Concerned citizens appeal Jail expansion ruling

Staff reports

Concerned citizens of Mercer County filed an appeal yesterday of Judge Alan Blackwood’s summary judgment ruling that favored the Aledo Public Building’s plans for a $5 million Mercer County Jail Expansion. The appeal will be heard in 3rd District Appellate Court.

Judge Blackwood approved a summary judgment in favor of the Mercer County Building Commission in Mercer County Court on Dec. 10 after hearing arguments on both sides. The Concerned citizens group wants to halt the jail expansion, saying the building commission has no authority to make such a decision.

Mercer County States Attorney Gregory McHugh called the appeal “a frivolous lawsuit” and said he hopes that construction can commence in the spring as planned. The expansion will add 30 jail cells and bring in more federal prisoners, to  help the county’s finances.