Law

Belleville, IL

#1 Jan 16, 2013
The hearing was in Katz's chambers -- not in the courtroom where the defendant and the press were waiting.

"We do that all the time," Paulson said.

But despite that assertion, Esther Seitz, a lawyer who represents the Illinois Press Association, said the hearing violated the law.

"There is a First Amendment right for the public and press to report on judicial proceedings," Seitz said.

Courts can close proceedings, but must articulate the reasons for the closure, such as juvenile matters or to protect a defendant's right to a fair trial.

Calls to Katz and Chief Judge John Baricevic were not returned immediately. The defense attorney's name was not available.

Kellerman could not be reached after the order was made public.

Paulson, who became the village attorney last year, told reporters after the hearing that many of the village's ordinances need to be rewritten, including the indecent conduct ordinance.

The current ordinance states "it shall be unlawful for any person to commit any indecent or immoral act; or to appear in public places not properly or decently garbed."

Kellerman, a Democrat, was first elected sheriff of Perry County in 1998. He will face re-election in 2014.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2013/01/15/2459231/sheriff...

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