PINCKNEYVILLE — Bad blood between Pinckneyville’s current and former mayors has spilled out into the public arena.
Former Mayor Joseph Holder spoke to the City Council last week; he had been put on the agenda to address “the subject of health insurance and coverage of medical insurance for employees.”
Holder read a statement and submitted four documents to the council. In the statement, Holder accused Mayor August Kellerman of “political retaliation, discrimination, intimidation and official misconduct by an elected official,” specifically, against Holder’s son, Pinckneyville police Officer James Holder.
Joseph Holder also claimed the city of Pinckneyville has “willfully withheld medical payments from injuries sustained by Officer Holder in the line of duty.”
The statement closed with Holder saying, “I will be waiting for an answer from the appropriable authorities with jurisdiction in this matter.”
The accompanying documents include a statement from April by James Holder recounting an incident in which he said Kellerman angrily confronted him about stories in the Pinckneyville Press, for which Jessica Holder — James’ sister and Joseph’s daughter — is a reporter.
Pinckneyville Press Publisher Jeff Egbert said Jessica Holder’s coverage of the Kellerman family only included articles concerning the Pinckneyville Community High School Board’s actions, including its handling of Nolan Kellerman’s employment. Egbert said he was the writer on other occasions.
Officer Holder said he drove himself to Pinckneyville Community Hospital for high blood pressure after the confrontation with Mayor Kellerman.
Another document Joseph Holder presented was an apology letter on city letterhead from Kellerman to James Holder regarding the confrontation.
City Attorney Roger Siebert could not be reached Friday.
The Southern Illinoisan has a Freedom of Information Act request pending with the city of Pinckneyville for information on James Holder’s workman’s compensation claims and standing.
James Holder has been a full-time Pinckneyville police officer since September 2009.
His father also entered into the council’s written record a December 2011 letter from his son to Police Chief John Griffin in which James Holder said Kellerman threatened to make his life as a city employee difficult.
Griffin, in response, wrote James Holder that neither he nor Assistant Chief Kenneth Kelley was aware of anything that would endanger James Holder’s job.
Union County State’s Attorney David Stanton said Illinois State Police had presented him with statements regarding certain allegations in the Kellerman-Holder dispute, but after a review of the statements and the law, Stanton said he found nothing indicating he or state troopers should become involved.
“I don’t believe the facts supported a criminal charge,” Stanton said.
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