UPDATE: BELVIDERE (WIFR) – The case is over for now for the couple who owns the building on Pearl Street that’s home to the Secretary of State’s office in Belvidere.
That means the driver’s license facility won’t be moving. There’s been no check since June 2013 and owner Diana Toft says this whole process has been disheartening and she feels her hands are tied.
That’s because lawyers for the state of Illinois argued the state has sovereign immunity, meaning it can’t be sued or evicted. In talking with the State’s Attorney in Boone County, the sate can be sued but only in a special court called the court of claims. That could allow the Tofts to get their back rent and possibly kick out the secretary of state’s office.
The Tofts haven’t had a lease with the state since December of 2012. State law says no lease, no rent, no money. The contract was drawn up by the state and the Tofts did not agree and that’s why they didn’t sign.
The lawyer for the Tofts says the couple voluntarily pulled their case and are mulling their options. They may take this case to the court of claims. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office says they are looking at other building in Belvidere, but for the short term, they are staying on Pearl Street.
There’s a for rent sign outside so they are also on the hunt for new tenants.
BELVIDERE (WIFR) – A local state agency is having some trouble after the landlord says she hasn't been paid in more than a year. It’s gotten so bad , the landlords are now evicting the Secretary of State’s Office from its current Belvidere location.
It’s not clear where the DMV will go, but what is clear is the Secretary of State’s Office can’t stay in the building on Pearl Street.
We spoke with one of the landlords, Diana Toft. Toft and her husband own the building on Pearl Street and they say they’re not willing to sign a lease because of the terms and offer in it. Toft says the state owes them 13 months of unpaid rent, saying the state hasn’t paid since June 29th, 2013. A representative from the Secretary of State’s Office says they’re not paying up because the Tofts haven’t signed the lease.
The state says they will keep an office in Belvidere and are looking at other locations and owners.
We’re told the process is in the courts right now, so it’s not clear when the DMV has to be out of that building. A representative from the state says it’s Illinois Law that in order for state agencies to pay for services, there has to be a signed lease. Since the Tofts haven’t signed one, the state hasn’t paid up.