Bean while Bean was playing music — he said Bean was the one to first yell a comment, and Gerard told him to "back off."

Gerard said Bean stopped playing "to make a point," and the argument escalated from there.

Gerard said he had his hands up in a "defensive position" during the argument, and the mayor said his comments toward Bean were a matter of defending himself.

"At some point, you get pushed and pushed," Gerard said. "I'm a public figure, but that doesn't mean I can't defend myself."

Gerard pointed out that he was the one who called police. The police did not issue citations or charges against either of the two.

"They just decided to leave it be," Gerard said. "I said I just want to be left alone."

Bean was scheduled for an initial hearing on his request for a stalking/no contact order on Tuesday morning, but the case was thrown out because Bean filed the wrong paperwork. He filed new paperwork the same afternoon and has another hearing Wednesday morning.

Christie Singer, who was at the event with her teenage daughter and her daughter's friend, said she plans to file a letter with the court supporting Bean's accusations. She said Bean and Gerard were standing nose to nose at one point.

"Jimmy was being verbally attacked," Singer said. "You can tell from body language and just from watching that."

She said she does not know Bean very well and has only met him a few times. Singer also said she did not know it was the mayor at the time of the argument, only that she "could tell that it was not good."

"I went up to another volunteer and asked, 'Who is that guy in the blue shirt and the hat and sunglasses who was talking to Jimmy?'" Singer said. "And she said, 'That's the mayor.' I said, 'You gotta be kidding me.'"

Last October, former Urbana Alderwoman Laura Huth and ex-girlfriend to Gerard asked the court for an order of protection against the mayor. She has also accused him of harassment, another allegation which the mayor denies.

A judge threw out Huth's request for an emergency stalking/no contact order, but the order of protection is pending and is set for a status hearing on Thursday.

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serf wrote on April 09, 2013 at 8:04 pm

First!

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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No, it's actually the second.

 

But that's not (necessarily) saying much. Seeking a restraining order is a good tactic, for political purposes. It creates a perception about its intended target.

 

I suppose James R. Bean learned this lesson when he was slapped with an Order of Protection on February 28, 1995. (cccircuitclerk.com - petitioner: Lawren O'Reilly)

 

Unfortunately, Champaign County's online system goes back only so far. So we can't know what "Court takes notice of 91-C-54/90-C-1838" means.

 

CASE HAS BEEN MICROFILMED-ROLL #0541 INDEX #0062

fortherecord wrote on April 09, 2013 at 8:04 pm

What an example... Maybe we should have the State Police look into this. Maybe the FBI. How about a private consultant? 

mdfriedman2463 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

Yea that's a great idea...Let's waste more tax payer money...The Champaign Police did the right thing here.  They responded to a call from a citizen, who happens to be the mayor.  They found 2 people arguing and broke up the argument.  End of discusssion.

 

fortherecord wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Sarcasm. 

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 09, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I wasn't present at the event, so can't comment on that. I will state that I've known Jim for a few years, and I'm connected with him on facebook. During that time I have not seen him harass anyone and, even when we disagreed, we kept it civil. Neither have I seen Jim refer to the mayors daughters, until recently when he shared the accusations that Don made after the confrontation. Jim has been consistent in being respectful of women, and he talks with great pride and love of his own two daughters. He also tragically lost his own mother to domestic violence, and encourages anyone in a bad situation to get help.

It's my understanding that the mayors daughter is a minor, and any responsible parent would take legal action if there was any harassment going on. I have a daughter myself, and I kept tabs on her social media interactions when she was a minor, and I would have taken appropriate action if anyone had tried to harm her. I'm a mama bear when it comes to my child.

Engaging in a public confrontation is not the way to go about resolving any issues. My suggestion to the mayor would be to let his attorney handle the restraining orders, and to not engage in badmouthing anyone who is taking him to court. Yes, he does have the right to defend himself, but calling someone a 'sociopath' is not the way to do it. By making statements such as the allegations of harassment, and saying that Jims activity is being investigated, then he is running the risk of looking ridiculous if he can't offer any proof. As it is, Jim is asking for witnesses to the exchange to come to court and testify as to what they witnessed.

Between this and the Shrimp a La Due mess, I wonder if the City Council is in need of having its meds adjusted.

gamera wrote on April 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

So...to paraphrase Marti: 

I know nobody involved but...let me get on my soapbox and tell the mayor how to parent his children.

 

That's some serious ignorance right there...and not just of the situation, but in the mindset that you have ANY say on how another person chooses to privately protect their kids.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Actually I do know both parties involved. The mayor is someone who I would consider an acquaintance, and I met him while he was running for office. I also put out a yard sign and supported his candidacy. Additionally, I've attended a couple of local events where he was present, and he is on my friends list via facebook (for now). Since he has taken office there have been occasions where I have contacted him via facebook and email regarding local matters. The last email I sent to him was in regards to my opinion regarding allowing chickens in Champaign. As a resident of Champaign, and a constituent, I figure that is something I can offer my opinion on.

Plus, if you go back and re-read my comment, I put in a very nice character reference for Jim Bean, and I stand by it. I've known him for a few years, and he is very passionate in his opinions, but he is not the type of person who would stop his gig, and just start a fight with anyone. We haven't always seen eye to eye on the issues, but have been able to engage in civil discourse. So to say that "I know nobody involved" is incorrect, and gives me the impression that you really did not take the time to actually read my previous post.

The mayor chose to bring up his daughter publicly, when he made accusations against Jim. When a public official chooses to engage in namecalling and alleges criminal conduct, then he really needs to be able to show solid proof. Otherwise he may be risking a potential defamation suit. Granted, just lying about someone doesn't a slander case make, but I would be really careful if I was the mayor.

Additionally, by bringing up his daughter publically, he was NOT protecting her privately.  Gerard should have kept his mouth shut in regards to where his daughter was concerned. He could have defended himself without making any reference to his daughter. It's too bad that he apparently doesn't have anyone to advise him on how to handle these situations.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Most importantly, what are Beam's political opinions?

danrice56 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

So you met the mayor at least once, put a yard sign endorsing him in your yard, were in the same place at the same time as he, sent him emails regarding political issues, and EVEN have him as a facebook friend.

Wow. Where are you two gonna register your china pattern?

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Don just posted a link to civility week on his fb page. I made the comment that civility is much needed at the council level, and asked him to do us a favor and please resign. I also took a screenshot of my response, before I removed him from my friends list. 

While I was never on the level of picking china patterns with him, I would have been willing to at least bring paper plates to any event that he endorsed. Right now, I just want him to resign. His conduct is not becoming to a public servant, and I would much rather see Tom Bruno as mayor. Bruno is deputy mayor, and his council seat can be filled by someone else. Perhaps Gina Jackson may want to take a shot at being an at large representative. 

I would also like to see the News-Gazette investigate the allegations that Don has made in regards to Jim. If Gerard is telling the truth, then the city should be able to produce documentation that there is a current criminal investigation going on, and that it's been going on for six months. If that is not the case then we have been lied to by our mayor. 

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

What abou the LaDue dustup? It seems rather pervasive.

I agree regarding resignation, though. It doesn't matter what Bean does. The mayor here is our city's representative, and has a responsibility to his or her constituents in a professional and courteous manner at all times when in public.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Don has blocked me from his facebook page, since I posted my comment regarding the need for civility and my request that he resign. I also saved a screenshot of my comment after I made the post, and I removed him from my friends list.

This is what I posted in response to his civility link: "From what I understand choosing civility is something that is much needed at the council level. Do us a favor Don and please resign."  (The recent reports regarding La Due also falls under my comment)

I guess that my above statement to the mayor is something he considers to be a form of harassment. I do have a screenshot of what I posted so if Don has deleted my comments, in addition to blocking me, then I have proof of what I said.

A few years ago there was an incident on Hedge Court that made the local papers, and Vic McIntosh was council member at that time. Vic and I did not agree on how to approach the situation, but when I requested some information from him, he was willing to work with me. I've also disagreed with other council members, but still have been able to engage in civil discourse with them.

If Don wanted to take the high road with me, then all he had to do was send me a massage asking me to send him a personal message at his city email. That would have been an example of showing leadership, as well as documenting his willingness to engage with his critics in a courteous and professional manner. It also would have been a great way for him to cover his rear end, since city emails are subject to FOIA requests.

Jims biggest criticism with Don in the last year has dealt with Don's relationship with Champaign County Health Care Consumers, and what he felt were inflammatory remarks that were made off camera to Claudia Lennhoff during a council meeting. Additionally, Jim did take issue with Don over restraining order filed by the mayors former girlfriend. Jim is very passionate about the topic of domestic abuse since his mother was murdered by an abusivie spouse.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the current story, I believe that we should be able to be critical of our elected representatives without fear of retaliation. Even his predecessor was willing to be on the receiving end of blistering criticism and he was able to handle it without losing his cool.

I guess that one qualification we should ask of our elected public officials is to be willing to not take any opinions or statements personally. Developing a thick skin is a necessary quality for any office holder.

 

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I am 100% in agreement, especially with the last two paragraphs. I am also in agreement that he should resign.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Does developing a thick skin include not publicly complaining about being blocked on FB after defriending someone and calling for them to resign? Or is it just elected officials who need to show the restraint you call for?

What about alleging publicly that you somehow know he would accuse you of harassing him?

I don't have a dog in this fight and don't know who is at fault. As is usually the case, both probably share at least some blame. Still, complaining that he blocked you, especially after you defriended him and called for him to resign, seems to be a long way from the high road.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

MT's ghosts point about my being blocked after defriending someone is partially valid. If this was a case of me commenting on being blocked after unfriending someone who is not a public official, I wouldn't even bother to comment. In this case I hold Don to a higher standard because he is an elected official. If he did decide to make any accusations towards me, I wouldn't be surprised. That is my opinion as a constituent.

I also know that by stating my opinions here, that I can and will be criticized. I'm perfectly okay with that. If I had a thinner skin, then I would probably resort to using an anonymous handle when I post here. I do understand that anonymity can serve a purpose for individuals, but I figure if I'm going to post something on a local site, then I stand behind my own name.

I also think that our mayor should resign, and I created a petition asking for his resignation.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/600/261/421/request-for-the-resignation-o...

If you agree that Mr. Gerard needs to resign, you are welcome to sign. If not, that is perfectly fine as well.

Peace, Marti :D

icarus wrote on April 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

You're asking the mayor to resign based on one perspective of an altercation for which you were not present?

I choose not to base my decisions on heresay, but there are things I am sure happened personally:

*Mr. Bean has repeatedly posted about Mayor Gerard on his Facebook page over the course of a year, making veiled threats, professing to be a pacifist. I have never seen a post on Mayor Gerard's Facebook page in regard to Mr. Bean.

*I have witnessed occasions in which both Mayor Gerard and Mr. Bean were present and Mayor Gerard avoided any contact with Mr.Bean and in fact left an event in which Mr. Bean was performing before the performance.

*I have seen Mr. Bean engage in discussions with other adults on Facebook in which Mayor Gerard's minor daughter was called a deragatory slur. While it was not Mr. Bean who posted the initial post he participated in continued dialogue regarding Mayor Gerard's daughter. This was posted and there is evidence to the fact.

I am incredibly surprised at how quickly people rush to judgement, with little to no information, and at times just based on who shouts the loudest. And how in the same breath one can criticize someone else's parenting but then also mention the child is a minor. You and I have no idea how this issue has been handled but maybe we can assume it's been done so privately. Should Mayor Gerard tell everyone about it, or might he be criticized there as well? Can't win.

I know for sure that I don't know all the facts, however, I'm not the one asking for someone's resignation.

 

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 12, 2013 at 1:04 am

With all due respect, I have not seen JB make any negative comments about the mayors daughter, and I've seen his posts over a long period of time. As such I have not seen any evidence to support the allegations made by the mayor. I have seen JB criticize the mayor and express strong opinions. As a constituent that is his right to do so.

You testify that the mayor has made it a point to avoid any interactions with JB. According to published news reports, that did not happen last Saturday. The only 'hearsay' are the allegations that Gerard made in regards to JB when he called him a 'sociopath' and accused him of cyberstalking. There is nothing reported in local news media that indicates that Gerard showed any supporting documentation. Even Ms. Huth was able to show copies of emails and voicemails when the news broke about her filing.

My request for the mayor to resign is primarily based on the published news reports in regards to his conduct that has resulted in two restraining orders that have been filed against him. Two restraining orders within the past year reflects a pattern of behavior that is unbecoming to an elected official.

I have criticized former mayor Schweighart on a number of occasions, and even presented my concerns directly at council meetings. Yet, I never felt any fear in regards to where he was concerned. I can't say the same thing about Gerard. If this was simply about a dispute between two individuals, then I certainly would not call for the resignation of one of the participants.

The bigger picture here is that a constituent has the right to criticize an elected official without fears of retaliation or abuse. The criticism can be made on facebook, email, online posts, personal conversations, and so forth. The nature of the criticism doesn't even have to be delivered in a way that is considered to be polite. People also have the right to be wrong. Being criticized is part of the job of being an elected official.

Gerard is the one who opened his mouth, and brought his daughter into this. You are correct in that I noted she is a minor, which is public knowledge. Yes, I have criticized him for that because I think he should have kept his mouth shut.

Even though I have been open in my support of JB, I wouldn't call for the mayor to resign if this was just simply a dispute between two strong willed individuals. Let me repeat this so it comes across clearly: Two restraining orders in the past year reflects a pattern of behavior that is unbecoming to an elected official. The bigger picture here is that a constituent has the right to criticize an individual without fears of retaliation or abuse.

That being said, I'm perfectly aware that the mayor may well choose to stay in office, and some of his followers will continue to blindly believe anything he says. However, I will do my absolute best to limit any contact with him myself because I don't trust his temper. If I do decide to contact him it will be through his official email, and I will include my district council member.


 

 

 

EL YATIRI wrote on April 13, 2013 at 9:04 am
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I agree with Marti.  Gerard has shown a pattern of inappropriate behavior which I'm sure is just the tip of an iceberg of issues which disqualifies him from the job. 

johnny wrote on April 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

What the hell?

How is it doing "us" a favor if the mayor resigns after 4,300 people voted for him, and one guy who can hardly get along with anybody can't get along with him either?

Are you for real?  I didn't vote for the guy, but this overreaction makes me want to fundraise for him.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

It's about his unprofessional behavior in public. I don't expect him to get along with someone who is acting like a jerk, but the Mayor of Champaign should at least be able to avoid acting like a fool and embarrassing himself in public. Especially since that's the only real responsibility for the mayor.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 12, 2013 at 4:04 am

Don't forget the important job of issuing liquor licenses and keeping the drunks contained during 'unofficial'...

Mamba wrote on April 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

....THIS. This is the sort of stuff that embarrasses you FOR someone.  I'm going to have a glass of wine and remember those heady days of rock glory before it all became people squabbling, grown men filing OPs for arguments, and Interweb drama....man, I miss my illusions.  

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 12, 2013 at 3:04 am

His term expires in 2015, so the opportunity to do fundraising may well present itself. As I stated before my primary concern is about a pattern of behavior. I do understand that my earlier defense of JJB does make it appear that I'm more concerned about a fight between two people, and I accept that. Live and learn.

If I called for the resignation of every public official who I simply disagreed with, that would be overreacting. I voted for Gerard based upon the information that was available at the time. Had I been aware of this pattern of behavior that I expressed concern about, I may have abstained from casting a vote for mayor. The nice thing about voting is that we don't have to make a selection from every possible candidate, and the candidates we do vote for will still be counted.

I also voted for the previous mayor when he first ran for office and did so based upon what I understood back then. Since that point, there were times I felt that Schweighart was kind of rude at council meetings, and I did not agree with his positions on local issues, yet I did not call for his resignation. Gerard is the only person who I have asked to resign. Since I've been a registered voter for twenty plus years, I can say that I'm not in the habit of asking for resignations, just because someone irritates me. The challenge with posting on the Internet is that it never really gives a full picture of an individual. Plus, anonymous handles are easy to hide behind.

Judging by some of the comments I've seen, a nun could file a restraining order against the mayor, and people would be trashing her. When the News-Gazette first reported the restraining order filed by Laura Huth, there were a number of comments posted that slammed her character. Yesterday, WCIA reported that the attorneys involved are trying to work on a settlement.

I think every public official can benefit from being trained on ways to effectively handle a crisis communication situation. When I made the comment earlier that Gerard would have done well to keep his mouth shut, it's one way of saying that he needs to be extremely careful in how he navigates these situations in the media. When I post in a public forum, I try to keep my use of language at the level of a layperson.

Crisis communication is a field of study that delves into how organizations can prepare themselves to deal with controversy. Some of the basic principles apply to individuals as well. I was inclined to attribute earlier misteps by Gerard to the growing pains that every new office holder goes through. However, he has been in office long enough to know better. When I made reference to how Gerard responded to post I made on his fb page, it was an observation of how he handled himself with constituents. Since I have a masters degree in Communication Studies, I do observe how public figures respond to a crisis.

When the city council chose to let people come and air their feelings during the aftermath of death of Kiwane Carrington, that was the best strategy. Later, council organized an forum on how to address citizen concerns. One of the criticisms I heard about the event involved comparisons to a dog and pony show. However, the main thing was that the city council was engaging in a public response. Whoever was handling the PR on this, knew what to do.

I have to ask, how would Mayor Gerard respond to a crisis if it presented itself? If losing his cool with constituents who have criticized him is indicative of his character, then how can we expect him to do the right thing if there is a local issue that has emotions running very high and close to the bone? So far his attempts at public relations has been a hit or miss scenario. Lately, it's been a bigger miss.

I just checked and JJB has 2,698 friends on facebook. Not too shabby for a guy who seems to be unable to get along with anyone. Of course, as a musician, most of his friends probably fit more into the 'fan' category.

 

rsp wrote on April 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

You keep saying he has these orders filed against him but so far they have all been denied. And you just keep going on and on and on...such a rant. Why is this so personal? He unfriended you? He didn't show you proof of something personally? You didn't see it with your own eyes so it couldn't possibly have happened, right? Because you sound so rational on here. And you are trying to say you are "afraid" of him.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

Hi rsp: I hope you are enjoying the weekend. Most of my comments on this article have been to address what other individuals have brought up to me directly. Just as I'm choosing to respond to your comment now. What you appear to be referring to as 'ranting' I think of it in terms of engaging in a discussion. I have also commented on other stories published by the News-Gazette that has addressed other topics, and responded to posters who have directed remarks towards me.

The article that has prompted the comments that have been made have addressed different opinions on the subject matter. I'm the one who chose to remove Gerard from my friends list, and if I choose to discuss any local matters with him, then I will email him and copy my city council member. I don't have any personal grievances with him, but I do not wish to talk to any public official who strikes me as having issues with managing his temper in a public arena. Neither do I want him as my mayor and if he is able to last long enough for re-election, I will not cast my vote for him.

At this point, it would be beating a dead horse for me to continue this discussion with anyone. I respect the concerns that you and other folks have brought to this forum, even if we don't share the same perspective. I have a dear friend who often will disagree with me on the issues, but we agree that being able to get along in spite of our differences is what helps make us better people.

Peace, Marti




 

rsp wrote on April 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

Almost 5 pages worth of writing. But it isn't personal. Check it and see. And that's with reducing the type size. And you keep saying he has 2 orders filed against him like he has control of what other people choose to do. Anyone can file and be denied, just like these two people were denied. 

jokelly wrote on April 12, 2013 at 11:04 am

I missed the part about a "criminal investigation". When did the mayor make that allegation/statement? Cyberbullying is not cyberstalking. It's really hard to follow a story when there are inaccurate comments obviously made to "spin" public opinion. Having two (or even 10) protection order requests made does not create a pattern of anything but requests. Anger diffusion classes should be considered. 

sweet caroline wrote on April 09, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Somebody just wants his 5 minutes of fame.  Who cares.

billbtri5 wrote on April 09, 2013 at 9:04 pm

this probably won't be the last time either....

mdfriedman2463 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

I know both of these men.  I have know Mayor Gerard since we were young teens, playing baseball together.  I know Jammin Jimmy Bean from the bar scene in town, me as a patron listening to Jim's music and also drinking with him.  Jim did back in the day have a temper...He has mellowed with age but his love of life is still strong and he still holds his opinions strongly.  He and I mutually "unfriended" on facebook because our politics differs...

 

I don't know first hand what happened because I wasn't there.  I have heard second hand reports of what occured from both sides of the argument and I am pretty sure the truth is somewhere out in the middle....

 

As for did CPD perform their duties justly and without notice of who the beligerants involved are, everything I have heard says they acted in accordance with the law.  Is a legal document really a wise idea?  Many bar owners I know will take a dim view of people who can not act civilly...Is this a good move for a musician to take?

Roanrider wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

I think the taxpayers and citizens of Champaign should be taking a dim view of a mayor who has proven over and over again that he cannot act civilly.

mdfriedman2463 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

He does a good job at it but when  people attack yoour character and other uncivil behavior, you do what you need to.

 

Bulldogmojo wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

Regardless of who was at fault in this particular incident, Gerard seems to all too easily let the appearance of impropriety fall on him. A little less altercation and more work on the crime problem and other Champaign mayoral issues would be in order.

woopitydo wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

I wouldn't call it harrassment but Jammin Jimmy Bean had no qualms calling myself and several others out of our names because of differing political or social views. Neither party is innocent here I would imagine. I have never been in the Mayors presence so I can not speak of his charecter. I have witnessed JB being a jerk to others just because of opposite views. It is ridiculous for him to claim he needs an order of protection. I could have just as easily said I want one after a heated discussion with him. Thinking I may write to the courts as well.

Derp wrote on April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Agreed woopitydo and many of people have experienced JB’s wrath of difference of opinion and even the back lash of threats from his minions that agree with only him.

This situation may not have been handled in the most professional way but I have no doubt no matter where it went down it would have escalated. JB may have followed the Buddhist way at some point but if you have read many of his posts over the last few months you can see the truth of what’s going on.

I think I will write to the courts as well.

Feltrino wrote on April 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Somehow, chickens only seem natural.

Local wrote on April 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Maybe Jimmy thought this would be a good way to lose 20 pounds...

bonham23 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Seems like a monumental waste of time and money.  When I first read about this story I wondered why Mr. Bean was playing his guitar at this event instead of helping to clean up the Boneyard.  Seems to me he was taking advantage of an opportunity to play to a crowd.  Perhaps his time could have been more well spent picking up a few stray pieces of trash.  Seems a better use of volunteer efforts.

mdfriedman2463 wrote on April 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Just heard on WDWS Jimmmy made the comment to the reporter that he is still considering assault charges....Give me a break...

Lesson Learned wrote on April 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

 I"m afraid I can be added to the list of people who have felt Mr. Beans wrath. Publicly called out for a difference of opinion. I don't believe all the other people who claim to follow him on facebook really can say he has been nothing but respectful. Whatever. The Mayor is his latest rant victim, although this won't be the first time for him or last. Too bad they can't issue a public gag order, so he can't get his flock of sheep after everyone he has an issue with. Not to mention berate them. He claims to take the high road...by ranting more. He obviously needs a pat on the back regularly since, he has to tell everyone how wonderful or wonged he is. His parrot is right behind him too, even when she hasn't a clue what is going on. Truly people, take a look at who you are backing... cookoo!

serf wrote on April 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Hipster fight.  Sounds like a classic case of wpp

johnny wrote on April 11, 2013 at 3:04 am

The list goes on and on.  I'm hardly in the mayor's pocket, but there's no such thing as a friendly disagreement with the other fellow.

Redhead Gingy wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I have known Jim for years. I know he has a past, everyone does. Yes he is very opinionated. For him to stop a set to create an argument is completely out of character. Hard to believe he made first comment. Also, if Bean is playing and singing, how is he suppose to holler a comment to Gerard? If this was the case where are the people who had heard or seen the exchange in Gerard's favor?  I don't know Gerard personally but have only heard bits about him. Sounds to me like someone gets a little power and abuses it. Give em an inch and they'll take a mile. I do think both parties could have handle the situation a with a little more decorum, seeing as they are both active within the community. 

wayward wrote on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Has Gerard considered just finding some really boring people to hang out with for a while?  You know, the kind who only see the inside of a courtroom if they have jury duty?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 1:04 am
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Just my perception, but based on my limited interactions with both of these men and based more on their respective reputations around town, there is little doubt in my mind that Gerard was mostly or entirely the instigator.

Gerard has a reputation for being confrontational.  I've heard Bean used to be, but that he calmed down after some trouble with the law and is now a Buddhist.  He seems like a harmless hippie, certainly not a "sociopath" as Gerard describes him or the type of guy who would cyberstalk 14 year olds.

EL YATIRI wrote on April 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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This isn´t the first time the Mayor is showing his dirty laundry in public and on the pages of the NG.  If a professional employee in any business or industry did the same, he would be drug tested and sent off for a psych eval before being allowed to return to his job duties.  Where there is smoke there is usually fire and the Mayor may be impaired and unfit for his public job.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 1:04 am
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Also, here's a little idea to save some money...why not get rid of the mayor's office entirely?  The city manager makes the big decisions anyway...the mayor is just a glorified city councilman in Champaign.  

Given the symbolic nature of the mayor's responsibilites in this town, it seems like the kind of position that would attract narcissists who just want attention and their name in the paper.  It seems like the most notable things Mr. Gerard and the fella before him have accomplished as mayor are embarrassing themselves and the city with their words and actions.

butterfly99 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 am

We clearly have two men that dont get along. I have been on both Facebook pages. For anyone to say jimmy bean hasnt threatened the mayor is a liar. Jimmy bean is a bully. He tries to push people to choose his side. I have never seen one bad post about jimmy on the mayors pages. If someone was saying mean and hurtful things about my child no matter if im a public figure or not I doubt I would be as calm as the mayor. Everyone needs to quit throwing stones at glass houses.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

It sounds like the mayor wasn't all that calm about it.

woopitydo wrote on April 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

Exactly Butterfly- had I put it as nicely as you my comment probably wouldnt have been deleted. Sorry to anyone I offended, I really mean that. However that does not mean what I said is not true. Glad to see JB took my advice though and made his page private. Unfortunatly I know a few that really enjoyed the opprotunity to grab the screenshots. JB's actions hardly reflect a true Buddist.

BatmanIllini wrote on April 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

Maybe both parties need to participate in the ongoing Civility Week activities?

Loren Anderson wrote on April 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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I decided to write a joke about an order of protection:


This is as close as I could get.

Mamba wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

The amount of post deletion by the News Gazette on this thread is pretty amazing. 

I'll rephrase my comment. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and there seems to be a little stone-throwing going on both here and in other social media by A Totally Unidentifiable Person Associated With Mr. Bean. I believe people should not file frivolous requests for Orders of Protection, and waste my tax dollars by doing so.  I really, really hate hypocrisy and unnecessary antics just for attention.

 

 

 

 

Derp wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Right on Mamba!

Currently I have seen loads of stone throwing and in the recent past even physical threats to specific people’s wellbeing by Totally Unidentifiable Persons Associated With Mr. Bean.

An Order of Protection in this instance - an agreed waste of tax dollars.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I don't think it's amazing at all when you intentionally reveal who a person is. Are you really surprised? Your comment really did need to be deleted.

Mamba wrote on April 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

You know what, you are right, and that was wrong of me.  I've known these folks for decades, and have seen enough of this sort of thing over the years to be somewhat biased.  There's a lot of carnage in Unidentified Person's wake just for the sake of attention.  This is no different; but I shouldn't have called them out. 

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I think it's fine to call them out (especially for hypocrisy), but names shouldn't be used.

Mamba wrote on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Yes, SC, thank you for reiterating.  That is why I said I was wrong in giving his/her first name.  An Unidentified Person may or may not be too concerned about anonymity based on what was or was not in the news footage, and the kind and gentle statements that he/she and Mr. Bean may or may not be posting on social media sites.  Namaste indeed....maybe.  

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

What about a 10 round slap down charity event between the two of them?  Maybe a mud wrestling event featuring the two of them for the homeless assistance?  It could be held at Joe's Brewery, or at the fairgrounds if the crowd was big enough.  Chief Cobb could referee it with La Due selling hot dogs.  Huth could carry the round signs.  Maybe WILL would televise it?

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

...as long as La Due isn't selling shrimp-on-a-stick!  (you never know how long those have been around).  Maybe Urbana could erect a statue in honor of the winner.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I would just like to point out that my shrimp comment would have been first had I not gotten the captcha wrong twice. I hate captchas, and it seems ridiculous that you should have to enter them even after registering an account.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on April 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

...naturally, the professional and courteous response to your comment is "neener neener"

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

LaDue would sell shrimp out of garbage bags, obviously.

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Wonder what he would do with the used garbage bags?  

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Save them in garbage bags?

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

......and keeps them in the trunk of his car.  Yeah, you might be right.  It makes sense.  ;)

C-U Townie wrote on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

The mayor does not have thick skin. He's somewhat of a paradox. He's someone who needs attention to thrive, like a plant needs sunlight. And he's perfectly content with drama in his life as long as he feels he is in control of it. Even bad attention in his eyes is better than no attention. The city mayor position is perfect for him. There is little to no responsibility. The city manager makes all the real decisions. But that position comes with a price. You're subject to public scrutiny and your reputation rests in the court of public opinion. He doesn't like this last part. 

While I think both men were at fault because neither walked away I think someone who is a public figure has a larger obligation to behave in public. He represents our city and therefore needs to be professional whenever possible. It seems he hasn't been able to maintain this professional appearance as diligently as he could and should in the last year or so. If you ask those who know him best they would say that he hasn't been able to do that for much longer than his time in office. 

Jim Bean, while being a pseudo-local celeb is just a regular citizen. He has no obligation to the community to be professional or behave in an dignified manner. What gets me is if Gerard KNEW beforehand that Jim Bean had a propensity for harassing others why on earth would be engage him, even if Jim Bean was the one to initiate the contact? Why not just walk away? And if his daughter was being harassed or defamed by Jim Bean take screenshots of comments and take it to the police. Do something other than shop the drama around town and wait until the situation has festered a while... and the powder keg is set to explode. 

Going for an order of protection is extreme and this behavior in some ways mirrors the same melodramatic behavior we saw of the mayor's ex-girlfriend. The courts have barely entertained the requests of these two individuals. I doubt the cases will result in anything other than fodder for the media. And sadly, this town thrives on that. Which is not to say that Champaign is any different than any other city. But can't we find something else to focus on? 

Let the mayor live out his term. And then don't re-elect him if you take issue with him. Or campaign for a better candidate. I would say both men are making an eye sore of this situation for the community. Best thing for both their reps is to be the bigger man and let it go. Dragging this out just makes them both look emotionally charged, impulsive men who don't see the long term of the situation. And I would advise them both, be careful what you wish for. You want attention, people will give you just that. And it's not always good. They can drag out the skeletons in your closet and even the "juicy" details of your current life that you don't want anyone to know. 

Yocal wrote on April 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

in other news, the mayor's attorneys are in court for his (alleged) stalking case. Any P.R. is good P.R.?

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

I'm  guessing that's not actually the case here. At the very least, the Mayor needs to learn that making accusations in the local newspaper is not a good idea. It comes across as vindictive and unprofessional. Even if this whole thing was all the other guy's fault, it's still bad PR for the mayor (and by default the City).

ames wrote on April 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

CU Townie,

Both men are pretty much an open book thanks to the wonders of social media.

The musician doesn't hide his love of nature and a "certain natural supplement" nor is the mayors "extra" active social life news to anyone. Especially since he and his "special" friend have been flaunting it on facebook and at social engagements for over a year now.

Unless, and I believe it is entirely possible, there is more juiciness to come.

C-U Townie wrote on April 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

You say special friend. Others might argue just a friend. Well, those who would be willing to protect their beloved mayor would make that argument.

I would argue that we both know nothing is ever as it seems. There's always more that can be found out about anyone because no one is perfect. Now whether a person's story will be truly told... That remains to be seen. But it's always possible. Which would make one think that the wise thing to do is to keep yourself out of the spotlight, especially when you have a questionable rep at best.

Jim Bean's story hasn't changed much over the years. Yes he self-medicates. Yes he's been called a hippy. The mayor on the other hand has changed his story. And he has put himself front and center allowing the community to continually evaluate that story. Which they'll do.

It just takes one suspicious change in someone's story to make people start asking more questions... start digging deeper... and start answering questions like, "Is she just a friend or more than a friend?" 

A wise man would know that it is better to be thought a fool than to open his mouth and remove all doubt. If only more people practiced that adage. But then what would the local media have to occupy their time? 

Danno wrote on April 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

For Enquiring minds that want to know, here's how 'it went down.'

Our Mayor, having recently been esteemed with his guitar playing skills in Buzz (or D.I.) articles, along with a litany of 'famous people' he's played with; simply witnessed Jim Bean playing a guitar with greater skill than himself. Became jealous and, demonstrated what is commonly known as, a 'Temper Tantrum'.

Mamba wrote on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

...And then Jim Bean calmly walked away amidst butterflies, choirs of angels, and Buddha himself patting him on the back.  He and Unidentified Person(s) Associated With Him proceeded to conduct themselves with class and dignity in the days that followed, pooping happiness, love, and understanding all over Champaign County and cyberspace. 

 

 

trent_il wrote on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

..

BrianHock wrote on April 14, 2013 at 7:04 am

Mayor Gerard is a paid public official although elected, and being at this event he was representing the City of Champaign. Mayor Gerard also carries a police type badge identifying himself as the Mayor, which he likes to show off from time to time to impress people.

Now in any event there are two sides to any story and somewhere in the middle is the truth, but this is the second incident where the Mayor has been brought in front of a Judge where someone was asking for an order of protection! Now one might say where there is smoke there is fire, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt less I act like him. As many can remember the Mayor went out of his way to burn police officers when he thought their actions were not up to his standards. The Mayor did not accept the Police Departments investigation, The State Police Investigation, nor the FBI investigation (CIA was placed on hold), but then spent money on a private study to prove his point. Why is there no investigation into the Mayors actions? Do you really believe the Champaign Police or the City Managers office is going to go after him?

I think its time for Gerard to take his personal feelings and resign, but then we would be left with Bruno not sure which is worse.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on April 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

Obviously, this comment is certified as NOT being from a member/supporter of the old guard at CPD or an advocate for our former birther mayor.

rsp wrote on April 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

What does it tell you that the judges refused to give them out? I'm halfway expecting someone to suggest he's bribed them. I should file for one, some of the comments on here are ridiculous and the posters need to be stopped.

SaintClarence27 wrote on April 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Seemingly unlike others on here, I'm simply making the judgments based on the undisputed facts about what has happened during the mayor's tenure. I will not make judgments based on 2 restraining orders filed for and then denied - it makes no difference as you said.

1) at a public CHARITY event, the Mayor got into a shouting match with a resident of Champaign, where he was swearing, etc.

2) The Mayor then compounded this by publicly commenting in the news media, calling someone a "sociopath," among other things.

Both of these are extraordinarily unprofessional and put a bad face on the City and its representatives. The Mayor doesn't seem to understand this, nor does he understand that as an elected official, he has special responsibilities for his behavior in public. Bean is a washed up hippie stoner guitarist, and therefore his actions make no difference - he is representing no one but himself. He may well be a loon and/or a jerk, and it doesn't matter. He is not the elected Mayor of the City of Champaign. Gerard is. He has a responsibility to keep walking.

rsp wrote on April 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

At the time of the argument, the other person was employed by the park district, correct? A public body, taxpayer money. Because of the sum of his career he is a public person. There is the suggestion being made by more than one person that he has been at a minimum harrassing a minor child. I have a granddaughter in that same age range. I would have been doing more than swearing after months of walking away. 

Sharpie wrote on April 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

He was not employed by the park district, and was not paid anything for performing there. He volunteered his time for the benefit. And only one person has "suggested" that he was harrassing a minor child, that person being the mayor. Perhaps someone should ask the child if she were indeed harrassed.

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

He said, and she said on Facebook.  Bring them all into televised court with Judge Judy.  Makes for a great show.  Not 60 Minutes; but maybe Dr. Phil.  We live in a celebrity, minute of fame world.  The mayor, and the musician are good local examples.  Alex Baldwin versus Billy Bob Thornton.  If they want to put on a show; a big, public show is needed.  Maybe if enough people facebook the mayor, and the musician; it could develop.  The only other thing needed is a reality show sponsor like Dr. Phil, or Judge Judy.

The proceeds would go to a good cause like the homeless situation.

ames wrote on April 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yes "emergency" protection was denied but according to the champaign circuit website the two order of protection petitions were NOT dismissed as frivolous and instead have status hearings scheduled.  Without evidence of harrassment these cases would not be proceeding. Clearly we do not know the whole story.