Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)
* From the Journal Star…
Jim Ardis said he doesn’t regret his attempt to protect his identity. Some City Council members and others regret Peoria has become a nationwide punchline.
Debate about the Peoria mayor’s legal pursuit of the creators of a Twitter account that parodied him reached dramatic tones before and during a council meeting that extended late into Tuesday night.
Ardis defended his actions, which led to search warrants, a police visit to a West Bluff residence and the arrest of one occupant on a marijuana-possession charge.
He said the profane tweets, on a Twitter account created by Peoria resident Jon Daniel, could not be tolerated. That was true even after the account was re-labeled as a parody and was deactivated.
“I still maintain my right to protect my identity is my right,” Ardis said in an interview with the Journal Star before the council meeting.
Montelongo said the episode represented an abuse of Ardis’ authority, as well as the police department’s.
“There was too much power of force used on these pranksters,” said Montelongo, the 4th District councilman. “It made it look like the mayor received preferential treatment that other people don’t get or will never get.”
In his pre-meeting interview, Ardis said he believed his complaint was handled no differently than anybody else’s would be. He said he didn’t orchestrate the police investigation, nor the search-warrant process.
“That’s a heck of a lot more power than any mayor I know,” Ardis said.
It gets even better…
“You’re the ones responsible for getting full information, but not to spin it in the way you want to spin it,” Ardis said to a Journal Star reporter. “To make us look stupid.
“It’s your responsibility to put actual information out there and cover both sides. Not to opine. And that didn’t happen. Clearly, that didn’t happen.”
Umm, that’s funny because this was from the editorial that reporter’s paper put out last week when the story was fresh…
Among the some 50 tweets were vulgar references to sex and drug use and comparisons to erratic, reprobate Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Ardis says that “you couldn’t print the things it attributed to me in your paper,” that it was embarrassing to his family and that “there’s a line here that was not just crossed, but vaulted over.” We can appreciate how irritating that would be. It doesn’t say much for the adults who were responsible, who certainly invited scrutiny they may not have gotten otherwise. Ours is emphatically no defense of them.