Elgin library trustee sent to downstate mental health facility
A Kane County judge refused Wednesday to intervene in the state's plan to have Randall L. Hopp, a Gail Borden Public Library trustee accused of felony battery in a domestic incident involving his elderly parents, sent to a maximum security facility downstate until he is ruled fit to stand trial.
Hopp, 61, of the 1500 block of Pamela Court, Elgin, is banned from the library, and in late June was ruled unfit by a jury to stand trial.
Since then he's been held in the Kane County jail while the state's Department of Human Services decides on a treatment plan and facility for him.
Kane County Assistant Public Defender Eun Yoon argued Wednesday that Hopp has never missed a court date, has not had any further incidents with his parents while out on bond (prior to his June fitness hearing), and is not aggressive nor a threat to others.
Yoon asked Judge Marmarie Kostelny to assign Hopp to outpatient treatment, or if inpatient treatment was needed, to send him to the medium-security Elgin Mental Health Center close to home instead of the downstate Chester Mental Health Facility.
But Kostelny said she was only allowed to act if there was a "compelling reason" to override the DHS recommendation. She also noted Hopp can be transferred to the Elgin facility in the future if his condition improves.
"It's their decision. It's their treatment choice," Kostelny said. "Mr. Hopp holds the keys, somewhat, in his own hands."
Dr. Fran Teller, a DHS clinical psychologist, testified Wednesday she met with Hopp for about 30 minutes and found him to be irritable, illogical, annoyed by the legal system and believing he was superior to others.
"He evidenced paranoid delusions about the court system," Teller testified, adding Hopp said he would not take any medication. "He adamantly denied having a mental illness."
Teller recommended the Chester facility because it would be easier there for officials to get a court order to allow them to physically force Hopp to take medication.
Hopp testified Wednesday he would be willing to take medication if it was part of an outpatient program and didn't cause any "permanent damage."
Hopp was elected to the library board in spring 2009 and his term runs through April 2013.
He was banned from the Gail Borden Library because of aggressive behavior toward staff members and also banned from the library at Judson University in Elgin.
Hopp's ban from the Gail Borden Library technically ended July 1, but the library policy states he must undergo an interview process to regain his entry privileges.
Dr. Timothy Brown, a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Kane County Diagnostic Center, evaluated Hopp earlier this year and testified in June that it's his opinion Hopp understood the roles of the judge, prosecutors and public defenders, but was convinced they all were conspiring against him and that the outcome is preordained before any type of trial.
Tuesday, Brown testified that Hopp expressed an unwillingness to take any medication. Brown also said he thought the Elgin facility would be the least restrictive place for Hopp to get treatment.
"I have an opinion, but DHS doesn't care. It's their decision where to put somebody," he said. "It's not my call, so to speak."
Hopp's case is next due in court Sept. 19 for an update on his progress.
Hopp was arrested in spring 2011 on misdemeanor domestic battery charges after an altercation at his parents' home. Authorities in December upgraded the charges to felonies.
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