Defenders Receive Grant from McHenry County Community Foundation


From left to right front: Alice Lumsden, Nancy Schietzelt, Bev Dow, Sue Jensen, Cynthia Kanner, Barbara Oughton and at back: Kim Hankins, Ken Santowsky, Dwight Dalton, Lori McConville and Margaret Miller.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County received grants from The Community Foundation for McHenry County, two of which were presented to the organization’s staff and Board of Directors at their monthly meeting in March.  

One grant is for the planting of 4.5 miles of roadside with native prairie habitat and the other for continuing the Defenders’ Styrofoam collection program around the county.

In addition, The Defenders is a recipient of a $4,000 unrestricted grant through the Foundation’s GIVE360 program.   

Staff and a board member for The Community Foundation visited The Environmental Defenders’ board meeting on March 18 to present the check.  

The Defenders are grateful to the Community Foundation for McHenry County and thank them for their support! 

Dan Walker Rest Stop Inspector Makes Alderman Danny Solis Tapes

Never would I have expected Gary Fears to show up in a Chicago Tribune article about the FBI tapes of Danny Solis that led to the investigation about Alderman Ed Burke.

But go enough inches into the story and there he is.

I first ran into Gary Fears while he was a rest stop inspector in Dan Walker’s Department of Transportation.

He was a poltical operative, whose job could put him in most parts of the state.

Tom Frost, my intern at the time, went to IDOT headquarters and examined Fears’ time cards.

When he ran out of vacation, personal and sick days, I put pressure on Transportation Secretary Langhorne Bond and Fears went off the payroll.

One of my Democratic Party colleagues, Hal Byers, asked me at some point why I was hounding Fears.

From Edwardsville, Fears eventually got a state loan to build a Holiday Inn.

I think it can bee seen from I-55.

That was at the same tie that Bill Cellini got a loan to build his hotel next to Springfield’s convention center.

Here’s what triggered my memory:

“He had also sought to bring in Gary Fears, a wealthy businessman and former transportation official under Gov. Dan Walker who had connections with potential investors in the Middle East, according to testimony from the suit.

“But deals with the Jacksons and Fears never panned out. Gordon Wright, an experienced hedge fund operator with UBS O’Connor LLC, served as the firm’s chief executive, and Hynes also tapped his friend Jon Bauman, who stepped down from his role running the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois to line up pension investment opportunities, records show…

“Hynes also arranged for a $160,000 loan for Solis from Fears. Solis needed the cash to ‘retire a debt on a property,’ the affidavit said.”

Algonquin Township “Salt Gate” Continues…

Reprinted with permission from the Edgar County Watchdogs.

Algonquin Township Road District – Miller “Salt Gate” grows

BY KIRK ALLEN ON MARCH 22, 2019 • ( LEAVE A COMMENT )

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Our recent exposure of Algonquin Township Road District’s failure to bid out salt purchases in accordance with established laws continues to raise concerns.  In particular, as outlined in the previous article, the bidding is to be done through a unit of government, not a private business.  The primary reason for this is transparency.

We have now obtained even more disturbing records which once again involved the private nonprofit known as the McHenry County Township Highway Commissioner’s Association, which Bob Miller was the president of during the time in question.

One of the attempted justifications for Miller’s actions exposed in our last article was by a resident who quoted from a Lake County resolution that had absolutely nothing to do with our article or the situation of not bidding salt by the former Algonquin Highway Commissioner Bob Miller. In addition to that attempt, the same person quotes from a 2008 Auditor Generals’ report on the state salt bidding for the year in question.  There is nothing found in that report either that has anything to do with Algonquin Township Road District’s failure to bid salt in 2008 or 2009, the years covered in the previous article.

In fact, according to the Illinois State Central Management Services (CMS), the Algonquin Township did not even participate in the state salt bidding either of those years so attempts to point to a Lake County resolution and an Auditor General report on state bidding was nothing but a deflection from the truth.

CMS has confirmed the Algonquin Township Road District (Bob Miller), did not participate in the state salt bidding program for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. (CMS FOIA and Response)

Public records obtained from the Township resulted in no bidding publications for salt by the Road District between 2008 and 2017.  We did not seek records later than 2008.  The Road District did participate in the CMS state contract for salt from 2012-2016, confirmed by CMS.

The 2010-2011 salt bidding was done through the private association, MCHC, of which Miller reports to be the President of.  However, the Secretary of State shows no such company registered in Illinois.  The legal entity we believe to actually be doing business in these records is MCTHCA, not MCHC. The fact MCHC is the one entering into contracts when they are not an actual legal entity is yet another pattern of concern we find with how things were done in Algonquin Township.

The documents we now have is more proof that Miller was using his position as a public official to operate private businesses using public resources.  While some have attempted to imply we have claimed this private business to be Bob Miller’s personally owned business, that is not true.  These are private nonprofit businesses that Miller formed with others, and he is named as an officer.

The 2010-2011 Salt Bid Specifications make it clear this is not a government agency bidding salt, but rather the nonprofit that Miller was the President of.  This document confirms MCHC is operating out of a public building and cites that location as it’s office when in reality that is the office of the Road District.

“13. ALL SEALED BIDS WILL BE OPENED AT 8:30 AM, THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH, 2010, M.C.H.C. OFFICE, 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.”

The bid specifications make it very clear that it is the MCHC that is in total control of the process, not a government agency.

The Bid Notice conflicts with the bid specifications on several points, but one in particular is the fact the specifications are to be delivered to MCHC yet the Bid Notice requires them to be mailed to the Algonquin Township Road District. The township clerk, the keeper of the records, has been unable to produce any bids recieved on this matter.

  • Bid Spec“Proposals shall be delivered or mailed to M.C.H.C., 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.
  • Bid Notice“The bids will be received until 8:30 AM on the 29th day of April 2010 by mail or delivered by hand to the Algonquin Township Road District, 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 and at 8:30 AM at such place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.”

Everything in the Bid Specification points to a private entity being in control to include who a surety bond is to be provided to, MCHC, not the Algonquin Township Road District.

Another document raising a huge red flag is one that only a subpoena or search warrant will get to the bottom of because we are unable to FOIA records from a private association and to date, this business has ignored our request for records.

Money Maker? 

The contract for salt belongs to a private entity and is controlled by that entity.  Was this done as a mechanism to potentially generate money for the private business that Miller was an officer of?

Description of Improvement or Items Required: 

 “The bidder agrees to deliver the product within 5 days or by (If the additional time is granted by M.C.H.C). A penalty in the amount of $.50/ton per working day shall be applied against the successful bidder in the event the product is not delivered by the specified date.”

So if salt is not delivered as outlined, and a penalty is assessed, the penalty would be payable to the holder of the contract, MCHC.  If such a penalty was issued and paid to them, is that not Miller using his position as a public official to possibly benefit a business in which he may have either a direct or indirect financial interest in?

Before the handful of Miller defenders try to “pile on” regarding the penalty issue, this is the very reason the law requires this entire process to be done by a government agency.  They are subject to FOIA and all these questions could be answered.  When public business is done through private associations not subject to transparency laws, the public has no clue if any penalty was issued or not.

Had this gone through bidding by a government agency, the taxpayers would be in line to benefit from such penalties rather than a private business with direct ties to two of the three elected officials involved.

The contract for this bid was awarded by the Mchenry County Highway Commissionershowever the letter is not signed by them but rather Bob Miller as Highway Commissioner.

While we fully understand the actions outlined above are past any statute of limitations as it relates to potential criminal prosecution, it is important for the public to know how things were done in the past.  Important because this is yet another example of a key figure in local government, Bob Miller, who was lifted up as an educator of Highway Commissioners all over this state.

If this is the way the educator ran things is it any wonder we find so many other problems in Township Road Districts?

In closing for those that wish to minimize this exposure, know this. Since we started exposing matters in Algonquin Township, our tip line has resulted in dozens of communications that have resulted in numerous resignations and criminal investigations with other Townships in the state.  Our “Time Card Tuesday” series has resulted in our receiving numerous communications confirming other public bodies are finding the same type of thing and are taking steps to fix the problem. I mention these points because some imply this exposure is a waste of time.

We disagree. Other communities learn from these types of exposures and actually take steps to fix the problems.

After Voting to Approve Raising Taxes Outside New TIF District, Woodstock Fire Protection District Asks Homeowners’ Permission to Raise Taxes Up to 20% in 2020

The referendum on the ballot in the Woodstock area would allow the Woodstock Fire Protection District to ignore the Property Tax Cap limits (2.1% this year) and raise taxes as much as 20% for taxes paid in 2020.

Contacting the County Clerk’s Office, I learned that, if passed, this referendum will have no effect on taxes collected this year, but in 2020, tax bills could be hiked as much as 20%.

From Woodstock Fire Protection District resident Susan Handelsman:

Woodstock Fire & Rescue is mistakenly seeking more money from taxpayers via referendum to expand services for new Woodstock  TIF  Freeriders.

There must be a math error in budget analysis, because Fire Department  supported the new TIF [Tax Increment Financing District] at Joint Review  Board. 


The new Woodsotck TIF District, which the Woodstock Fire Protectin District supported, prohibits tax district from any increases in tax revenue generated in this 562 acre swath of Woodstock for 23 years. It represents 6% of Woodstock’s current assessed valuation.
This map was put on the screen at the Joint Review Board meeting I attended.

If Trustees knew they had a budget crisis they were bound by law to protest–as did school districts 200 and McHenry County College–TIF which projects creation of 1000 new housing units requiring mandated free social service provision for 35 years.  

New Woodstock TIF freerider residents will obtain free social service  provision at the expense of NON-TIF development  properties.   

(Schools may possibly be paid a small fraction  of costs of new TIF enrollment, an amount strictly limited by law to protect TIF bondholders).   

6% of current taxable Woodstock EAV will be frozen against taxation of assessment  inflation during the next 35 years.

In it’s very first year, Woodstock TIF 2 will collect over $200,000 from that inflation alone: money which non-TIF taxpayers will now need to “replace” to taxing bodies like Fire & Rescue.  

The 2005 Fire & Rescue tax hike referendum allowed the fire department to hike their property tax which at the time (2005) was .5036% of EAV. 

[That’s over a 57% increase.]

Now in 2017, the Fire & Rescue tax rate is .893096% of EAV.   

(Total Woodstock tax rates have risen from 8% of EAV in 2005 to 11.9% of  EAV in 2017).       

So when they say it will “only” increase the tax bill $150 on a $250,000  house, they mean “in the first year*”.

As the tax rate rises because new TIF costs are distributed over a shrunken pool of taxable property, that additional $150 will rise annually.

Woodstock taxpayers gave the Fire Department the TIF they supported, therefore there must already be ample money in their budget to fund Fire service provision.

From Fire Chief Michael Hill:

Just to be sure we’re on the same page: the 20% increase is not 20% of the entire tax bill, but rather an increase to the FIRE DISTRICT’S PORTION OF THE TAX BILL ONLY. The District’s portion is roughly 7.5% of the total tax bill, and 20% of that is 1.5%… so what we’re asking for is a 1.5% increase to the total tax bill. (I’m sure you already knew that, but I had to cover all my bases)

IF the referendum passes this April, it will allow us to levy for the increased amount in December of 2019. The new money will not come in until the following fiscal year, which starts on May 1, 2020. (So the taxpayers will not see the change until the 1st property tax installment in May of 2020)

I can probably guess your position regarding the referendum, and I respect that. The one thing that I ask however is that you take a moment to review what it is that we’re looking to accomplish with the increase and the things that we’ve done to try to avoid getting to this moment. I will be giving a presentation at the Woodstock Public Library this Thursday (March 21st at 1pm). I hope that you’ll consider attending – and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have (event the difficult ones) to the best of my ability.

Representative Seeks Opposition to Repeal of Parental Notice Law

From State Rep. Tom Weber:

IF you are concerned with Parental Rights and protecting young girls then please file witness slips on HB 2467 Repeal of Parental Notification and HB 2495 Reproductive Health Act.

HB 2495 would allow abortion by non-doctors up to the moment of birth, for any reason or no reason at all and HB 2467 terminates parental notification requirements in an underage girl’s abortion.

This is in a world your child cannot be given an aspirin without a permission slip. Parents need to know!

They are up for committee hearings on Wednesday, March 20th.

To file a witness slip go to http://my.ilga.gov/Hearing/HearingDetail/16769…Please Share This Post and Fill out a Slip.

Illinois Going Down the Tube

From Wirepoints:

Fewer immigrants, fewer babies and fleeing residents –Wirepoints’ new report covers Illinois’ demographic decline

CHICAGO (3/14/19) – Since the turn of the century, Illinois has been in the midst of a perfect demographic storm.

Residents are leaving the state in record numbers.

The number of Americans moving into Illinois has hit new lows.

Net foreign immigration has fallen by half.

And the number of births has dropped by more than 20 percent.

Residents are leaving the state in record numbers.

The number of Americans moving into Illinois has hit new lows.

Net foreign immigration has fallen by half. And the number of births has dropped by more than 20 percent.

Those demographic forces have all combined into a single troubling fact:

Illinois is shrinking.

The state lost population in 2014 and has done so every year since then. 

Illinois is an outlier in population loss.

Other states that make up the Rust Belt have not shared in Illinois’ clear demographic decline.

They are still growing on an absolute, percentage and per capita basis. Illinois is not.

Wirepoints has analyzed Illinois’ demographics over the past 18 years, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division and American Community Survey, as well as migration data from the IRS. 

Read the full report here: https://wirepoints.org/illinois-demographic-collapse-fewer-immigrants-fewer-babies-and-fleeing-residents-wirepoints-special-report/

The paper’s findings include:

  • Illinois ranked 48th nationally (1st is best) in net out-migration per 1,000 residents in 2018. The state lost a net 9 people per 1,000 in population, compared to just 5.6 people in 2001. Only New York and Alaska fared worse in 2018.
  • Illinois has experienced a net out-migration loss of 1.4 million residents to other states since 2001. That’s the equivalent of 11.2 percent of Illinois’ 2001 population. Only New York fared worse nationally over that time period.
  • The number of Illinoisans leaving the state hit 345,000 in 2016, a high since 2001. That loss has been compounded by a record low number of Americans moving into Illinois.
  • The total number of Illinois births fell to 148,000 in 2018, a 20 percent drop compared to 2001. Illinois’ national ranking in births per capita dropped to 30th in 2018 from 12th in 2001. Millennial flight is likely to have contributed to the drop in births in recent years, as a net of 107,000 millennials and their dependents left the state from 2012-2016.
  • Net international immigration has fallen by half since 2001, from a net 60,000 inflow to just 30,000 in 2018. In 2001, Illinois ranked 8th best in international immigration. By 2018, it had fallen to 20th.

“The story the data tells is simple: every negative demographic trend that can hit Illinois has done so – and more so than in most other states,” said Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints.

“Illinoisans are leaving in record numbers. Fewer people want to come here. Our birth rate is down significantly, as millennials are also fleeing. Even international immigration has dropped by half.

“All of the state’s woes are captured in one sad statistic: Illinois is shrinking.”

“Illinois’ poor governance, collapsed finances, massive debts and high taxation have created a severe problem for Illinoisans.

“Without spending and structural reforms that make the state more competitive, Illinois will be trapped in a downward spiral.

“One where growing government debts and higher taxes will fall on a continuously shrinking population.

“Illinois politicians need to do the exact opposite of what they’ve done over the past three decades.”

Ted Dabrowski, President at Wirepoints, and Mark Glennon, Founder and Executive Editor at Wirepoints, are both available for interviews.

For the full report on Wirepoints’ website: https://wirepoints.org/illinois-demographic-collapse-fewer-immigrants-fewer-babies-and-fleeing-residents-wirepoints-special-report/

Assistant State’s Attorney Featured Speaker at Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association Conference

From the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office:

Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Courier Featured Speaker at Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association Conference

Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is proud to recognize Deputy Chief Michelle Courier for her work as a featured speaker at a recent Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association Conference.

Michelle spoke to new supervisors on various employment laws that impact public employers and the supervisors’ duties and responsibilities under these laws.

This is the second time that Michelle was invited to speak to this group on this topic and the only attorney on the panel to address this group.

Her involvement recognizes her outstanding knowledge and expertise in this very complicated area of law.

Daily Herald Endorsements

For Trustee of the Village of Algonquin:

  • John Spella
  • Jim Steigert
  • Debby Sosine

Other candidates are former Trustee Bob Smith, Cynthia Kanner, and Paulette Zollcoffer.

For the Barrington Hills Village Board:

  • Debra Buettner
  • Brian Cecola
  • Bryan Croll

The other candidates are Linda Cools and Louis Iacovella.

For the Cary Village Board:

  • Jim Cosler
  • Kim Covelli
  • Ellen McAlpine

Other candidates running are Tim Ritter, Dale Collier, Jr., Sean Wheller.

For Algonquin Unit School District 300 School Board:

  • Steve Fioerntino
  • Kym Gargia
  • Joe Stevens
  • Leslie LaMarca

Also on the ballot is Nancy Zettler, who ran as a Democrat for State Representative three years ago and the State Senate last year.

For the Elgin Community College Board:

  • Nazneen Hashmi
  • Clare Ollayos

Other candidates are Adriana Barriga-Green, Shane Nowak and Ryan Carl Weiss.

For Fox Lake Village Board:

  • Nancy Koske
  • Brian Marr
  • Dani Moore

Also on the ballot is Glenn Close.

For the Fox River Grove Village Board the

  • TomAnderson
  • Jennifer Curtiss
  • Patrick Wall

Eric Anderson is also on the ballot.

For the Lake in the Hills Village Board:

  • Raymond Bogdanowski
  • SuzetteBojarski
  • Diane Murphy

Others on the ballot are Michael Schneider, Alan Wilson and Jeffrey Jakubik.

For the McHenry County College Board:

Six year term:

  • Molly Walsh
  • Tom Allen
  • Charlos Arevalo

Others running are Maija Mizens, Mary Beth Siddons, James Young and Robert Lush.

Four year term:

  • Suzanne Hoban

Also running are Andrew Giorgi, who ran for Countu Clerk on the Democrtic Party ticket and Cheryl Dawson.

Two year term:

  • Peter Suffield

He is running against Elizabeth Speros.

Matthew Brodersen New Assistant State’s Attorney

From the McHenry Countyu State’s Attorney’s Office:

MATTHEW BRODERSEN JOINS MCHENRY COUNTY AS ASSISTANT STATE’S ATTORNEY IN THE CRIMINAL DIVISION

Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is pleased to announce that Matthew T. Brodersen has joined the Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Division.

Matthew earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy cum laude from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Mr. Brodersen worked with the Cook County State’s Attorney Office in the Criminal Appeals and Felony Trial Division as a 711 Law Clerk from 2011 to 2013 and then as an Assistant State’s Attorney, first in the Child Support Division and then Misdemeanors from 2013 to 2015.

From October 2015 through last week, he was employed at Cohen, Donahue and Walsh in Elgin, Illinois.

We look forward to working with Mr. Brodersen as he helps further our mission of doing justice on behalf of the residents of McHenry County.

10-Year Old Addison Boy Dies When Van Ends Up in Drainage Pond Off Tollway Ramp in Huntley

From McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski:

McHenry County Coroner, Dr. Anne Majewski, announced this afternoon that her office is investigating the death of a male passenger in a minivan who died Sunday evening, March 17, 2019, in Huntley, Illinois.

The deceased is identified to be Cameron V. Simmons, age 10, of Addison, Illinois.

The minivan that he was in was reported to be travelling west on I-90.

As the vehicle exited the ramp to Illinois Rt. 47 South, it left the roadway and landed upside down in a retention pond.

Illinois State Police and Huntley Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the scene around 6:47 pm.

The driver (the boy’s mother) and his sister were able to exit the vehicle with self and bystander assistance.

The young boy, after being extricated from the vehicle by Huntley Fire and Rescue, was taken to Northwestern Hospital-Huntley where he was pronounced dead at 8:25 PM.

An autopsy will be performed tomorrow in the McHenry County Coroner’s office.

The crash remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

State GOP Goes after Lauren Underwood on Failure to Denounce Colleague’s Anti-Semitic Comment

From the Illinois Republican Party:

Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood Refuses To Comment On Fellow Democrat’s Anti-Semitic Rhetoric

Loren Underwood

For the most part, Democratic members of Congress have decided to give a pass to Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s well-known use of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Omar recently accused Americans who support Israel of having a dual allegiance, putting the concerns of Israel above America’s. Omar has also said Jewish advocacy groups buy support with campaign contributions, and that Israel is “evil” and has “hypnotized” the word.

One of those Democratic members is Lauren Underwood, who represents Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.

Underwood has refused to say anything about Omar’s comments, let alone specifically condemn them.

In an interview with NPR, Underwood was asked four separate times if she has any comment on Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks. Each time, Underwood said, 

“I don’t have a comment on that.”

Unlike Underwood, some Democrats and newspaper editorial boards were unequivocal in their criticism of Omar.

The Boston Herald Editorial Board wrote, 

“It is remarkable that we find ourselves in a situation where the new faces of the Democrats in Congress speak freely in extremist terms and the rest of the party’s power structure is afraid to tamp it down in any real way. We must call on elected leaders to condemn hateful rhetoric rather than attempt to curry favor with a freshman congressman from the Bronx.”

Underwood’s refusal to say anything about Ilhan Omar’s blatant anti-Semitism is shameful, encourages further anti-Semitic rhetoric, and gives cover to extremists who oppose the State of Israel.

Underwood’s unwillingness to specifically condemn acts of anti-Semitism should greatly concern her constituents.

It’s clear that Underwood would rather cater to the young radicals in the Democratic Party than the people of the 14th District.

Jack Franks Tries to Sneak Rejected Inspector General into Proposed McHenry County Ethics Ordinance

This is long, but this proposed revision of the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance deserves to have wider distribution than the McHenry County Board Agenda packet for Tuesday, March 19, 2019, meeting.

The proposal comes at the initiative of Board Chairman Jack Franks.

The major flaw I see is that the proposed “ethics advisor” is beholding to Franks.

It would seem more prudent to make the independently-elected County Auditor the ethics advisor, sepecially copnsidering the ethical lapses of Franks since he has taken county office.

Franks also sneaks in a reference to the non-existent “Inspector General,” which the Democrat has proposed to replace the elected County Auditor.

The ordinance says that if there is no Inspector General, an outside attorney would be hired by the Ethics Commission.

The County Board rejected money for an Inspector General during the last budget considerations.

ORDINANCE AMENDING THE MCHENRY COUNTY ETHICS ORDINANCE

WHEREAS, the McHenry County Board adopted the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance on May 18, 2004 (Ordinance O-200405-12-065); and

WHEREAS, the McHenry County Board further amended said ordinance on February 1, 2005 (Ordinance O-200502-12-012) and again on May 15, 2012 (Ordinance O-201205-12-027); and

WHEREAS, the McHenry County Board desires to comprehensively amend said ordinance and include additional provisions pertaining to Prohibition on Sexual Harassment, Nepotism, Conflicts of Interest and Future Employment.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by this McHenry County Board that the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance shall be comprehensively amended in accordance with Exhibit A attached hereto, and the prior terms of the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance invalidated hereby; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the amended McHenry County Ethics Ordinance shall become effective as of the date of this Ordinance. DATED at Woodstock, Illinois, this 19th day of March, A.D., 2019. _______________________________ Jack D. Franks, Chairman McHenry County Board ATTEST: _________________________________ Joseph J. Tirio, County Clerk ATTACHMENTS:  Ethics Ordinance Final Draft 03.01.19 (PDF)

CHAPTER 2.64 ETHICS ORDINANCE

§ 2.64.010 PURPOSE.

A. The Illinois General Assembly has enacted the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, as amended, (hereinafter the “Act”), which is a comprehensive revision of State statutes regulating ethical conduct, political activities, the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by State officials and employees, and prohibiting sexual harassment.

B. The Act requires all units of local government to adopt ordinances or resolutions regulating the political activities of, and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by, the officers and employees of such units and prohibiting sexual harassment “in a manner no less restrictive” than the provisions of the Act.

C. The clear intention of the Act to require units of local government to implement regulations that are at least as restrictive as those contained in the Act, and to impose penalties for violations of those regulations that are equivalent to those imposed by the Act, notwithstanding that such penalties may exceed the general authority granted to units of local government to penalize ordinance violations.

D. The clear intention of the Act to provide units of local government with all authority necessary to implement its requirements on the local level regardless of any general limitations on the power to define and punish ordinance violations that might otherwise be applicable.

E. In addition, the County of McHenry desires to adopt an ordinance regulating ethical conduct in addition to the conduct set forth in the Act and to impose penalties for violations of those additional regulations. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 1, passed 5-15-2012) § 2.64.020 DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Ordinance, the following words and terms shall be given the meaning as defined in this section of this Ordinance.

A. “Appointee” means anyone appointed to a governmental board, commission, committee, or other entity by the McHenry County Board, the Chair of the McHenry County Board, or such other governmental entity adopting this Ordinance and agreeing to be bound by its terms pursuant to § 2.64.040(A)(1) herein.

B. “Business day” shall refer to Monday through Friday except for days in which the McHenry County Government Center is closed in observance of designated holidays set by the McHenry County Board or other closures.

C. “Business entity” means the actual organization or any person to which a governmental entity subject to this Ordinance has awarded a contract or to which such contract is to be awarded and includes any of the organization’s principals, relatives of the organization’s principals or the individual, and any other legal entities in which those principals or relatives have a controlling interest or have control over the disbursement of funds of the organization or individual.

Would Jack Franks attempt to have taxpayers finance the purchase of lip balm with his name, office and the McHenry County seal be prohibited by this proposed ordinance? How about pens with elected officials’ names on them and other giveaways that anyone with a knowledge of the political process would identify as something used to promote the re-election of the official?

D. “Campaign for elective office” means any activity in furtherance of an effort to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any federal, state, or local public office or office in a political organization, or the selection, nomination, or election of Presidential or Vice-Presidential electors, but “campaign for elective office” does not include activities relating to the support or opposition of any executive, legislative, or administrative action, relating to collective bargaining, or that are otherwise in furtherance of the person’s official duties.

At the presumably taxpayer-financed McHenry Expo booth for McHenry County appeared these campaign tools of now-Chairman Jack Franks.

E. “Candidate” means a person who has filed nominating papers or petitions for nomination or election to an elected office, or who has been appointed to fill a vacancy in nomination, and who remains eligible for placement on the ballot at a regular election, as defined in § 1-3 of the Election Code (10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1-3).

Jack Franks patronage worker wearing a Franks campaign sticker at the 2017 McHenry Chamber of Commerce Business Expo after he took office, but, obviously, promoting Franks re-election,

F. “Collective bargaining” has the same meaning as that term is defined in § 3 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (5 Ill. Comp. Stat. 315/3). G. “Commission” means an Ethics Commission created by this Ordinance.

H. “Compensated time” means, with respect to an employee, any time worked by or credited to the employee that counts toward any minimum work time requirement imposed as a condition of his or her employment, but for purposes of this Ordinance, does not include any designated holidays, vacation periods, personal time, break time, compensatory time off, FMLA, military leave, or any period when the employee is on a leave of absence. With respect to employees whose hours are not fixed, “compensated time” includes any period of time when the officer is on premises under the control of the employer and any other time when the officer or employee is executing his or her official duties, regardless of location.

Jack Franks’ employee Kevin Craver changes sign at Jack Franks’ campaign office sign on Route 47. Would this be prohibited by the proposed Ethics Ordinance?

I. “Compensatory time off” means authorized time off earned by or awarded to an employee to compensate in whole or in part for time worked in excess of the minimum work time required of that employee as a condition of his or her employment.

J. “Contribution” has the same meaning as that term is defined in § 9-1.4 of the Election Code (10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/9-1.4). K. “Days” means calendar days unless otherwise specified.

L. “De Minimis” means trifling, trivial, minimal, or of little significance.

M. “Employee” means:

3 1. a person employed by the County of McHenry, but not by an officer;

2. a person employed by another governmental entity adopting this Ordinance and agreeing to be bound by its terms pursuant to § 2.64.040(A)(1) herein;

3. employee does not include an independent contractor;

4. employee does not include the staffs of the State’s Attorney or the Circuit Clerk, as these staffs are employed by a State officer. Court Administration, the Associate and Circuit Judges of the 22nd Judicial Circuit are not subject to this Ordinance as they are exclusively regulated by the Illinois Supreme Court. However, the State’s Attorney, the Circuit Clerk, and the Chief Judge may adopt this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(A)(2) herein and subject his or her staff to this Ordinance and, therefore, an employee pursuant to this definition.

N. “Employee of an officer” means a person employed by an officer.

O. “Employer” means the County of McHenry or such other governmental entity adopting this Ordinance and agreeing to be bound by its terms pursuant to § 2.64.040(A)(1) herein.

P. “Frivolous complaint” means a complaint that, when the allegations are taken as true and liberally construed, fails to present even a limited amount of detail; a complaint that lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact; or, a complaint that is being presented for any improper purpose such as to harass an employee, employee of an officer, or officer. The number of complaints filed may be taken into consideration. A complaint does not have to state a claim in its entirety, legal arguments or citation to legal authority.

Q. “Gift” means any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other tangible or intangible item having monetary value including, but not limited to, cash, food and drink, and honoraria for speaking engagements related to or attributable to a government employment or the official position of an officer or employee.

R. “Governmental entity” means any legislative, executive, administrative, judicial, or advisory bodies of the State, state universities and colleges, counties, countywide officials, townships, cities, villages, incorporated towns, school districts and all other municipal corporations, boards, bureaus, committees, or commissions of this State or another, any subsidiary bodies of any of the foregoing including but not limited to committees and subcommittees thereof.

S. “Leave of absence” means any period during which an employee does not receive:

1. compensation for employment,

2. service credit towards pension benefits, and

3. health insurance benefits paid for by the employer.

T. “Officer” means a person who holds, by election or appointment, an office created by statute or ordinance, regardless of whether the officer is compensated for service in his or her official capacity. The State’s Attorney and the Circuit Clerk are not subject to this Ordinance as they are State, not County, officers. Court Administration, the Associate and Circuit Judges of the 22nd Judicial Circuit are not subject to this Ordinance as they are exclusively regulated by the Illinois Supreme Court. However, the State’s Attorney, the Circuit Clerk, and the Chief Judge may adopt this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(A)(2) herein and, therefore, an officer pursuant to this definition.

U. “Political activity” means any activity in support of or in connection with any campaign for elective office or any political organization, but does not include activities:

1. relating to the support or opposition of any executive, legislative, or administrative action,

2. relating to collective bargaining, or

3. that are otherwise in furtherance of the person’s official duties.

V. “Political organization” means a party, committee, association, fund, or other organization (whether or not incorporated) that is required to file a statement of organization with the State Board of Elections or a county clerk under § 9-3 of the Election Code (10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/9-3), but only with regard to those activities that require filing with the State Board of Elections or a county clerk.

Would “political organization” include the Illinois Integrity Fund?

W. “Principals” shall mean any of the officers of a business entity and any person or entity with a seven and a half percent (7.5%) or greater ownership interest.

X. “Probable cause” means facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the respondent was committing or had committed the violation.

Y. “Prohibited political activity” means:

1. Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political rally, political demonstration, or other political event.

2. Soliciting contributions, including but not limited to the purchase of, selling, distributing, or receiving payment for tickets for any political fundraiser, political meeting, or other political event.

3. Soliciting, planning the solicitation of, or preparing any document or report regarding anything of value intended as a campaign contribution.

4. Planning, conducting, or participating in a public opinion poll in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.

5. Surveying or gathering information from potential or actual voters in an election to determine probable vote outcome in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.

6. Assisting at the polls on Election Day on behalf of any political organization or candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.

7. Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to get voters to the polls.

8. Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing, signing or filing any petition on behalf of a candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.

9. Making contributions on behalf of any candidate for elective office in that capacity or in connection with a campaign for elective office.

10. Preparing or reviewing responses to candidate questionnaires in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes.

11. Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question. 1

12. Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question.

13. Managing or working on a campaign for elective office or for or against any referendum question.

14. Serving as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention.

15. Participating in any recount or challenge to the outcome of any election.

Z. “Prohibited source” means any person or entity who:

1. is seeking official action: a. by an officer or 17.1.A.a Packet Pg. 349 Attachment: Ethics Ordinance Final Draft 03.01.19 (7583 : 12 – Ethics Ordinance Revision 2019) 6 b. by an employee, or by the officer or another employee directing that employee;

2. does business or seeks to do business:

a. with the officer or

b. with an employee, or with the officer or another employee directing that employee;

3. conducts activities regulated: a. by the officer or b. by an employee, or by the officer or another employee directing that employee; or

4. has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of the officer or employee.

Joe Tirio’s slogan from two years ago’s campaign for McHenry County Recorder of Deeds remains the same for his campaign for County Clerk: “I won’t hire my wife.”

AA. “Relative” means any person related to the individual as spouse (including any analogous relationship recognized by law), parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, niece, nephew, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister; the parent or grandparent of the individual’s spouse (including any analogous relationship recognized by law)and the individual’s fiancé or fiancée; or household member.

§ 2.64.030 NON-ELECTIVE AND ELECTIVE PROVISIONS.

A. Non-Elective Provisions: §§ 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities, 2.64.060 Gift Ban, and 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment.

Pursuant to the Article 70 of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/70, each unit of local government (including a community college district) or a school district shall adopt an ethics ordinance or resolutions regulating the political activities of its employees, employees of officers, and officers as has been adopted in § 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities of this Ordinance, the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by its employees, employees of officers, and officers as has been adopted in § 2.64.060 Gift Ban of this Ordinance, and the prohibition of sexual harassment by its employees, employees of officers, and officers as has been adopted in § 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment of this Ordinance. Therefore, pursuant to the Act and this Ordinance enacted by the McHenry County Board, all employees, employees of officers (except the State’s Attorney’s and the Circuit Clerk’s employees), and officers (except the State’s 17.1.A.a Packet Pg. 350 Attachment: Ethics Ordinance Final Draft 03.01.19 (7583 : 12 – Ethics Ordinance Revision 2019) 7 Attorney and the Circuit Clerk) are subject to §§ 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities, 2.64.060 Gift Ban, and 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment.

B. Elective Provisions: §§ 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, and 2.64.100 Future Employment.

McHenry County desired to adopt an ordinance regulating favoritism in hiring by its employees, employees of officers, and officers as has been adopted in § 2.64.080 Nepotism of this Ordinance, conflicts of interest by its employees, employees of officers, and officers as has been adopted in § 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest of this Ordinance, and political gains through future employment as has been adopted in § 2.64.100 Future Employment of this Ordinance. Therefore, pursuant to this Ordinance enacted by the McHenry County Board, all employees are subject to §§ 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, and 2.64.100 Future Employment.

All officers (including, but not limited to, the Auditor, the Circuit Clerk, the Coroner, the County Clerk, the County Recorder, the Chair of the McHenry County Board, the Sheriff, the State’s Attorney, and the Treasurer) may elect that he or she and the employees of the officer be subject to §§ 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, and 2.64.100 Future Employment by adopting this Ordinance in accordance with § 2.64.040 Adoption of Ordinance.

§ 2.64.040 ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE.

A. Adoption of Non-Elective and Elective Provisions. To adopt this Ordinance:

1. A unit of local government (including a community college district) or school district shall pass a written resolution agreeing to be bound by the terms of this Ordinance and provide a copy of said resolution to the State’s Attorney, the Ethics Commission, and the Ethics Advisor. A form resolution is set forth in Table 1 hereto. The Ethics Commission shall cause a copy of said resolution to be transmitted to the members of the McHenry County Board, and the Chair of the McHenry County Board.

2. The State’s Attorney, the Circuit Clerk, and/or the Chief Judge may determine in writing that he or she and his or her employees will bound by the terms of this Ordinance and provide a copy of said written documentation to the State’s Attorney, as applicable, the Ethics Commission, and the Ethics Advisor. A form election is set forth in Table 2 hereto. The Ethics Commission shall cause a copy of said written documentation to be transmitted to the members of the McHenry County Board, and the Chair of the McHenry County Board.

B. Adoption of Elective Provisions. An officer (including, but not limited to, the Assessor, the Auditor, the Coroner, the County Clerk, the County Recorder, the McHenry County Board, the Chair of the McHenry County Board, the Sheriff, and the Treasurer) may determine in writing that he or she and his or her employees will be bound by the elective provisions of this Ordinance – §§ 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, and 2.64.100 Future Employment – and provide said written documentation to the State’s Attorney, as applicable, the Ethics Commission, and the Ethics Advisor. A form election is set forth in Table 3 hereto. The Ethics Commission shall cause a copy of said written documentation to be transmitted to the members of the McHenry County Board and the Chair of the McHenry County Board.

C. Discontinuance of Adoption.

1. The State’s Attorney, Circuit Clerk, and the Chief Judge who has previously adopted this Ordinance pursuant to §2.64.040(A)(2) may discontinue the application of this Ordinance by informing the McHenry County Board, the Chair of the McHenry County Board, members of the Ethics Commission, and the Ethics Advisor in writing that he or she no longer wishes to be bound by the terms of this Ordinance.

2. The officer who has previously adopted this Ordinance pursuant to §2.64.040(B) may discontinue the application of the elective provisions of this Ordinance by informing the McHenry County Board, the Chair of the McHenry County Board, members of the Ethics Commission, and the Ethics Advisor in writing that he or she no longer wishes to be bound by the elective terms of this Ordinance.

3. After the State’s Attorney, Circuit Clerk, Chief Judge, or an officer discontinues the adoption of this Ordinance, he or she and his or her employees remain subject to this Ordinance and its penalties provisions for any and all conduct performed prior to said discontinuance.

§ 2.64.050 PROHIBITED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.

A. No employee, employee of an officer, or an officer shall intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time, as defined herein, that is more than de minimis in the context of the activity. No officer or employee shall intentionally use any property or resources of the County of McHenry in connection with any prohibited political activity that is more than de minimis in the context of the use.

B. At no time shall any employee, employee of an officer, or an officer intentionally require any other employee, employee of an officer, or an officer to perform any prohibited political activity:

1. as part of that employee, employee of an officer, or officer’s duties,

2. as a condition of employment, or

3. during any compensated time off (such as holidays, vacation or personal time off).

C. No employee, employee of an officer, or an officer shall be required at any time to participate in any prohibited political activity in consideration for that employee, employee of an officer, or an officer being awarded additional compensation or any benefit, whether in the form of a salary adjustment, bonus, compensatory time off, continued employment or otherwise, 17.1.A.a Packet Pg. 352 Attachment: Ethics Ordinance Final Draft 03.01.19 (7583 : 12 – Ethics Ordinance Revision 2019) 9 nor shall any employee, employee of an officer, or an officer be awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration for his or her participation in any prohibited political activity.

D. Nothing in this Section prohibits activities that are permissible for an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer to engage in as part of his or her official duties, or activities that are undertaken by an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer on a voluntary basis that are not prohibited by this Ordinance.

E. No person either:

1. in a position that is subject to recognized merit principles of public employment or

2. in a position the salary for which is paid in whole or in part by federal funds and that is subject to the Federal Standards for a Merit System of Personnel Administration applicable to grant-in-aid programs, shall be denied or deprived of employment or tenure solely because he or she is a member or an officer of a political committee, of a political party, or of a political organization or club.

(Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 3, passed 5-15-2012)

§ 2.64.060 GIFT BAN.

A. Except as permitted by this Section, no employee, employee of an officer, an officer, his or her spouse (including any analogous relationship recognized by law), nor his or her household members at the behest of the employee, employee of an officer, or an officer shall intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source, as defined herein, or which is otherwise prohibited by law or ordinance. Except as permitted by this Section, no relative of an employee, relative of an employee of an officer, nor relative of an officer shall, at the behest of the employee, employee of an officer, or officer, intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source, as defined herein, or which is otherwise prohibited by law or ordinance. No prohibited source shall intentionally offer or make a gift that violates this Section.

B. The following exceptions do not violate the gift ban:

1. Opportunities, benefits, and services available on the same conditions as for the general public.

2. Anything for which the employee, employee of an officer, an officer, or his or her relative pays the fair market value.

3. Any contribution that is lawfully made under the Election Code or activities associated with a fundraising event in support of a political organization or candidate.

4. Educational materials and educational fact finding missions.

5. Travel expenses for a meeting to discuss business.

6. A gift from a relative.

7. Anything provided by an individual on the basis of a personal friendship unless the recipient has reason to believe that, under the circumstances, the gift was provided because of the official position or employment of the recipient or his or her relative, and not because of the personal friendship.

In determining whether a gift is provided on the basis of personal friendship, the recipient shall consider the circumstances under which the gift was offered, such as:

a. the history of the relationship between the individual giving the gift and the recipient of the gift, including any previous exchange of gifts between those individuals;

b. whether, to the actual knowledge of the recipient, the individual who gave the gift personally paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the gift; and

c. whether, to the actual knowledge of the recipient, the individual who gave the gift also at the same time gave the same or similar gifts to other employees, employees of an officer, officers, or their relatives.

8. a. Food or refreshments not exceeding $75 per person in value on a single calendar day; provided that the food or refreshments are:

(1) consumed on the premises from which they were purchased or prepared or

(2) catered.

b. For the purposes of this Section, “catered” means food or refreshments that are purchased ready to consume which are delivered by any means.

9. Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits resulting from outside business or employment activities (or outside activities that are not connected to the official duties of an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer), if the benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of the official position or employment of the employee, employee of an officer, or an officer, and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances.

10. Intra-governmental and inter-governmental gifts. For the purpose of this Act, “intra-governmental gift” means any gift given to an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer from another employee, employee of an officer, or an officer, and “inter-governmental gift” means any gift given to an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer by an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer of another governmental entity. There is no expectation or requirement that an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer give a gift to any other employee, employee of an officer, or an officer or an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer of another governmental entity.

11. Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death.

12. Any item or items from any one prohibited source during any calendar year having a cumulative total value of less than $100.

C. Each of the exceptions listed in this Section is mutually exclusive and independent of every other.

D. An employee, employee of an officer, an officer, or his or her relative does not violate this Ordinance if the recipient promptly takes reasonable action to return a gift from a prohibited source to its source or gives the gift or an amount equal to its value to an appropriate charity that is exempt from income taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as now or hereafter amended, renumbered, or succeeded. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 4, passed 5-15-2012)

§ 2.64.070 PROHIBITION ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

A. All persons have a right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. No employee, employee of an officer, or an officer shall sexually harass any person, regardless of any employment relationship or lack thereof while acting within the scope of their employment, during compensated time, or while on the property of the County of McHenry.

B. Sexual harassment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department for Human Rights, and for purposes of this Ordinance, consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, other verbal, nonverbal, or physical acts of a sexual or sex-based nature, where:

1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer’s employment;

2. an employment decision affecting an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer is based on that employee, employee of an officer, or officer’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct; or such conduct interferes with an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

C. Sexual harassment can occur between men and women or between members of the same gender. This behavior is unacceptable in the workplace itself and in other work-related settings such as business trips, court appearances, and business-related social events.

D. Harassment affects the victim and other employees as well. Each incident of harassment contributes to a general atmosphere in which everyone suffers the consequences. Sexually-oriented or sex-based conduct has no legitimate business purpose. Where such conduct is directed by a supervisor (or someone in a higher management position) toward a subordinate, the former will be held to a higher standard of accountability because of the degree of control and influence he or she has or is perceived to have over the employment conditions and benefits of the subordinate. E. Prohibited Conduct. Prohibited acts of sexual harassment can take a variety of forms ranging from subtle pressure for sexual activity or contact to physical contact. At times the offender may be unaware that his or her conduct is offensive or harassing to others. Examples of conduct which could be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

1. persistent or repeated unwelcome flirting, pressure for dates, sexual comments, or touching;

2. sexually suggestive jokes, gestures, or sounds directed toward another or sexually oriented or degrading comments about another;

3. preferential treatment of an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer, or a promise of preferential treatment to an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer, in exchange for dates or sexual conduct; or the denial or threat of denial of employment, benefits, or advancement for refusal to consent to sexual advances;

4. the open display of sexually oriented pictures, posters, calendars, reading materials, or other material offensive to others; and

5. retaliation against an employee, employee of an officer, or an officer for reporting or complaining about sexually harassing conduct.

§ 2.64.080 NEPOTISM.

A. No employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that officer shall participate in a hiring, promotion, or appointment decision involving a relative.

Joe Tirio’s slogan from tthree years ago’s campaign for McHenry County Recorder of Deeds remains the same for his campaign for County Clerk: “I won’t hire my wife.”

B. No employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that officer shall hire or appoint a candidate whose relative serves in any capacity as an employee, employee of an officer, or officer of the employer unless all of the following conditions apply:

1. The candidate is qualified for the employment or appointment by education or experience as determined in writing by the employer’s human resources department or the McHenry County Human Resources Department;

2. Said employee, employee of an officer, or officer has required in writing that the candidate identify any relative serving as an employee, employee of an officer, or officer of the employer and the employee, employee of an officer, or officer has made his or her own efforts to identify any relative of the candidate serving as an employee, employee of an officer, or officer of the employer;

3. A supervisor/subordinate relationship is not immediately created between relatives;

4. The employment or appointment would not create either an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest;

6. The position for employment or appointment was publicly advertised for a reasonable period of time;

7. At least two other individuals were interviewed for the position, so long as there were multiple applicants; and,

8. The candidate’s proposed salary complies with the McHenry County Salary Administration Policy, if the candidate is an employee of the County of McHenry or an employee of an officer of the County of McHenry.

C. Fourteen (14) days prior to hiring or appointing a candidate whose relative serves in any capacity as an employee, employee of an officer, or officer, the employee, or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that office making the hiring or appointing decision shall file with the State’s Attorney, the Ethics Advisor, members of the McHenry County Board, and the Chair of the McHenry County Board a notarized Nepotism Hiring Statement sufficient to show that conditions 1 through 8 above, inclusive, have been met along with any supporting documentation. A form Nepotism Hiring Statement is set forth in Table 4 hereto.

§ 2.64.090 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

A. No employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that officer shall engage in any official act where there is a conflict of interest. Notwithstanding any other law or ordinance, any employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that office has a conflict of interest if in his or her official capacity, said employee, employee of an officer, or officer discusses, deliberates, acts, or votes on a matter in which the employee, employee of an officer, or officer may be financially interested or personally and directly advantaged in his or her own name or in the name of his or her relative, client, business partner, close associate, or business entity and the appearance of impropriety is created.

B. Any employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that officer who becomes aware that he or she may have a conflict of interest that arises in the course of his or her official duties shall notify his or her supervisor, if any, of such conflict of interest. The supervisor shall take the appropriate steps to resolve the conflict of interest.

§ 2.64.100 FUTURE EMPLOYMENT.

No employee or officer who has adopted this Ordinance pursuant to § 2.64.040(B) and the employees of that officer may accept or discuss an offer of employment with any business entity if either:

A. Said employee, employee of an officer, or officer knows that the offer of employment was intended as compensation or as a reward for any official action; or,

B. Said employee, employee of an officer, or officer knows that the offer of employment was intended to influence official action pertaining to the business entity on a matter that the employee, employee of an officer, or officer has or has had decision‐making responsibility within a one-year period preceding the of acceptance of employment with the business entity.

§ 2.64.110 ETHICS ADVISOR AND TRAINING.

A. The McHenry County Director of Human Resources shall serve as the Ethics Advisor for the County. When the McHenry County Director of Human Resources is unable to serve as the Ethics Advisor for the County, the County Administrator shall serve.

B. The Ethics Advisor shall provide guidance to the employees, employees of officers, and officers of the County of McHenry concerning the interpretation of and compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance and State ethics laws.

C. All employees, employees of officers, and officers subject to this Ordinance must complete, within six (6) months after the adoption of this amended Ordinance, or within three (3) months of newly becoming an employee, employee of an officer, or officer, whichever is later, an Ethics Ordinance Training, whether computer-based or otherwise. The County Administrator, or his or her designee, shall be responsible for overseeing any computer-based training program for McHenry County officers, employees of officers, and employees. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 5, passed 5-15-2012)

§ 2.64.120 ETHICS COMMISSION.

A. Composition and Meetings of the Commission. There is hereby created a commission to be known as the Ethics Commission of McHenry County (hereinafter the “Commission”).

1. The Commission shall be comprised of five (5) members appointed by the Chair of the McHenry County Board with the advice and consent of the McHenry County Board. No person shall be appointed as a member of the Commission who is a relative to any elected officer of McHenry County.

2. All commissioners shall be appointed to two-year terms. Commissioners may be reappointed to serve subsequent terms.

3. The commissioners shall choose a chair from their number. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chair or any three (3) commissioners. A quorum shall consist of three (3) commissioners, and official action by the commission shall require the affirmative vote of three (3) members.

4. The Chair of the McHenry County Board, with the advice and consent of the County Board, may remove a commissioner in case of incompetence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office after service on the commissioner by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a copy of the written charges against the commissioner and after providing an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel upon not less than ten (10) days’ notice. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments.

B. Powers and Duties of the Commission.

1. The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

a. To promulgate procedures and rules governing the performance of its duties, the exercise of its powers, and notice to parties.

b. To receive written, signed, and verified complaints (stating that the statements set forth in the complaint are true and correct or that the statements are believed to be true upon information and belief), filed within one (1) year of the alleged violation, supported by relevant affidavits and all other documents, books, papers, or tangible evidence.

c. To receive any written response from employees, employees of an officer, or officers alleged to have violated this Ordinance.

d. The Chairman of the Commission shall dismiss a complaint sua sponte at any time if the complaint does not set forth facts that when taken as true and liberally construed are sufficient to legally state a claim under this Ordinance; if the conduct involves a person not bound by this Ordinance; if the complaint is deemed frivolous; or if the complaint is not written, signed, verified, and filed within one (1) year of the alleged violation.

e. To notify the employee, employee of an officer, or officer that he or she may have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

f. To request and receive any other documents, books, papers, or tangible evidence from any member of the public for purposes of determining whether there is probable cause that an officer or employee has violated the provisions of this Ordinance.

g. To request and receive additional documents, books, papers, or tangible evidence from officers or employees.

h. To conduct hearings, including allowing both parties the opportunity to present testimony and evidence, and deliberations on complaints.

i. To appoint a hearing officer which is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.

j. To request the attendance of witnesses.

k. To close to the public any meeting of the Commission to the extent authorized by the Open Meetings Act.

l. To determine that there is probable cause of a violation of § 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities of this Ordinance and refer the complaint and supporting documentation to the State’s Attorney. In addition, the Commission may refer the complaint and supporting documentation to the McHenry County Sheriff or other relevant police department.

m. To determine that there is probable cause of a violation of § 2.64.060 Gift Ban of this Ordinance and may refer the complaint and supporting documentation to the State’s Attorney.

n. To determine that there is a violation by clear and convincing evidence after a hearing of §§ 2.64.060 Gift Ban, 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment, 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, or 2.64.100 Future Employment of this Ordinance and issue recommendations for disciplinary actions and impose fines in accordance with § 2.64.130 Penalties of this Ordinance. In the absence of an Inspector General and when needed, the Commission may contract with an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois to investigate and prosecute before the Commission alleged violations of §§ 2.64.060 Gift Ban, 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment, 2.64.080 Nepotism, 2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, or 2.64.100 Future Employment of this Ordinance. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 6, passed 5-15-2012) [Emphasis added.]

§ 2.64.130 PENALTIES

A. Penalties for a § 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities Violation. An employee, employee of an officer, or officer who intentionally violates any provision of § 2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities of this Ordinance,

1. is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and may be punished by a term of incarceration in a penal institution other than a penitentiary for a period of not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days and may be fined in an amount not to exceed $2,500 if prosecuted by the State’s Attorney. A violation of §2.64.050 Prohibited Political Activities of this Ordinance shall be prosecuted as a criminal offense by the State’s Attorney by filing in the circuit court an information or sworn complaint charging such offense. The prosecution shall be under and conform to the rules of criminal procedure.

2. In addition to any other penalty, whether criminal or civil, that may be applicable and subject to any limitations imposed by law or employment agreement(s), including but not limited to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts, an employee may be subject to discipline or discharge by his or her employer and an employee of an officer may be subject to discipline or discharge by said officer.

B. Penalties for a § 2.64.060 Gift Ban Violation. An employee, employee of an officer, or officer who intentionally violates any provision of § 2.64.060 Gift Ban of this Ordinance,

1. is guilty of a business offense, may be prosecuted by the State’s Attorney, and may be fined in an amount of not less than $1,001 and not more than $5,000 if prosecuted by the State’s Attorney.

2. In addition to any other penalty, whether criminal or civil, that may be applicable and subject to any limitations imposed by law or employment agreement(s), including but not limited to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts, an employee may be subject to discipline or discharge by his or her employer and an employee of an officer may be subject to discipline or discharge by said officer.

C. Penalties for a §2.64.060 Gift Ban, §2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment Violations, §2.64.080 Nepotism, §2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, or §2.64.100 Future Employment Violations. An employee, employee of an officer, or officer who violates § 2.64.070 Prohibition on Sexual Harassment of this Ordinance, §2.64.080 Nepotism, §2.64.090 Conflicts of Interest, or § 2.64.100 Future Employment Violations.

1. may be fined in an amount not to exceed $5,000 per offense, with each violation being a separate offense, by the Ethics Commission.

2. In addition to any other penalty, whether criminal or civil, that may be applicable and subject to any limitations imposed by law or employment agreement(s), including but not limited to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts, an employee may be subject to discipline or discharge by his or her employer and an employee of an officer may be subject to discipline or discharge by said officer.

D. In addition to any other penalty, whether criminal or civil, that may be applicable and subject to any limitations imposed by law or employment agreement(s), including but not limited to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts, an employee may be subject to discipline or discharge by his or her employer and an employee of an officer may be subject to discipline or discharge by said officer.

E. Penalties for False Reports.

1. Any person who intentionally makes a false report alleging a violation of any provision of this Ordinance to the Ethics Commission, the local enforcement authorities, the State’s Attorney or any other law enforcement official is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and may be punished by a term of incarceration in a penal institution other than a penitentiary for a period of not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days, and may be fined in an amount not to exceed $2,500 if prosecuted by the State’s Attorney;

2. The Commission may levy an administrative fine of up to $5,000 against any person who violates this Ordinance, who intentionally obstructs or interferes with an investigation conducted under this Ordinance by the Commission, or who intentionally makes a false, frivolous, or bad faith allegation. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 7, passed 5-15-2012) § 2.64.140

SEVERABILITY CLAUSE

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof. (Ord. O-201205-12-027, § 8, passed 5-15-2012)

TABLE 1: RESOLUTION BY A UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO BE BOUND BY THE McHENRY COUNTY ETHICS ORDINANCE RESOLUTION TO ADOPT McHENRY COUNTY’S ETHICS ORDINANCE WHEREAS, pursuant to the Article 70 of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/70, each unit of local government (including a community college district) or a school district shall adopt an ethics ordinance or resolutions regulating the political activities of its employees, employees of officers, and officers, the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by its employees, employees of officers, and officers, and the prohibition of sexual harassment by its employees, employees of officers, and officers; and WHEREAS, McHenry County adopted such an ordinance through its Ethics Ordinance, as amended from time to time; and WHEREAS, McHenry County’s Ethics Ordinance also regulates favoritism in hiring by its employees, employees of officers, and officers, conflicts of interest by its employees, employees of officers, and officers, and political gains through future employment; and WHEREAS, [Governmental Entity] desires to adopt the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance, as amended from time to time, as [Governmental Entity]’s Ethics Ordinance; and NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that [Governmental Entity] hereby adopts the McHenry County Ethics Ordinance, as amended from time to time, as [Governmental Entity]’s Ethics Ordinance and, therefore, adopts the McHenry County Ethics Commission as its Ethics Commission. DATED at , Illinois, this day of , 20 .