For the first time in 12 years, Village of Antioch citizens elected a new mayor last Tuesday. Candidate Scott Gartner defeated four-term Mayor Larry Hanson by winning nearly twice as many votes. After his victory, Mayor-Elect Gartner said, “It was very evident this town was ready for a change.”
In January, we filed a class action lawsuit alleging the Village of Antioch Police Department violated laws by secretly and illegally recording non-emergency phone calls.
According to the complaint, the Hanson-administration knew about the conduct but they chose not to investigate the facts and they hid what happened.
During the election, in response to voter questions, Candidate Gartner directly addressed the lawsuit. You can watch the video of Candidate Gartner’s January 19, 2021 meeting below at approximately 18:00 – 21:00.
Excerpts of Candidate Gartner’s statements are below:
“I’ve gotten a lot of postings on Facebook asking me to respond to the lawsuit that was filed recently against Antioch for illegally recording phone calls and yes, it was illegal and it should be punished.”
“It is my belief, and I have been told directly by people with knowledge of the matter that it is no longer happening . . . ”
” . . . when I read the lawsuit, I will say this. The two officers, if it’s true the allegations that they knew about this and continued to use it intentionally, then they should be punished and the Village attorney, if he knew about it, he should no longer be the Village attorney and same with the Village Administrator. “
Now that the election was decided, Mayor-Elect Gartner can take three steps for the people whose privacy rights may have been violated:
- Investigate and disclose the facts behind the secret surveillance and recording system.
- Identify and notify any victims of the conduct.
- Confirm the secret surveilling and recording of non-emergency calls has stopped and will not occur in his administration.
We look forward to the Gartner-administration bringing change to Antioch in many ways, including by promptly taking these three steps.