PEORIA - “i absolutely will prosecute. bring it on.”
The Quincy Journal is reporting that those words, typed on March 13, constitute Mayor Jim Ardis’ response to the revelation that a criminal statute could apply to the creator of a Twitter account that mocked him.
However, Ardis based his comment on a flawed interpretation of the state's impersonation statute, and it resulted in the police raiding a home on April 15 in an effort to find out the author behind the Twitter account: @peoriamayor.
The communication above was included in hundreds of pages of documents turned over to the Journal Star this week as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for emails related to the execution of the search warrant that resulted in an arrest.
The back-and-forth conversations between the mayor and city staff seem to depict "an aggressive, high-priority stance taken against the Twitter account within hours of it being noticed." And, as reported HERE, some statements contained in the documents contradict police reports made on the investigation and explanations given to the public in the wake of the raid.
In addition, the city’s FOIA response appears to be incomplete, as Ardis failed to include several emails he sent to other city staff in his response to the Journal Star and specifically omitted his personal correspondence with the newspaper’s editorial board.
It is unknown whether other emails were left out, and the city administration representative who provided the FOIA response to the newspaper said no other communications would be provided after being alerted to the omissions.