CAHOKIA, IL (KPLR) – A Cahokia Village Board member spoke with Fox 2 after police forcibly removed him from a board meeting.
Fox 2 obtained video of it all.
Trustee and life-long Cahokia resident Jerry Nichols admitted he refused the mayor’s order to be quiet and take a seat during Tuesday night’s board meeting. He wasn’t the first person to be forcibly removed from the meeting that evening.
Cahokia Police Chief Lawrence Purcell told Fox 2 resident Donna Ayers rose to spoke even though she’d already had her turn. When she kept talking and disrupting the meeting, she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, which is a municipal ordinance violation.
Minutes later, Nichols stood to question Mayor Curtis McCall Jr. about pay for newly hired administrators for various village departments.
“I am a trustee. I have the right to know where this money is coming from. He will not answer me. All he does is talk over me. He keeps going on with the meeting. He won’t answer me,” Nichols said. “I don’t know; he pushed the wrong button last night. I just got up and told him, ‘You’re going to answer my question.’”
Nichols admitted he wasn’t about to comply until he got an answer from the mayor.
The mayor then called on Chief Purcell, who told Nichols to stop disrupting the meeting. Nichols refused.
Police then escorted him from the meeting. They nearly had to carry him.
“They carried me out. I made them carry me. It wasn’t the policemen; they’re my friends. As far as touching me, they don’t have the right to touch me. They didn’t arrest me. They told me to go home after it was over,” Nichols said. “There’s no way they’re going to get me out of here. I’ll never leave. I’ll never quit them, you know. I’m the lone wolf of Cahokia.”
The mayor released a statement saying any person disrupting the meeting is subject to removal, “as was the case Tuesday night.”
Nichols said he was considering legal action against the mayor and village. His wife is among a group of recently fired village workers who are already suing for wrongful termination.