McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks was the target of several critics at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.
One was Leslie Schermerhorn, Regional Supt. of Schools, one of the three Republican countywide office holders whom Franks has tried to badger out of office.
Leslie Schermerhorn’s Remarks
Good evening citizens, members of the County Board and Mr. Franks,
My position providing support to education in McHenry County is very fulfilling.
With several degrees in education, 14 years as educator and being a lawyer, I have always felt this position was a culmination of all my professional experiences.
May 1 will begin my 8th year as Regional Superintendent.
I am proud of all that my office and I have accomplished over these years.
● We have restructured the truancy department to follow truancy cases in
an internally designed data base getting more students in school.
● I have applied for and received a grant that allows our most at-risk
students to have career skills and manufacturing training.
● I applied for and received a $650,000 Federal grant to educate our
students, families and community about the opiod crisis and other
substance abuse issues in our county
● The Regional Office assists teachers and paraprofessionals in obtaining
their certificates and renewing them. We maintain a substitute bank.
● The Office provided Professional Development for Teachers and
This is just part of what the ROE does.
As I mentioned, this position is very fulfilling given my dedication to students, teachers and education in our county.
In 2016, my work environment changed.
I was harassed and threatened by Mr. Franks.
I caught on fast to avoid a meeting alone with him.
I always brought a witness.
If fact, last fall, Mr. Frank’s assistant called to set up a budget meeting with Mr. Franks.
I informed her that my Assistant Supt. Would be joining me.
She called back saying Jack only invited me.
I sent an email back cancelling the meeting.
On September 28, 2018, Mr. Franks contacted the principal of the Regional Safe School demanding information.
The principal, my employee, referred Franks to speak with me.
Mr. Franks claimed he was the principal’s boss, he would have the principal’s certificates revoked and he knew James Meeks (the
ISBE Board President at that time).
The demands were menacing and peppered with expletives.
I have been in multiple County Board committee and Board meetings depicted as a major crime.
No money was lost, nor was there any fraud involved.
As a result, Mr. Franks eliminated our office bookkeeper position.
At the October 16, 2018 McHenry County Board meeting, Mr. Franks
threatened me with setting up an ad hoc committee on me personally.
Now, there is the non-binding referendum on the ballot.
What is the purpose of the question when the County Chair nor County Board has any jurisdiction over a State office?
County Board members, as the decision makers for McHenry County,
I am asking you to seriously consider the fitness of Mr. Franks to continue
serving as County Board Chair.