Library trustee Hopp to go downstate for treatment
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News August 9, 2012 4:20PM
Updated: September 11, 2012 6:19AM
ST. CHARLES TWP. — The state’s Department of Human Services has determined where Randolph “Randy” Hopp will be given mental health treatment — the secure downstate Chester Mental Health Center facility.
While the Gail Borden Public Library District trustee is receiving treatment, there are no plans to consider changing Hopp’s status with the board or the library, Gail Borden officials said.
“I will not vote to replace him before the next election,” said Trustee Herb Gross.
Gross, who was defeated by Hopp in the April 2009 trustee election but who was later appointed — and re-elected — to fill a vacancy on the board, has been a vocal critic of Hopp’s actions toward library staff.
Although previously out on bail, Hopp, 62, was remanded to the Kane County jail following a one-day trial on June 26. In that trial, a Kane County jury found Hopp unfit to aid in his own defense on felony charges of domestic battery against a person over the age of 60. Those charges stem from a March 2011 incident at Hopp’s Elgin home, where he is accused of assaulting his elderly parents.
At that trial, Dr. Timothy Brown, director of the Kane County Diagnostic Center, said it was his opinion that Hopp was not competent to stand trial and that Hopp has a mental disorder. “Delusional disorder, paranoid type,” was Brown’s diagnosis.
Although Hopp could be in treatment for a year or longer, the library board has indicated it does not want to remove Hopp from the board before his term officially ends in April. Nominating petitions for that election are due to go out later this fall.
Hopp has been banned from the library as a patron for three years, since shortly after taking his seat on the board, on allegations of threatening and abusive behavior toward library staff. He has since also been barred from the Judson University and Elgin Community College campus libraries.
“We hope that Mr. Hopp gets the help he needs,” said Carole Medal, Gail Borden Public Library executive director.
“The court decision indicates the seriousness of the situation. As I stated previously, as for the operation of the library, safety of staff and customers remains of paramount importance,” Medal said.
Hopp has been allowed into the Gail Borden Library only on board meeting nights, and only when accompanied by security officers. He has missed one board meeting since the trial and its finding. The board is set to meet again Tuesday evening.
A status update on Hopp’s treatment is set for Sept. 19 before Kane County Judge Marmarie Kostelny.
“He may be back (for that hearing), or he may be in treatment,” said Jamie Mosser, assistant Kane County state’s attorney.
Whether Hopp is returned to Kane County for that date is determined by his current treatment needs, she said.
If Hopp is found fit for trial at a later date, the court proceedings will begin again. If he is not found fit within a year, another hearing will be held, Mosser said.
Kane County prosecutors could then argue that Hopp is “not not-guilty,” which could lead to being further committed to DHS custody, Mosser said.
“I hope (treatment) is successful,” said Gross.
He was a psychologist at the Elgin Mental Health Center for 35 years, before his retirement 12 years ago. “He really does need the treatment.”
There have been no problems thus far having a quorum on board meeting nights, Gross said. “I am content to wait on future developments” in Hopp’s court proceedings, he added.