WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Says It's Still Waiting for Windows

Sep 29, 2014

The people behind an effort to restore a former church in Keokuk now face jail time for allegedly failing to abide by a judge's ruling.

Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

District Court Judge Michael Schilling ruled this month that the windows removed from the church at the corner of 4th and High Streets be returned to the city.

His ruling focused, in part, on how the people who removed the windows ignored the fact that the building was declared unsafe to enter several years ago.  He said they did not have permission to enter and remove the windows.

The city said eight windows have been returned, but it believes nearly three times as many are still missing.

So the city has asked for, and received, a special hearing on whether the people who removed the windows should be held in contempt of court for not returning them.  That charge carries the threat of a fine and/or jail time.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 6.  Both sides will have a chance to state their cases during that hearing.

The group working to restore the church has said it had to remove the windows to prevent their destruction when a new roof is eventually installed. 

Spokesperson Christopher Dailey told Schilling during a previous hearing that the windows would also be restored while removed.

The group has argued that the city does not need the windows because the city plans to tear down the building if it is successful in acquiring it through the legal system.

The city's response is that the building needs to be secured.