Hopp still to be banned from Gail Borden Library
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News December 12, 2012 3:36PM
Randy Hopp EL11_HOPP.JPG
Updated: January 14, 2013 7:22AM
ELGIN — Randy Hopp will not, for the time being, be allowed back into the Gail Borden Public Library, where he is also a trustee on the library district’s board.
The board this week voted to continue Hopp’s exclusion from the library. Since shortly after he was elected to the board in 2009, Hopp, 62, has been banned from the library as a patron. Staff had complained about harassing, erratic behavior from Hopp, officials said.
Before meeting Tuesday, board members received a 16-page confidential document that outlined 12 years of complaints from staff about Hopp’s actions — complaints going back to 2000 and the old Gail Borden Library across the street from its present location.
On their 5-2 vote, with Hopp and board member Penny Wegman voting to allow Hopp back in, the board also indicated it would consider allowing Hopp back into the library at a later date. His seat is up for election on April 9.
Hopp argued that his original, three-year suspension ended on June 30 and that he had served his “punishment” for any behavior.
According to library policy, any library patron who has been excluded for a year must submit to an interview with the library director before being allowed to return. Due to Hopp’s position on the board, Library Director Carole Medal wanted the entire board to make that decision.
“There are 16 pages, single-spaced, of issues over a significant period of time — 12 years and many, many infractions and unpleasantness,” noted board member Sue Moylan, who asked Hopp to explain why the incidents occurred.
“Much of what is there is false,” Hopp said, adding that he had been “punished” for that already.
What he has learned, Hopp said, is “to be more careful around the staff. Everything I do or say is an incident, and much of it is not factual.
“You have 16 pages of lies to read, only that side of the supposed story that you think is true. I am wiser to be more careful about having interaction with the staff,” Hopp said.
It was that lack of remorse for his behavior that concerned Moylan.
“You show no remorse for the people you upset, or the times that you have been rude in my presence to staff. You have no feeling that you have been out of line. I am looking for remorse, frankly,” Moylan said.
Hopp did admit to speaking rudely and using inappropriate language with staff and said, “I should avoid getting so angry.”
Hopp is awaiting trial for a March 2011 incident in which he is accused of battering his elderly parents.
Since Hopp was first banned from Gail Borden Public Library, he also has been banned from the libraries at Judson University in Elgin and at Elgin Community College.