Court clears mayor of stalking accusations

Published 05/10 2013 04:44PM

Updated 05/10 2013 05:32PM

Update: 4:45 pm, 5/10/13, Friday
CHAMPAIGN -- Now that a bitter court battle is over, the mayor says it's time for him to move on. Thursday, Mayor Don Gerard won in court. Jim Bean had accused Gerard of stalking him. The judge rejected that. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield met with the mayor Friday to find out what's next.

Gerard's legal problems aren't over yet. The mayor still has a personal lawsuit pending, but says that should be over soon. In the meantime, he's not letting his personal life take over his plans as mayor.

If there's one thing Don Gerard says he's learned from his time as mayor, it's to "catch more bees with honey." But, he admits the argument with Jim Bean last month at a volunteer event wasn't his sweetest moment because it got personal.

"This is annoying for me. On a personal level, it's part of the job, I understand, your skin just gets thicker. We are human beings. We aren't robots or programmed. And sometimes our tempers and emotions get a little high. But again, the judge ruled."

The judge cleared him of wrongdoing, but called his actions "inappropriate" and suggested he has anger issues. Gerard wouldn't agree or disagree, but says he takes the comments to heart.

"Sometimes we stumble a little bit, but we take a deep breath and move on. I take that to heart, but I know that I am out there with the community."

Gerard says after all is said and done, the honey he uses most of the time as mayor works. His record speaks for itself and will only get louder.

"Summer Youth Employment Program, hiring Chief Cobb, who is outstanding, actions to preserve our aquifer. I am very proud of these things. To me, the legal issues are taken care of, but I am going to focus on making the City of Champaign the best it can be."

Mayor Gerard is still dealing with a lawsuit involving his former girlfriend. She claims he still owes her money for public relations work during his campaign. Another hearing on that case is set for later this month. 

Original: 10:40 pm, 5/9/13, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN -- The mayor may have gotten a favorable ruling in court Thursday, but the judge was critical of his behavior. Mayor Don Gerard was in court after an argument with a musician during a volunteer event last month.

Jim Bean was asking for an order of protection. The judge denied the request saying Gerard didn't stalk him, but she did say he used poor judgement and may have anger control issues.

The mayor says, in hindsight, he shouldn't have argued with Bean, but says they spent three hours in court wasting taxpayer money.

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