Evanston police say City Clerk Devon Reid was arrested early this morning for driving on a suspended license.

Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says an officer on patrol about 1 a.m. saw a car fail to signal for a left turn in the 2400 block of Emerson Street and pulled the car over just across the North Shore Channel in the 9400 block of McCormick Boulevard in Skokie.

In addition to finding that Reid didn’t have a valid license, Glew says officers discovered a small amount of marijuana in the car and issued Reid, 25, a citation for possession of under 10 grams of cannabis.

Reid has been in trouble over the driver’s license issue before. In October 2015, he was arrested while driving in the McHenry County village of Lake in the Hills for driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

When that arrest became an issue during his election campaign, Reid said he knew he had an unpaid traffic ticket from a prior incident but wasn’t aware that his license had been suspended.

He said he had since paid the fine, but had not tried to get his license reinstated — preferring to walk or use public transportation.

Reid did not attend Monday night’s City Council meeting, where aldermen held off approving minutes for the previous meeting after Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said he had substantive issues about the minutes that couldn’t be addressed with Reid absent.

Update 5:30 p.m.: Reid, in a phone interview with Evanston Now, said he hadn’t attended the City Council meeting Monday night because he was sick.

He explained the late-night trip by saying he had borrowed his roommate’s car to pick up his neighbors from the hospital where they’d taken their kids to the emergency room.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Give yourselves a round of
    Give yourselves a round of applause. You wanted a weed smoking, suspended license driving, loud mouth activist as clerk. You got it. Now you get to pay him a handsome full time salary for substandard work when he actually does it. I’ll show Devon to my kids as a Black History Month Don’t. What an embarrassing example. He does not represent any community I am a part of as a black man.

    1. Well put, and thank you for
      Well put, and thank you for your common sense. Sometimes, sound logic is just missing in the Clerk’s office.

    2. I believe that there are
      I believe that there are other transportation options available…to all citizens…..taxis, Uber, Lyft…… Not a good example being set by an elected official. Sadly, in this day and age, there are way too many poor examples being set by elected (and other) officials.

    3. This goes on and on
      When will we get a deceit city clerk. Reid replaced Greene. Greene is the guy that used thousands of taxpayer dollars to buy himself a good Bio. City Council said this was legal and forgave his debt. Who would have thought?

      1. A good bio
        For your information bweb that bio was a way to introduce the City of Evanston to the readers as well. This was a legitimate organization that had been in business for many years. I am getting fed up with citizens attempting to tarnish my character, integrity, and honesty.
        There had never been any complaints concerning the clerk’s office during my 9 year tenure. The services that were offered to the public were always given with the most excellent customer service around.
        So before you start spouting off information you do not have or fully understand, please stop letting others spoon feed you with their ideologies, and trash throwing statements. Also keep in mind this clerk was well trained in all the functions of the clerk’s office, as well as being on the job every day with an open door policy for everyone.
        I took this appointment in June of 2008, and then ran for election in 2009. My whole purpose and goal was to serve the residents of Evanston to the best of my ability. To this day, the service that was offered to the residents of Evanston, and the surrounding neighborhoods was unbiased and respectful to all,
        As for using taxpayers dollars, I am a taxpayer too and have always been one since arriving in Evanston in 1988. So I guess I used my tax dollars as well. Being a decent clerk is what occurred during the 9 year tenure of this past clerk.

        1. Your last campaign

          You lost the last election because Evanston voters felt you were serving yourself to taxpayer dollars. City council thought you should refund the money but said there was no ordinance against what you did. I thought you were one of the few bright spots in city government. I voted for you every time except the last time. I wish you a happy life.

          1. Let’s get one thing straight,
            Let’s get one thing straight, City Council did not mention or direct me to refund the monies spent. Every official can apply for membership with any organization they believe will benefit the city as well as networking, I appreciate your support from the two terms that I served, and yes I am also pleased you felt I was one of the bright spots in city government, The thing that upsets me the most is how some unknown person will come along and attempt to dig up dirt (they think will get them elected), to use to win an election. Someone who used and structured his platform as an innocent, law abiding citizen who the Evanston Police abused his rights, when all he had to do is follow his partner’s lead and give the Police answers to the question that he did (then everything after that would not have occurred). Bill Smith’s original article “Candidate for City Clerk is no stranger to arrest” was absolutely correct. Check the records from McHenry County, as well as the police report from his arrest in October of 2015.
            I have been told Mr Reid can never be found in the Clerk’s Office to answer any inquiries, and the person in the office never knows when or if he is coming into the office. Because he kept saying, “the City Clerk is the only full-time elected official” he has never fulfilled that statement since being elected. What kind of City Clerk do we have now???
            By the way the election was not lost because of the accusations of spending taxpayers money, it was lost because everyone felt sorry for this young black man who kept expressing his disdain for the Police department. He won the election because he was out there every day, while I couldn’t because I was performing the job that the residents elected me to perform. Again I want to thank you for your past support, and I to want to wish you a very happy and prosperous life. Finally, I just want to say this: the Lord allowed this election to go the way it did, so that I could regain my health and vigor. I am happy with Rodney and I know my legacy will be one of integrity, honesty, and a job that did the best for all residents of Evanston. Have a wonderful year in 2018, and keep making sure the officials are held accountable.

  2. More Wow’s

    I’m starting to wonder, whats really going in with the City of Evanston? Start “weeding” out these misfits!

    1. weed killer???
      Well…start at the top, then work your way down. From the 4th floor to custodians, there are weeds everywhere. Some are protected, and most are not. That’s life at good ole’ Evanston!

  3. You get what you paid for?????
    Is this what you get for the sky high taxes that we pay in Evanston? What does the council spend our millions on, please say? One would imagine with only MY tens of thousands of tax dollars that I alone pay yearly to the city I would get much better services! And with all the other taxpayers’ tens of thousands……millions in the end…. what is the council doing with all that besides affordable housing? Are they fit for service?

    1. Sad situation but Clerk is elected and schools’ big tax bite
      I agree that the taxpayers are not getting the service or integrity that we expect and deserve from this City Clerk. But sadly, the electorate chose this candidate in an election. We cannot pin that vote on the City Council.

      Also, a reminder that a large percentage of your real estate taxes actually fund District 65 (K-8 public schools) and District 202 (Evanston Township High School). As I recall, the schools’ total percentage is around 65-70 percent of your real estate tax bill.

      Frankly, we all ought to be keeping a much closer eye on what is happening with the schools as the elected boards seem to have lost sight of their proper roles. Board members have turned into cheerleaders for their administrations as some Board members have made it clear that that is what is expected. Very troubling that any questions to the administration are seen as proof that a particular board member is not “on the team.”

  4. Left hand turn?
    I am not defending someone driving with a suspended license, nor someone driving with a small quantity of marijuana, but:

    “about 1 a.m. saw a car fail to signal for a left turn in the 2400 block of Emerson Street and pulled the car over just across the North Shore Channel in the 9400 block of McCormick Boulevard in Skokie.”

    Gee, how much traffic is there at 1am? And if turning left at Emerson to McCormick, there’s a left turn lane. What’s the real reason he was stopped?

    1. No exemption

      There’s no 1 a.m. exemption from the signal your turns law, John.

      And similar late-night traffic stops for minor violations have been pretty effective in getting guns off Evanston streets over the past couple of years.

      — Bill

      1. How convenient.

        You’re right- there’s no exemption for late night signal turns and perhaps late night stops have been effective in getting guns off the streets. But we don’t know how many stops are made that don’t result in citations and we don’t know what motivated the officer to make this particular stop.

        1. Motivation

          Hi John,

          Actually we do have data on how many stops don’t result in citations. Please see this story from last year.

          If you’re convinced that the officer acted out of some sort of bad motivation, why don’t you FOIA the dash cam and body cam footage?

          Here’s a link where you can file your request.

          — Bill

      2. Mockery of the 4th

        So you admit that the stop might not have been motivated by traffic safety. Police have been using these pretext stops to search whomever they want. Follow any driver around and eventually they’ll commit some sort of infraction. It’s against the spirit of the search and seizure clause of the 4th amendment.

        1. “Police have been using these
          “Police have been using these pretext stops to search whomever they want.” You are commenting with your emotions versus your brain. Pretextual stops don’t authorize searches. Offenses discovered during the stop do. A pretextual stop wouldn’t allow for the car the clerk was driving to be searched BUT his misdemeanor of driving with a suspended license does. Our legislature decided that, not police. Furthermore your hatred of a pretextual stop is juvenile. The reason they don’t get rid of them is YOU HAVE TO HAVE A VIOLATION OF THE TRAFFIC CODE TO BE STOPPED. So no, I don’t see it as being wrong to stop someone for a minor violation if that minor violation, established by politicians, does in fact exist. Smoke your weed and drive suspended all you want while using your turn signal. See how that works?

    2. Failure to signal is wide spead
      Even during rush hour people make left turns on/off Sheridan around NU.
      In fact 1/3 of the cars I see daily never signal no matter what the traffic.
      “The use of turn signals is covered in the Illinois Vehicle Code under 625 ILCS 5/11-804. In a business or residence district, the statute requires that a turn signal is given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning right or left. Outside a business or residence district, the statute requires that the signal be used continuously during the last 200 feet before the turn. Among other signaling conditions, Illinois law requires that a driver may only make a turn when it can be made with reasonable safety.”

    3. Driving w/o license

      The weird thing is the idea that someone driving without a license isn’t as careful as he could possibly be. I’d be worried, doing everything exactly correct. There’s also the fact that he told the Trib “there was a few specks of marijuana in a bag” while the police mentioned a half-smoked blunt. I don’t think of marijuana as a major, major issue. But again, you’re getting in someone else’s car, at 1;00 am, without a license. You don’t try to make sure there are no other issues going on? And, there’s the fact that the license was suspended in 2013, and that he was pulled over in 2015 for driving on a suspended license, and driving without insurance. Again, another reason for caution. “Gee, I’ve already been in trouble for this. A lot. I better be really careful.” Nah! Rules are for losers!

  5. Wait…what?

    Let’s review the timeline and Mr. Reid’s statements:

    Monday night: Elected official is too sick to attend a meeting that he is ordinarily required to attend as part of his job responsibilities.  As I understand it, that meeting begins around 7 p.m. or later.  As I have read, certain business was not done because this elected official was not there.   

    Tuesday morning at 1 a.m.: That same elected official is driving a car without a license and while in possession of marijuana.  Hmmm…thought that he was too sick to work just hours earlier?

    What part of you cannot drive without a valid driver’s license does he not understand?  In case he does not know, you cannot drive without a license.  There is no emergency mentioned so there was apparently no situation that dictated he must drive without a license, such as witnessing an accident and hopping in the car to drive the injured driver to a nearby hospital.

    As noted above, Uber, Lyft and taxis exist. If he was being neighborly, he should have arranged and paid for a ride for his neighbor and the kids. His clerk job provides a more than adequate salary for an occasional ride share trip.   

    And the story he gave seems weak. He was stopped by Evanston police in Skokie. His Evanston neighbor took his kids to an emergency room in Skokie?  We have two hospitals in Evanston.

    I don’t know the truth but perhaps the City Council needs to ask some questions, including how much of this late-night unlicensed driving involved transporting injured or sick children.  Surely, there are records such as bills or discharge papers (with personal information redacted) to confirm that this story is even true.

    Too much law breaking. Too many excuses and stories that don’t add up. Too little work. I think that the City Council has to consider its options based on this office holder’s incompetence and inability to follow the law. 

    1. Another thing…

      Let’s also not forget that he was “picking up his neighbors children” from the hospital. Would you let YOUR children get into a car with an unlicensed driver who clearly doesn’t care about getting his license reinstated? Oh yeah, and he had a half smoke blunt and some weed? He’s lucky he didn’t get arrested for DUI.  

  6. This individual was elected
    This individual was elected by the voters to fill this position. 1) When is our next opportunity to elect someone else? 2) is there a process to kick this guy out of office by recalling him or some similar process?
    Clearly the voters were misled or made a big mistake putting this person in office. Time to correct the error.

    1. Election

      Hi Another,

      The clerk, elected last year, serves a four year term, so the next election at which the voters will get to choose a clerk is in 2021.

      Another option would be for the City Council to schedule a voter referendum seeking to eliminate the clerk’s job as an elected position — and instead have the work done by city employees reporting to the city manager.

      Close to a third of the municipal clerks in Illinois are appointed, according to this story, but opponents of the idea say an elected clerk is more accountable to the voters and more independent of the city administration.

      — Bill

      1. Removal of an Elected Officcial
        Bill just a point of reference, there are other options to remove of an Elected Official and here they are: 1) Impeachment (which takes a considerable amount of time), 2) recall election where the citizens must obtain signatures on a petition stating why a recall is necessary, 3) due cause.. the official is ill equipped and brings embarrassment to the organization, 4) expulsion,, this is where the board casts a 3/4th vote to have the official removed from the position. Also if the official is found guilty of a felony, or misdemeanor as soon as the guilt is proven the official has to vacate the position. I am attaching two articles you can view as well.

        (65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-50)
        Sec. 3.1-10-50.

        (2) Guilty of a criminal offense. An admission of

        guilt of a criminal offense that upon conviction would disqualify the municipal officer from holding the office, in the form of a written agreement with State or federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a felony, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime under State or federal law, constitutes a resignation from that office, effective on the date the plea agreement is made. For purposes of this Section, a conviction for an offense that disqualifies a municipal officer from holding that office occurs on the date of the return of a guilty verdict or, in the case of a trial by the court, on the entry of a finding of guilt.

        (3) Election declared void. A vacancy occurs on the

        date of the decision of a competent tribunal declaring the election of the officer void.
        According to the National Conference of State Legislators, a common method to remove an elected official from office is to use a recall election or to impeach an elected official. Recall elections involve citizen mobilization in effect to begin a new election. Impeachment involves a formal removal process through the approval of other elected officials.
        To remove an elected official through a recall election, citizens or citizen groups must gather a minimum number of signatures on formal documents provided through a state’s secretary of state office or local election commission. Citizens must gather enough signatures to represent a percentage of the population.
        Senators or Representatives of Congress, as written in the Constitution, are able to use a process called “expulsion” to expel one of their members, usually requiring a 2/3 vote of the rest of the members. There is no provision in the Constitution for their constituents to remove them. The “recall” process is outside of the Constitution, and is the means by which the people can remove a member of their board.

        Elected Officials – Removal from Office – Crimes
        Chapter 147 of 2012 (House Bill 211)
        This proposed constitutional amendment changes the point at which an elected official
        charged with certain crimes is suspended or removed from office.
        Under the State Constitution, there is a two-step process for removing a State or local
        elected official who, while in office, is convicted of or pleads nolo contendere (a plea stating that
        the defendant will not contest the charge but does not admit guilt or claim innocence) to a crime
        that is (1) a felony; or (2) a misdemeanor that is related to the elected official’s public duties and
        responsibilities and involves moral turpitude, and for which the penalty may be imprisonment
        (“disqualifying misdemeanor”). First, if the elected official is convicted or pleads nolo
        contendere, the elected official is suspended from office. During the suspension, the elected
        official may not receive pay or benefits and the office is filled temporarily. Second, if the
        conviction is not appealed or is affirmed on appeal, the elected official is removed from office.
        If the conviction is reversed or overturned, the elected official is reinstated automatically for the
        remainder of the term, if any, and all pay and benefits are restored.
        Under current law, a “conviction” occurs upon sentencing. Thus, an elected official who
        is found guilty or enters a guilty plea may continue in office until the official is sentenced for the
        crime, which may be months later. This proposed constitutional amendment establishes that a
        State or local official who is found guilty is suspended immediately upon the finding of guilt. A
        State or local official who pleads guilty or nolo contendere would be removed from office
        immediately without the possibility of reinstatement.

        Just a few additional options to consider.

        1. Is the problem different
          Unless I’m un-aware of some issues, isn’t the issue here incompetence ? That would be harder to take any of the actions taken.
          Esp. since it would open up the remedy to a much larger body of government officials. Business does have the latitude to get rid of people for incompetence though it may take longer to realize/accept the fact and act on it. Maybe government should take some lessons from business.

          1. hiring issues
            Guest: I’m not taking any sides here, because I’ve had a couple of interactions with Mr. Reid, and was totally impressed by his competence and demeanor. It was a total pleasure meeting and dealing with him..Other issues, though……YES, the city does have a habit of hiring people totally unsuitable for their jobs…(nasty personalities, not customer-friendly, unwilling to be part of the team, etc.)…and they keep them on payroll, and either don’t want to , or can’t seem to get them out. Isn’t that what a 6 month probationary period is for….and reviews? There is also the fact regarding not wanting to cause “problems” within, or people involved are buddies with 4th floor people, etc……It happens all the time..unfortunately….and Evanston is not alone, for sure!

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