Taxpayers Still Funding Severance Agreements for Sexual Harassment Cases, But at Least We Will Know About It

A press release from the Illinois General Assembly:

House Approves Rep. McSweeney Bill Requiring Taxing Bodies to Make Public Severance Agreements Resulting from Sexual Harassment Cases

Cary, IL –  State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has advanced legislation amending the Local Records Act to require public bodies to disclose information about severance agreements stemming from sexual discrimination or harassment.

David McSweeney

The legislation was filed in response to news reports that Des Plaines Elementary School District 62 School Board voted to pay then-Superintendent Floyd Williams a severance package after he was accused of sexually harassing employees.

“We as taxpayers have a right to know if taxpayer money is being used to pay for settlements with government employees guilty of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination,” McSweeney said.

“Settlements like this have been kept hidden from the public for far too long. This legislation shines a spotlight on these severance agreements and holds taxing bodies accountable for their actions.”

House Bill 4242 requires units of local government, school districts, community college districts, or other local taxing bodies to publish information about severance agreements with employees or contractors who have been found to have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.

The legislation requires government bodies to publish information about the severance agreement on the internet and to make the information available to the news media within 72 hours of the approval of the agreement. 

The House unanimously approved HB 4242 by a vote of 106 to 0. The measure now moves to the Illinois Senate for further consideration where it will be sponsored by Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

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