Timeline of Bud Niekamp's disputed seat on Quincy (Ill.) School Board, April 2009 to present
Created by gbwhig on Apr 20, 2011
Last updated: 12/30/11 at 05:45 PM
Tags: Quincy School Board
The 4th District Appellate Court in Springfield has upheld the trial court’s ruling in the quo warranto lawsuit involving Quincy School Board member Melvin “Bud” Niekamp. The trial court last year ruled against Niekamp, saying he violated the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, which precludes a sitting county board member from being elected to a school board in Illinois counties with populations over 40,000. The judge in that case, Diane Lagoski, in September 2010 issued a judgment of ouster and declared Niekamp’s School Board seat vacant. However, Lagoski stayed that ruling and allowed Niekamp to remain on the board while he appealed.
The attorney for the plaintiffs in the quo warranto lawsuit against Quincy School Board member Melvin “Bud” Niekamp has filed a motion asking that Niekamp’s appeal be dismissed because the matter is now moot. Attorney Jack Inghram filed the motion by mail last week with the 4th District Appellate Court in Springfield. The motion contends that Niekamp’s effort to hold on to the School Board seat to which he was elected in April 2009 is no longer relevant because Niekamp accepted a new four-year term after the April 5, 2011, election.
Melvin “Bud” Niekamp’s tumultuous two years as president of the Quincy School Board ended abruptly Wednesday night when he voluntarily resigned the president’s post but refused to give up his old seat on the board.
The board voted 4-3 to vacate Niekamp’s old seat, then eventually appointed Tom Dickerson to serve the remaining two years of Niekamp’s old term. Dickerson, an incumbent, was edged out in the April 5 election, placing fifth in the race for four seats.
Bud Niekamp’s status and the installation of artificial turf at Flinn Stadium will be among the topics of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting of the Quincy School Board.
Issue of Niekamp's two board seats scheduled to come up at special School Board meeting
All the drama surrounding what may or may not happen to Melvin “Bud” Niekamp at tonight’s Quincy School Board meeting is really no mystery at all.
The numbers simply work against Niekamp, the board’s embattled president. And it’s now becoming clear that he will lose his current seat and will be sworn into the new four-year term he won in the April 5 election.
As everyone knows by now, Niekamp was having second thoughts about whether he should accept the new seat. He feared if he stepped down from his current seat — as required before taking the oath of office for the new seat — the board might appoint Tom Dickerson to fill the remaining two years of his unexpired term. ... read more at http://www3.whig.com/whig/blogs/educationbeat/2011/04/niekamps-fate-on-school-board-pretty-much-decided
Niekamp wins one of four available School Board seats. He is victorious along with incumbent Jeff Mays and newcomers Stephanie Erwin and Scott Stone. Niekamp expresses reservations about accepting the new seat, saying he wouldn’t want to see Tom Dickerson appointed to fill the remaining two years of his unexpired term. Dickerson places fifth in the election.
Niekamp’s attorney, Gilsdorf, meets the Feb. 28 deadline to file a brief with the 4th District Appellate Court and asks for the opportunity to make oral arguments in the case. As a result, the opposing attorney, Inghram, admits there is “no way” the Appellate Court will be able to render a decision before the April 5 election.
Word comes that the 4th District Appellate Court has rejected Inghram’s motion to lift the stay on the “judgment of ouster.”
News reports indicate Niekamp has hired Mount Sterling attorney Jesse Gilsdorf to represent him in his appeal of the quo warranto lawsuit.
Jack Inghram, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the quo warranto lawsuit, files a motion asking the appellate court to lift the stay on the “judgment of ouster” that was issued against Niekamp on grounds that Niekamp’s efforts to delay the filing of briefs to Feb. 28 represents a delay tactic aimed at prolonging the stay while Niekamp runs for a new School Board seat.
Niekamp files nominating petitions for the April 5 School Board election.
Niekamp’s former attorney, Adrian, is sworn into office as an 8th District Circuit judge after winning election Nov. 2 over Chris Scholz, forcing Niekamp to find a new attorney to handle his appeal. Meanwhile, the appellate court gives Niekamp more time to file his appellate briefs.
Niekamp picks up nominating petitions for the April 2011 Quincy School Board election as a precaution in case the appellate court rules against him prior to the election’s Dec. 20 filing deadline.
Niekamp’s attorney files notice of appeal with the 4th District Appellate Court in Springfield
Judge’s Lagoski’s ruling against Niekamp is officially entered into the court records, giving Niekamp 30 days to appeal.
Word comes that the Quincy School Board once again offers Niekamp the opportunity to resign his legally challenged seat and be immediately reappointed, though not as president. Niekamp again says “no thanks.”
Judge Diane Lagoski rules against Niekamp in the quo warranto lawsuit and issues a “judgment of ouster” to remove him from the office, which is declared vacant. However, Lagoski then immediately grants a motion by Niekamp’s attorney, Robert Adrian, to stay the ruling and allow Niekamp to remain on the School Board while the case is appealed — a process that could take months.
Niekamp’s attorney, Robert Adrian, files notice that he intends to challenge the constitutionality of the state law that prevents Niekamp from serving simultaneously on the School Board and the Adams County Board.
Board strips Niekamp of most presidential powers. It also dissolves four standing committees because they have become “dysfunctional.” At that meeting, the board hears mixed reviews from the public on the action taken by the board. One man says: “I think this is one of the most despicable acts — underhanded, back-stabbing nonsense — I’ve ever seen come down the pike in this community.”
The Quincy School Board offers Niekamp an ultimatum: Either step aside as board president or have your powers and duties as president dramatically reduced. All six other board members sign a letter that is hand-delivered to Niekamp asking him to resign his seat on the School Board before the next meeting as a way to resolve “the legal uncertainties and disruptions concerning your election.” The six promise they will promptly appoint Niekamp to the vacancy created by his resignation, but he will no longer be president. Instead, Tom Dickerson, who serves as vice president, would be elevated to the president’s position.
After some legal questions arise, the quo warranto lawsuit is refiled on behalf of two current School Board members — Bemis and Bill Daniels — and one former board member, Carol Nichols. In November, Lagoski rules all three plaintiffs have standing to bring the suit because each is “substantially affected” by Niekamp’s re-election to the School Board. Lagoski said Nichols has standing because she ran against Niekamp in the April 2009 election and finished fourth in the race for three seats. Had Niekamp not been the top vote-getter, Lagoski said, the outcome for Nichols might have been different. Lagoski rules Bemis and Daniels are affected because every time they vote, their vote might be ultimately considered void because of Niekamp’s uncertain status.
Judge gives attorney for plaintiffs 14 days to refile quo warranto case against Niekamp. The attorney representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Quincy School Board President Melvin “Bud” Niekamp plans to refile the case and likely reduce the number of people involved.
Initial hearing is held in the quo warranto case in Adams County Circuit Court. Judge Diane Lagoski is appointed to the case after Judge Mark Schuering recuses himself because he knows two of the 14 plaintiffs well.
Quo warranto lawsuit is filed in Adams County Circuit Court challenging Niekamp’s position on the School Board on grounds Niekamp was already a member of the Adams County Board when re-elected to a sixth four-year term on the School Board in April 2009. The suit is filed by the following 14 citizens: Kevin Ballard, Quentin Chambers, Donia Gardner, G. Curtis Gardner, Michael K. Smith, Cynthia J. Helmer, Melissa E. Holden, William P. Holden, Rhonda L. Klesner, Dennis G. Koch, Kay E. Merrick, Claire Safford, Michael L. Schuttler and Dennis C. Williams. To read the filers reaction, go to http://www.whig.com/story/news/lawsuit-react-072509
Quincy School Board Vice President Tom Dickerson offers Niekamp a chance to resign his seat and be reappointed to the position as a way to make the legal concerns go away. Niekamp refuses and later claims he is being harassed by other board members.
Bud Niekamp resigns from the Adams County Board after serving since 1992. To read a copy of his resignation letter, go to http://www.whig.com/story/news/Niekamp-letter
School Board holds two meetings — one called by Niekamp, another called by several other board members. Tom Dickerson is elected vice president at second meeting. Niekamp is bombarded with calls for his resignation. Many complain he is not equipped to serve as board president, while others argue his School Board seat is invalid.
Glen Bemis announces he is resigning as board president — just two months after taking the job. Niekamp automatically becomes president, but Bemis asks Niekamp to step aside so Tom Dickerson could become president. Niekamp refuses to step aside. He later reveals he was offered the vice president’s position in exchange for his support of Bemis as board president.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office issues an opinion that Niekamp may be in violation of a state law that precludes a county board member from being elected to a school board in counties with more than 40,000 residents. Niekamp says he will fight to keep his seat on the School Board.
At a special meeting, Glenn Bemis is elected president of the School Board and Niekamp is elected vice president.
Adams County State’s Attorney Jon Barnard asks Attorney General Lisa Madigan to render a decision on whether Niekamp should step down from the School Board because he already has a seat on the Adams County Board.
Melvin “Bud” Niekamp, a member of the Quincy School Board since 1989, is elected to a sixth four-year term. Also elected are incumbent Bill Daniels and newcomer Steven Krause. Losing out is incumbent Carol Nichols, who placed fourth in the six-person race for three seats.