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updated: 12/14/2012 12:34 PM

Elgin man banned from library wants to remain on its board

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  • Randy Hopp

      Randy Hopp

 
 

He faces felony charges of attacking his parents and he's banned from using the library, but Gail Borden Public Library Board Trustee Randy Hopp says he plans to run for re-election in April.

Hopp, who by a vote of the library board earlier this week continues to be barred from using the library as a patron, said he's the only independent voice on the board.

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"I'm the only voice and vote that people can rely on," he said. "(Library executive director) Carole Medal is the absolute dictator, and the other five people that voted to keep me excluded are her puppets. People need trustees who show up and vote for the people, not for Medal's agenda."

Medal didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hopp was elected to the board in 2009, but banned from the library after staff members complained of harassing and threatening behavior from him.

Hopp petitioned for a readmission interview with Medal, the normal procedure in such cases, but the board felt it should address the issue because Hopp, as a trustee, oversees Medal, board President Rick McCarthy said.

The board voted 5-2 to continue the ban, with Hopp and trustee Penny Wegman dissenting. Right now, Hopp is allowed at the library only for board meetings.

"The bottom line is safety for patrons and staff. The library has to be a good experience and a safe experience," McCarthy said.

There haven't been any recent incidents involving Hopp, McCarthy acknowledged.

"(Trustees) were asking him about remorse and such, and I don't think they heard what they wanted to hear from him. That's my opinion," he said, adding this is a "sad situation."

Tuesday's decision is not a lifetime ban and "can be revised again in the future," McCarthy said.

Hopp also faces felony charges that he attacked his elderly parents; his next court date is Jan. 16.

This summer, Hopp was briefly sent to a mental health center, where he was found fit to stand trial.

Asked about the criminal case, Hopp said, "That has nothing to do with the library."

Wegman, Hopp's lone supporter on the board, said he has shown a great desire to be come back to the library, and his state of mind has vastly improved.

"I think if Randy decides he wants to continue pursuing being an active member of the library, that's something he should definitely be entitled to," she said.

In separate cases, Hopp was also banned from the now-closed Elgin State Bank in Carpentersville in 2005, and from the Judson University library in 2011.

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