Judge issues no-contact order; Huth, Gerard agree on terms

URBANA — Champaign Mayor Don Gerard was ordered by a judge on Thursday not to contact Laura Huth, his ex-girlfriend and former Urbana City Council member, for two years.

Judge Holly Clemons' ruling in Huth's favor brought an end to her request for an order of protection against the mayor, which has been ongoing for more than eight months. Both appeared with their attorneys in court on Thursday.

Huth said she is "grateful" the matter has come to a conclusion.

"This last year has been very painful for me," Huth later said outside the courtroom.

The case never went to trial — in fact, it ended relatively cordially as the two parties ultimately came to an agreement on what Clemons' order of protection should say. The court arguments between the two attorneys prior to Thursday's conclusion had not been as agreeable.

Huth, whose dating relationship with Gerard ended in July 2012 before she filed for an order of protection in October, said she never wanted it to get this far.

"I was hoping that this would never go to court," she said.

Gerard's attorney, Bruce Ratcliffe, said earlier this week that the mayor was prepared to concede the case and let Clemons enter a ruling in Huth's favor. In a prepared statement on Thursday, he said that surprise move was in order to bring a quick end to the conflict.

"Mr. Gerard realizes the toll this is taking not only on him and his family, but also Ms. Huth and the citizens of Champaign," Ratcliffe said. "It is now time to end it."

Huth alleged in her complaint that Gerard harassed her and her business following their July 2012 breakup. Ratcliffe on Thursday maintained Gerard's denials of the allegations of harassment.

"While Mr. Gerard denies he has done those things alleged in the complaint, he has asked to have an order entered stating that he is prohibited from having any contact with Ms. Huth, contact which has not occurred for many months except for a letter of apology we sent to her through her attorney," Ratcliffe said. "He, too, wants no contact with Ms. Huth."

The two still have a small-claims case pending. Huth claims Gerard owes her $3,233.75 for consulting work she did while they were dating last year. Ratcliffe suggested that case will go to trial.

Huth's attorney, Michael Antoline, said attempts to characterize the dispute as a spat between a girlfriend and boyfriend are inaccurate. He said the "spat" ended when they broke up in July, he said, but the alleged harassment continued.

The two sides agreed not to put a distance restriction on the order. They anticipate that they might end up in the same place at the same time in their roles as public figures.

Ratcliffe said, "It is time to move on."

"The business of the city and the business of the university, his employer, is too important and too pressing to have this continued distraction," Ratcliffe said.

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

chinadoll wrote on June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

sometimes life is like a box of chocolates

cuvoter wrote on June 28, 2013 at 10:06 am

She obviously has her trolls monitoring this article. Your initial post was right on. No need to be intimidated. 

InsureU2 wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

You know when a post is right on when the other side no longer has an intelligent argument (as if there was one in the first place) and resorts to name calling. Tres mature!

sweet caroline wrote on June 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I think they both need to grow up and act like the professional adults they claim to be.  If I were either of them, I'd be embarrassed.  A couple of ego-maniacs, in my opinion.

ames wrote on June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Haha chinadoll--clearly you do not know the Mayor's ex-wife, ex-girlfriends, and ex-friends.  He has quite an appalling reputation himself!!

C-U Townie wrote on June 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

His ex whatevers are trainwrecks just like him. They say you attract people who are like you... He would be the poster child for that theory. 

InsureU2 wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I happen to know a few. If by "train wrecks" you mean, upstanding citizens, who are charming, social, people who back what they believe in, professional, intelligent, people of integrity, and taken in my Don's charms...then yes. One true sign of a bully is they always find a compassionate, excepting victim. I am proud to know these women. Don has great taste in women.

C-U Townie wrote on June 29, 2013 at 3:06 am

No, LOL. That's not what I meant. I will amend my previous statement to clarify that I'm not referring to ALL of his ex's. But there are a few I know personally, who were too eager to share intimate details with others (red flag). Outward appearances can be so deceiving. : )

be_nicer wrote on June 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

By this logic you attract people that base their conclusions on a small sample and confuse "oversharing" with "train wreck".

 

C-U Townie wrote on June 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Well rather than naming names and providing examples of why they are trainwrecks I thought I'd just leave it at one general example without providing names. Small sample is accurate. I only know a few of his mistakes (his own words mind you). This isn't research. So I'm not going to observe his other ex-girlfriends to provide conclusive evidence that can then be generalized to the entire Don Gerard Ex-Wife/Girlfriend population. But I can say that oversharing is just one of the symptoms of the trainwreck disorder. : )

be_nicer wrote on June 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

Thank goodness for your restraint! An easy way to discredit someone is to call them a trainwreck. These folks are not publically elected officials nor named in Huth's legal efforts and do not deserve the assault on their character. Dragging them into your argument, only weakens it.

Perhaps this is what you meant: We, the citizens of Champaign, were wooed, much like any number of women, by Don's charms. We are seeing chinks in our Knight in Shining Armor's Armor. The romance appears to be turning sour and it might be time for a new suitor.

C-U Townie wrote on June 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Are you one of Don's exes? LOL Seems you have a pretty poor opinion of him that you've been so diligent in voicing... as well as a particular interest in ensuring that his exes are not defamed. Either way we both get to exercise our freedom of speech and comment on the N-G article. I assume you're basing your opinions (Don being a jerk and his exes being saints) on firsthand knowledge... oh, but look at that... so am I. You haven't provided anymore evidence of why your opinion is more credible so I would say your argument is weak as well. Such can be the case in the court of public opinion. 

And some of us were never wooed by him. I'm sorry your relationship with him wasn't the fairytale ending you expected (romantic or otherwise). But there are other knights in shining armor out there that you can villify, so keep your head up! : )

be_nicer wrote on June 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I never said he was a jerk or that his exes were saints. Seems like that's just you jumping to conclusions again. However, I am done with this string as you seem to want to trash as many people as possible and that's not my way.

P.S. Not an ex-girlfriend. 

 

C-U Townie wrote on June 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm

However you want to spin it. But thank you for sparing me from more of your posts. That much of what you've said I can see reason with. 

chinadoll wrote on June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

ok

mowglee wrote on June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Chinadoll, it is good of you to make judgements based on your limited knowledge base and to throw out accusations without the slightest understanding of the facts, but you go girl, no one ever said you have to know what you're talking about to besmerch someone's character.

chinadoll wrote on June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

hmmm

InsureU2 wrote on June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I know them both. I have seen written evidence of the case, and believe Laura's intentions are to just get Don to stop trying to completely destroy the business she has worked so hard to build. It is not about a lover's spat, it is about Don not using his position, to harm a small business. I have personally taken Don's wrath. I was an aquaintence of his. When I asked about the case, my private fb message was forwarded to a person in a higher ranking position of my organization and blocked after he sent a mesg in response. The only explanation for this behavior is that it was an intimidation tactic on Don's part. He sighted "references" for his character, in which my organization was listed. I do not consider myself or my organization to be a reference for him. To imply such to me is not only wrong, but arrogant. After spending time with both of these individuals, Laura has shown herself to be a very honest hardworking small business owner who's body if work is itself in charity. Don has shown himself to be an arrogant, controlling, bully who does not deserve access to the resources available to him as mayor. I think Champaign deserves better.

chinadoll wrote on June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

well

rsp wrote on June 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

There's only one person who posted about this case who said they had read the evidence. And how they took Don's wrath. And the facebook deal. Making posts on Laura's behalf would be a violation of that agreement she just signed. 

C-U Townie wrote on June 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

While I think Huth may be coming out of this with slightly cleaner hands I do think that the way both of them allowed this to spill out into the public eye was unprofessional on BOTH their parts. This should never have escalated to the level that it did. I understand that the agreement took time to come to but in the public eye I think they both put blemishes on their reputations. Gerard has obviously added blemishes to his reputation since the Huth situation began. I think there should have been more discretion on both their parts because the unfortunate consequence of airing your dirty laundry is people, whether they have all the info or not, will buy into rumor and that can be just as damaging as fact. Now that it's over I at least hope that Huth can move on with her work without having the dead weight of the relationship following her around. Gerard... well let's hope that Feinen or Foster can be a better face for the City of Champaign and its citizens. 

chinadoll wrote on June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am

weird

InsureU2 wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

What is weird? Why is it weird? Why is it necessary for you to state "weird"?

sweet caroline wrote on June 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Why is everybody ganging up on Chinadoll?  All she or he said was "sometimes life is like a box of chocolates."  Did I miss something?

InsureU2 wrote on June 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

China Doll changed her original post, and thought it necessary to post one word comments on everyone else's posts. That action does not help us understand her position or the reason she felt it necessary to comment. She had stated in her original post, she was not working with first hand knowledge, just formed a judgement on the reporting of this newspaper. To me, that is hearsay at best, rendering her opinion just that...the opinion of someone with very little knowledge.

sweet caroline wrote on June 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Oh.  I see now.  Thanks, InsureU2, for filling me in.  Now that the N/G has forced us to pay to read the online paper or be left in the dark, I haven't been able to keep up with the posts. 

On that note, I broke down and paid the $7.99 today.  It was either that or drive myself crazy wondering what I'm missing. 

Did anyone notice that the N/G inactivated the comments section under their story about charging to view the news online?  Guess they assumed there wouldn't be a flood of "thank you" notes.

ames wrote on June 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm

be_nicer, That is exactly what I was going to say, haha!!

Seriously though I am a c-u townie as well, went to high school with Don & ran with the same crowd during our 20s.  I do not know Laura well but they did date for almost a year so I am not so sure I buy the "she's psycho" story that he is circulating.  In my opinion he has always dated very nice, very "together" women. 

I'm sorry to burst bubbles because I know Don can come off rather sweet & charming (especially if you are an attractive woman) & he certainly has his devoted followers. But I have personally witnessed him treating women (one my college roommate & one my best friend) like he is accused of treating Laura & even worse and these are two very lovely women, not at all "trainwrecks" as you suggest--- as if that should even matter!!  

Don definitely has a troubled personal life.  If this interferes with him being a good mayor, I don't know.  I do know we are in for another exciting election in 2 years!!

C-U Townie wrote on June 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

We all see different sides to the stories. That's why they say there are two sides to every story. I see his exes as trainwrecks. You see Don as a jerk. Some even say he's a closet misogynist. To each their own. After knowing both parties involved in his most recent relationships, and a few not so recent, I can only base it on what I've seen and heard of them and from them. Laura stayed with him for a significant amount of time so he must have done something right. That can be said with the other exes I know. They weren't short-lived high school crushes. No one in Don's relationships was entirely innocent or free from their own self-inflicted drama, including Don. 

The main issue is that this is now over. We no longer have to hear about it. Now everyone can go back to watching the Kardashians.