St. Charles man to spend second week in jail

Trading construction overalls for an orange jail jumpsuit for a week has had no effect on Cliff McIlvaine.

The St. Charles man, who the city says has had a construction project languishing since 1975, will remain jailed another week after refusing Thursday to agree to connect to the city’s water system.

McIlvaine, 71, was ordered jailed for contempt of court Aug. 23 for not following a September 2011 agreement he signed to complete an addition and new roof on his home in the 600 block of Prairie Street by September 2012.

Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller has twice found McIlvaine in contempt of court and last week jailed McIlvaine after he refused a three-week extension to complete work that was due in May.

McIlvaine on Thursday again refused to connect to the city water supply and is due in court next on Sept. 6.

The move didn’t surprise Drew Whitehead, one of McIlvaine’s friends and supporters who attended the hearing.

Outside of court, Whitehead, of Villa Park, said McIlvaine is a man of conviction who also helps others through charity work.

“I think they need to let him out (of jail). Let him finish his project,” Whitehead said. “I’ve seen it inside and out and the progress is substantial. He goes out of his way to help everybody he knows. This is how St. Charles pays this guy back? I don’t like it.”

The city sued McIlvaine nearly two years ago after refused to allow inspectors to check out a home addition he started in 1975.

He signed an agreement in September 2011 to finish the project within a year and connect to the city’s water supply, but McIlvaine missed numerous deadlines or flat out refused to follow the order.

The decree said McIlvaine could use an existing cistern at his home for toilets and laundry, but had to connect to the city water supply for drinking and bathing.

Thursday, city attorneys presented McIlvaine with a 15-day notice that the city could ask a judge to allow the city to do the repairs itself or even demolish the house.

“As as far as we’re concerned, it’s uninhabitable and unsafe,” attorney Phil Leutkehans said. “We have no desire to tear down this guy’s home. We just want this project over with.”

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