News

Retired Judge Named Rail Relocation Ombudsman

Retired Judge Named Rail Relocation Ombudsman

Theodis Lewis addresses a gathering after he was announced as the rail relocation ombudsman. Photo: Newsradio WTAX/Alex Degman

East side residents and businesses being relocated due to the 10th Street Rail Consolidation now have someone who can work with them and explain their rights.

Theodis Lewis, a former Sangamon County Judge, will serve as rail relocation Ombudsman. He’ll make sure families and businesses being relocated are being treated fairly, and will ensure they have the information they need. This is a huge step, according to Leroy Jordan with Faith Coalition for the Common Good.

“We are leap years ahead of where we were 20, 30 years ago,” he said. “This process now feels the way it should be, it feels like we’re going to be successful.”

Lewis will be paid $100 an hour from state coffers on an as needed basis. The initial pot, according to Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser, is about $50,000.

“The taking of property by the government is a very serious, and can be an awesome power that should not be used unwieldingly,” said Lewis, addressing a crowd of a couple dozen who gathered for the news conference Monday afternoon.

Lewis will remain an unbiased voice through the process, he’s not to take the side of either the property owners or the government.

Lewis has so far been tapped relocation ombudsman for the Carpenter Street project, but the eventual Ash Street underpass is still up in the air.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Quinn Accuses Rauner of Not Hiring Enough Minorities

Fresh
Bruce Rauner (R), Pat Quinn

Both trying to make inroads in minority communties

in Local

Library Turf War Continues

Fresh
Lincoln Presidential Museum

Major donors threaten to withhold donations unless the feuding stops

in Local

Woman Dies in Route 29 Crash Near Edinburg

medical

Illinois State Police say a van over corrected after swerving off the roadway.

in Local

Attorney Wants Parsons to Pay $1.2 Million Now, $100,000 Monthly

Jeff Parsons appears defiant as he walks out of federal court in Springfield July 10, 2014

An attorney representing former THR and Associates employees and creditors wants Jeff Parsons to pony up -- immediately.

in Local

Fake IDs are Easy to Get

id theft

Fake IDs and driver’s licenses are the scourge of the Illinois secretary of state’s office