Susan Handelsman Offers Possible Redress for Jack Franks’ Patronage Hiring

From a comment this week by Woodstock’s Susan Handlesman:

This case is illustrative of the condition of which Illinois taxpayers should be keenly aware:

There is no practical enforcement policy for Illinois law, County or Municipal Code, or any other policy created by elected officials past or present.

Oliver Serafini’s McHenry County employee identification card showing he works for the Department of Transportation as well as for the County Board Chairman.

Consider for an example the alleged patronage hirings in late 2016 by newly elected County Board Chair, allegedly in violation of County Code and established policy including Salary Administration Policy:

Because the County Board has refused to act, or been prevented from acting, citizens look for tangential solutions to what is considered to be another example of profligate waste of public funds by an official behaving without regard to established laws and standards to which other taxpayers are strictly held.

The original legal premise was that 55 ILCS 5/5-1013 (Neglect of Duty (by County Board Member…the sum of $200, to be recovered in a civil action”) had some enforcement mechanism.

Delving into convoluted Illinois law (Tort Immunity of elected officials, for example) raises competing standards.

(Not surprising, having been informed by IL States Atty, IL Atty Genl, ISBE counsel, and Regional Superintendent Schermerhorn that none of them have authority to enforce elected school board officials’ compliance with School Code, and to their knowledge no agency under Illinois law has any such power.)

Bridgett Geenen’s McHenry County employee identification card.

What seems to be the outcome: County Board Members may SELECTIVELY COMPLY with County Code in any way they see fit, without recourse available to individual taxpayer citizens.

However, if County Board Members fail to enforce County Code in hiring practices, any job applicant in 2016 who was discriminated against by not being given similar consideration of:

(in this case of 2 alleged improper 2016 patronage hirings)
R-200210-12-196 waiver, R-200305-12-113 waiver, R-200802-12-058 waiver
Position Reclassification Budget Directive
Salary Administration Policy (5 or more sections))

has a cause of action which may exceed the $200 per incident per Board Member liability cap under 55 ILCS 5/5-1013 Neglect of Duty.

Who is to say that those applicants didn’t receive SELECTIVE COMPLIANCE with COUNTY CODE due to reasons forbidden under federal anti-discrimination policies?

Furthermore, any McHenry County citizen forced to pay a fine or penalty to the County during 2016 for a County Code violation would arguably have standing to press suit, in that they were not made privy to special exemptions (selective enforcement of code) granted in the act of 2 alleged patronage hirings in violation of County Code and policies.

So rather than pursuing neglect of duty lawsuit against individual Board Members for damages limited to $200/member/incident, it appears the only recourse which ordinary taxpaying citizens have against patronage hiring at our expense is to seek out individuals with standing (overlooked job applicants, any citizen who paid a fine to the County or was disadvantaged by strict rather than selective enforcement of County Code) to bring discrimination suits against McHenry County Board and its members, and these individuals would have much larger potential damages to claim.

This case seems like a good opportunity for judicial review up to the highest levels, to develop standards for all of Illinois.

Citizen taxpayers should be made aware that at present they have no mechanism available to enforce compliance with Illinois law by elected officials, and if they would like that changed, citizens need to establish case law or other law to do so.

Now loow at the case at hand, and what it means and what it accomplishes.

A ‘quo Warrento’ suit might be applied to this example of alleged patronage hiring in violation of County Code and established hiring policy.

from wikipedia:

Quo warranto (Medieval Latin for “by what warrant?”) is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power (or “franchise”) they claim to hold.

In the United States today, quo warranto usually arises in a civil case as a plaintiff’s claim (and thus a “cause of action” instead of a writ) that some governmental[citation needed] or corporate official was not validly elected to that office or is wrongfully exercising powers beyond (or ultra vires) those authorized by statute or by the corporation’s charter.

Can county board chair prove authority to bypass or outright violate County Code in hiring practices?

This suit could be pressed by County Board members. But none of them have done so.

But we come back to the beginning: ordinary taxpayers in Illinois seem to have no available mechanism to prevent laws, Codes, and policies from being SELECTIVELY ENFORCED by humans who need to provide no other reason than that isn’t politically expedient for them to do so.


Susan Handelsman Offers Possible Redress for Jack Franks’ Patronage Hiring — 7 Comments

  1. In any system of government where The People have any voice(vs an Authoritarian form of government where there are few or one control point) the government will fail when The People and their Representatives lack common ethics, values or morals.

    Obama made clear these divisions of ethic, values and morals in our society.

    Obama, and his leadership team, exploited and deepened these divisions.

    This was a brilliant move for Anti American anti unity forces throughout the United States.

    The fabric of the United States is rending along these lines and this country is in the midst of another cultural revolution for the definition of its soul.

    Jackie is a nothing. A literal puff of air in a hurricane.

    But Jackie is our nothing.

    Fight this here. Now.

    Or sit on your porch and enjoy the view while our nation loses its common values to the thieves masquerading as your leaders.

    Brilliantly done once again Susan.

  2. Observation: No smart ass comments on this from the peanut gallery.

    Good follow up by Priest.

    “Obama, and his leadership team, exploited and deepened these divisions. ”

    AND is still doing so along with his puppet masters – Jarrett and Soros.

    Great job Susan!

    Thank you!

  3. The “peanut gallery” has no ability to understand this post. (Or the two comments so far.)

  4. Earth to Handelsman: You’re right, but guess what?

    This has been goin’ on for years.

  5. Priest I prefer to refer to ol’ Lyin’ Jack Franks as a ‘fart in a windstorm’.

    Truth2Power, we don’t care if this has been going on for years.

    We want change and will only support candidates who don’t partake in nepotism and patronage, and self serving on the taxpayers dime.

    You may accept this, it certainly doesn’t mean others have to!

    Your comment reminds me of the saying (and belief) “you get the Govt. you deserve”.

  6. Here’s another way to address SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT of County Code, Resolutions, and Policies:

    (55 ILCS 5/) Counties Code.

    (55 ILCS 5/Div. 5-43 heading)
    Division 5-43. Administrative Adjudication –
    Specified Counties
    (Source: P.A. 96-1386, eff. 7-29-10; 97-333, eff. 8-12-11.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43005)
    Sec. 5-43005. Applicability. This Division 5-43 applies only to the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
    (Source: P.A. 96-1386, eff. 7-29-10.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43010)
    Sec. 5-43010. Administrative adjudication of code and ordinance violations; definitions.
    (a) Any county may provide by ordinance for a system of administrative adjudication of county code violations to the extent permitted by the Illinois Constitution.
    (b) Any county may provide by ordinance for a system of administrative adjudication of violations of ordinances enacted by a participating unit of local government only where: (i) the unit of local government is engaging in governmental activities or providing services within the boundaries of the county; (ii) the unit of local government has no system of administrative adjudication; and (iii) the violation occurred within the boundaries of the county.
    (c) As used in this Division:
    “Participating unit of local government” means a unit of local government which has entered into an intergovernmental agreement or contract with a county for the administrative adjudication of violations of its ordinances by the county pursuant to this Division.
    “System of administrative adjudication” means the adjudication of any violation of a county ordinance or of a participating unit of local government’s ordinance, except for (i) proceedings not within the statutory or the home rule authority of counties or a participating unit of local government; and (ii) any offense under the Illinois Vehicle Code (or a similar offense that is a traffic regulation governing the movement of vehicles and except for any reportable offense under Section 6-204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code).
    “Unit of local government” has the meaning as defined in the Illinois Constitution of 1970 and also includes a not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of conducting public business including, but not limited to, the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation.
    (Source: P.A. 99-754, eff. 1-1-17.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43015)
    Sec. 5-43015. Administrative adjudication procedures not exclusive. The adoption by a county of a system of administrative adjudication does not preclude the county from using other methods to enforce county ordinances. An intergovernmental agreement or contract entered into between a county and participating unit of local government under this Division does not preclude a participating unit of local government from using other methods to enforce its ordinances.
    (Source: P.A. 99-754, eff. 1-1-17.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43020)
    Sec. 5-43020. Code hearing units; powers of hearing officers.
    (a) An ordinance establishing a system of administrative adjudication, pursuant to this Division, shall provide for a code hearing unit within an existing agency or as a separate agency in the county government. The ordinance shall establish the jurisdiction of a code hearing unit that is consistent with this Division. The “jurisdiction” of a code hearing unit refers to the particular code violations that it may adjudicate.
    (b) Adjudicatory hearings shall be presided over by hearing officers. The powers and duties of a hearing officer shall include:
    (1) hearing testimony and accepting evidence that is

    relevant to the existence of the code violation;
    (2) issuing subpoenas directing witnesses to appear

    and give relevant testimony at the hearing, upon the request of the parties or their representatives;
    (3) preserving and authenticating the record of the

    hearing and all exhibits and evidence introduced at the hearing;
    (4) issuing a determination, based on the evidence

    presented at the hearing, of whether a code violation exists, which shall be in writing and shall include a written finding of fact, decision, and order including the fine, penalty, or action with which the defendant must comply; and
    (5) imposing penalties consistent with applicable

    code provisions and assessing costs upon finding a party liable for the charged violation, except, however, that in no event shall the hearing officer have authority to: (i) impose a penalty of incarceration; or (ii) impose a fine in excess of $50,000, or at the option of the county for a fine imposed for a violation of a county ordinance or at the option of a participating unit of local government for a fine imposed for violation of an ordinance of the participating unit of local government, such other amount not to exceed the maximum amount established by the Mandatory Arbitration System as prescribed by the Rules of the Illinois Supreme Court from time to time for the judicial circuit in which the county is located. The maximum monetary fine under this item (5), shall be exclusive of costs of enforcement or costs imposed to secure compliance with the county’s ordinances or participating unit of local government’s ordinances and shall not be applicable to cases to enforce the collection of any tax imposed and collected by the county or participating unit of local government.
    (c) Prior to conducting administrative adjudication proceedings, administrative hearing officers shall have successfully completed a formal training program that includes the following:
    (1) instruction on the rules of procedure of the

    administrative hearings that they will conduct;
    (2) orientation to each subject area of the code

    violations that they will adjudicate;
    (3) observation of administrative hearings; and
    (4) participation in hypothetical cases, including

    ruling on evidence and issuing final orders.
    In addition, every administrative hearing officer must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois for at least 3 years.
    (d) A proceeding before a code hearing unit shall be instituted upon the filing of a written pleading by an authorized official of the county or participating unit of local government.
    (Source: P.A. 99-754, eff. 1-1-17.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43025)
    Sec. 5-43025. Administrative hearing proceedings.
    (a) Any ordinance establishing a system of administrative adjudication, pursuant to this Division, shall afford parties due process of law, including notice and opportunity for hearing. Parties shall be served with process in a manner reasonably calculated to give them actual notice, including, as appropriate, personal service of process upon a party or its employees or agents; service by mail at a party’s address; or notice that is posted upon the property where the violation is found when the party is the owner or manager of the property. In counties with a population under 3,000,000, if the notice requires the respondent to answer within a certain amount of time, the county or participating unit of local government must reply to the answer within the same amount of time afforded to the respondent.
    (b) Parties shall be given notice of an adjudicatory hearing that includes the type and nature of the code violation to be adjudicated, the date and location of the adjudicatory hearing, the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held, and the penalties for failure to appear at the hearing.
    (c) Parties shall be provided with an opportunity for a hearing during which they may be represented by counsel, present witnesses, and cross-examine opposing witnesses. Parties may request the hearing officer to issue subpoenas to direct the attendance and testimony of relevant witnesses and the production of relevant documents. Hearings shall be scheduled with reasonable promptness, except that for hearings scheduled in all non-emergency situations, if requested by the defendant, the defendant shall have at least 15 days after service of process to prepare for a hearing. For purposes of this subsection (c), “non-emergency situation” means any situation that does not reasonably constitute a threat to the public interest, safety, or welfare. If service is provided by mail, the 15-day period shall begin to run on the day that the notice is deposited in the mail.
    (Source: P.A. 99-754, eff. 1-1-17.)

    (55 ILCS 5/5-43030)
    Sec. 5-43030. Rules of evidence shall not govern. The formal and technical rules of evidence do not apply in an adjudicatory hearing permitted under this Division. Evidence, including hearsay, may be admitted only if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs.
    (Source: P.A. 96-1386, eff. 7-29-10.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.