LAKEMOOR – After prosecuting ordinance violations in McHenry County for 62 years, the village of Lakemoor will be taking violators to court in Lake County, its village president said.
The move, which takes effect in April, comes as the village looks to build a new village hall on the Lake County side of town, which means that it would "only be proper" to conduct its prosecutions in Lake County, Village President Todd Weihofen said.
The leased administrative offices the village has been using since moving out the now demolished former village hall are also in Lake County.
"Over the last five years, the Village has been working diligently to improve our municipal government efficiency and progressively planning for the future," Weihofen said in a letter to McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi.
"Unfortunately, now that our Village Clerk is located in Lake County, the interpretation under the Illinois Venue Statute is that the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Lake County is now a more appropriate venue for village prosecution matters," he continued.
The state law has two venue options for municipalities located in more than one county in enforcing any fines, imprisonments, penalties or forfeitures related to the violation of village or city ordinances.
The first is the county where the clerk of the municipality is located or any county in which at least 35 percent of the municipality is located.
That means Lakemoor, which is split geographically pretty evenly over the two counties, can pick.
The decision has nothing to do with how McHenry County has handled Lakemoor's cases, Weihofen said, adding that nothing will really change for violators except that they'll have to head to Mundelein for court.