Bianchi Withdraws Motion for County Board IMRF Special Prosecutor

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi has withdrawn his motion asking Judge Thomas Meyer whether a Special Prosecutor should be appointed to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed against County Board members who signed certificates saying the position “normally require[s] performance for a least 1,000 hours in a twelve month period…”

Filed by Norm Vinton on Biachi’s behalf, the motion notes that the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund’s Executive Director Louis Kosiba’s staff was still auditing the County Board with the cooperation of its staff.

Because of the ongoing nature of the audit, the appointment of a Special Prosecutor would be “premature.”

Also mentioned is that it would result in two governmental entities duplicating the work.

“Should the IMRF audit not resolve the issues between the individual County Board members and IMRF,” the motion says the request for a Special Prosecutor maybe reinstated.

The State's Attorney's motion to withdraw his petition asking a judge to decide whether or not to appoint a Special Prosecutor to look into J

The State’s Attorney’s motion to withdraw his petition asking a judge to decide whether or not to appoint a Special Prosecutor to look into J


Comments

Bianchi Withdraws Motion for County Board IMRF Special Prosecutor — 8 Comments

  1. It was a witch hunt, pure and simple, and a selective one at that, given that former board members and downstate County board members were not targeted.

    There are two issues here:

    should the County Board members have pensions and

    did they do something wrong.

    Certain parties have wrongly sought to conflate the two issues.

    With regard to the first issue, I believe as a matter of policy that County Board members should NOT receive pensions.

    The legislature should change the law and make this clear.

    But, THAT issue is completely separate from the second issue.

    The second issue is did the board members do something wrong or illegal by signing up for the pension.

    Let’s look at the facts.

    The County administration has OFFERED the pension to board members since 1998.

    Understand that: the pension was not something demanded by board members or done under the table.

    It was offered BY THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION.

    A new member gets elected, he or she sits down with someone from HR, they give the new board member forms to fill out — federal tax forms, state income tax forms, and a form for the IMRF.

    No one — not from HR, not from the IMRF, ever said, in eighteen years, “you aren’t eligible”.

    In fact, HR told the members they WERE eligible, and under the law it is HR’s responsibility to check.

    I opposed Joe Gottemoller for election as Board Chair.

    But if he’s getting a pension for that position, he didn’t do anything wrong.

    I opposed Anna May Miller for the board.

    But if she’s getting a pension for that position, she didn’t do anything wrong.

    Illegal action requires intent.

    It’s clear there was NEVER any intent to do anything wrong.

    Quite the opposite:

    the members relied in good faith on what they were told by the people who’s job it is to know, including the IMRF.

    It’s time for the IMRF to call this thing off, too.

    It’s time for a definitive conclusion to this witch hunt.

  2. If the Office of the McHenry County State’s Attorney has a conflict of interest problem that prevents them from investigating this issue (which is what prompted the original request for an independent, special prosecutor), doesn’t that same conflict of interest problem exist in pulling the request for an special prosecutor?

    In fact, isn’t the State’s Attorney’s request that an investigation of the County Board be pulled, a larger conflict of interest violation?

    Once you have self-identified as having a conflict of interest, that’s it.

    You’re done.

    You can’t go back and interject yourself to try and affect the course of future events (i.e. investigations).

    One has to now wonder why the State’s Attorney’s office doesn’t want an investigation.
    Who told Bianchi to withdraw the original request?
    Who benefits from the decision to pull the special prosecutor request?

  3. Check out the resolutions passed every 2 years for the compensation to be given to County Board members — passed before election because you can’t change compensation during someone’s term of office.

    Compensation includes salary, option to participate in IMRF and medical insurance, mileage reimbursement.

    It is the County Board itself which votes the resolution up or down and can amend it as they seem fit.

    To include IMRF amd medical insurance and mileage are ALLOWED but not required by state law.

    What total compensation for a member of the McHenry County Board consists of is set by the board itelf every 2 years.

  4. Say What, your point is well taken and goes to my first argument:

    it’s time to do away with pensions for County Board members, and I hope the legislature takes away even the option.

    Keep in mind especially that any NEW member to the board — and at a some point every one of them was new — didn’t vote for the pay and benefits package.

    It was there when they arrived.

    And so when the the staff advises the Board that it is legal to offer the option, and for 18 years the IMRF never objects, any Board member who signs up can hardly be held responsible for acting in bad faith, much less committing an illegal act.

    These are two distinct issues and must be kept separate.

  5. Steve,
    Start a petition locally to get rid of pensions and insurance for the board members, I’ll be glad to help get a few copies signed this corner of the county.

    It worked for board chair, why not this also?

    Actually I’m kind of wondering why political pressure like a petition hasn’t been used already.

  6. Any lawyer looking at the Certification would conclude it doesn’t even say the board member works 1,000 hours in a year.

    The whole thing is silly.

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