URBANA — A judge on Wednesday denied a musician's request for an emergency stalking/no contact order against Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, but set a hearing later this month on a request for an order of protection.
Champaign musician Jim Bean has accused the mayor of interrupting his performance during a volunteer event in Scott Park on Saturday. He says Gerard used inappropriate language during a verbal argument and called him names.
Gerard has admitted that there was a verbal confrontation during Boneyard Creek Community Day this past weekend, but he said Bean was the instigator and the aggressor, and the mayor was only defending himself.
Gerard called the police after the argument, but no charges were filed against either of the two.
Judge Holly Clemons said the one incident on Saturday does not show a pattern of behavior and therefore did not meet the standards for an emergency no contact order. She did, however, set another hearing on April 30 for the order of protection.
Clemons suggested Bean consult with an attorney to review whether he has other options.
Bean had an initial hearing on the order on Tuesday, but the case was thrown out after he filed the wrong paperwork. He re-filed, and a second hearing convened on Wednesday morning.
Bean said his attorney has been out of town, but he still takes Clemons' action as good news. He said a contact who is working between him and his attorney told him to expect the case to be dismissed altogether on Wednesday.
"I actually was kind of afraid she was going to dismiss it entirely," Bean said after the hearing on Wednesday.
Bean submitted to the court a letter from a witness supporting his side of the story. Dozens of people were present during the Boneyard Creek cleanup event on Saturday, and this week he has been publishing Facebook posts asking anyone who witnessed or videotaped the confrontation to come forward.
"No one has stepped up yet," Bean said.
This is the second request for an order of protection against the mayor within the past six months. In October, former Urbana City Council member Laura Huth, who is Gerard's ex-girlfriend, filed a complaint against Gerard.
Gerard has denied her claims of harassment, too. A status hearing in that case is set for Thursday morning.