War and peace
Two local politicos have agreed to peace in our time, or at least the next 24 months.
A long-running soap opera came to a quick end Thursday when Champaign Mayor Don Gerard said, "No mas."
Actually, he didn't say that exactly. But Gerard did run up the white flag in one of his legal skirmishes with a former girlfriend, former Urbana Alderwoman Laura Huth, agreeing to two-year no contact order issued by Associate Judge Holly Clemons.
But like all politicians, Gerard wants it both ways. While agreeing to the no-contact order of protection, a provision sought by Huth to prevent what she characterized as a continued campaign of personal harassment by Gerard, the mayor had his lawyer issue a statement denying that he had ever harassed her in the first place.
So what really was he saying in court?
"I never did anything wrong, but I promise I won't do it again."
"I plead no contest."
"I plead guilty, but with an explanation."
Take your choice. There's plenty of room for interpretation in this latter-day "War of the Roses."
Both Huth and Gerard said they are pleased to have the dispute resolved, but there's just one problem. The matter isn't resolved — there's still the roughly $3,200 she's seeking in small claims court for political work Huth claims to have done for this aspiring pol.
There's something else that's equally clear — right or wrong, Gerard has done his reputation no favors. Between this and Gerard's other courtroom episode stemming from a public dispute with a local citizen, local residents also have to be saying, "No mas."