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Second complaint filed against James Bohnsack, disqualifed as Commissioner of Airport Authority

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, IL. (ECWd) –

This morning, I filed a second complaint alleging James Bohnsack is disqualified from serving as Airport Authority Commissioner.

After reviewing his 2018 Statement of Economic Interest, it revealed he was also an appointed Trustee of the Andalusia Fire Protection District – as in a member of the governing body of a unit of local government.

This is a statutory prohibition from being appointed to the Airport Authority, and his appointment is void ab initio (from inception).

Now he has two strikes against his appointment as Airport Authority Commissioner:

  • does not reside within Authority boundaries
  • member if the governing body of a unit of local government

The only realistic option left is for Bohnsack to resign, or for the Airport Authority, the County, and/or IDOT is to remove him from the office of Commissioner.

The law requires his removal, he could have never been appointed.

Text of my second complaint below:

Edited to correct his first name, it is “JAMES” not John.

IDOT, and IDOT Division of Aeronautics,

Previously I had filed a Complaint alleging the J[ames] Bohnsack was disqualified to be a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Airport Authority due to his residence being located outside the Authority’s boundaries. That is still true.

Please consider this an additional complaint of disqualification from the office of Airport Authority Commissioner.

Today I received J[ames] Bohnsack’s 2018 Statement of Economic Interest, and noticed that he is also a Trustee of the Andalusia Fire Protection District.

Attached are his Statement of Economic Interest, his appointment in 2015 to Fire District Trustee, and his appointment in 2018 to Fire District Trustee.

Section 5 of the Airport Authorities Act prohibits his appointment to Commissioner because he is a member of the governing body of a unit of local government.

 (70 ILCS 5/5) (from Ch. 15 1/2, par. 68.5)
    Sec. 5. Qualifications of commissioners and removal from office. No person shall be appointed to the Board of Commissioners of any Airport Authority who has any financial interest in the establishment or continued existence thereof or who is a member of the governing body or an officer or employee of a municipality, a county, or any other unit of local government, or an elected official of State or federal government, except when the authority is wholly located within a single county with a population of less than 40,000, an individual employed by a local school district may serve as a commissioner.
    Should it appear to the Department of Transportation that any member of the Board of Commissioners of an airport authority may be disqualified, or guilty of misconduct or malfeasance in office or unwilling or unable to act, it shall notify the Board of Commissioners of that fact in writing and it shall then be the duty of the Board of Commissioners to require such board member to show cause why he should not be removed from office. Any such person shall be given a hearing by the Board of Commissioners and, after such hearing, if the Board of Commissioners finds such a charge should be sustained, it shall remove the person so charged from office, and a vacancy shall thereupon exist for the unexpired term of such office.
(Source: P.A. 88-109; 89-174, eff. 7-19-95.)

Ordinarily, when a person takes a position in conflict with a position already held, by operation of law, he automatically forfeits the previous position. However, in the case of an Airport Authority, if the Airport Authority position was taken while he was already a Fire District Trustee, he could have never been appointed in the first place due to the statutory prohibition – meaning his appointment is void from inception. Additionally, if he was an Airport Commissioner first (which he can’t be because he doesn’t reside within its boundaries), and then became a Fire District Trustee, he automatically forfeited his position as Airport Commissioner due to accepting a prohibited position. Either way, he cannot sit as an Airport Authority Commissioner.

I renew my call for IDOT to comply with the Airport Authorities Act (70 ILCS 5/5) notify the Board of Commissioners that it appears a member of their Board is disqualified and the Board of Commissioners shall have the duty to require such board member to show cause as to why he should not be removed from office.

Please consider this another formal complaint against Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County Commissioner J[ames] Bohnsack for holding an office in which he is not qualified to hold, and I request IDOT to take action under 70 ILCS 5/5 to notify the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County Board of Commissioners, demand he show cause as to why he should not be removed from office, and demand the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County Board of Commissioners hold a public hearing to hear his show of cause.

I will follow-up this email with a complaint of noncompliance of FAA grant assurances due to this Airport Authority being in noncompliance with State law, and additionally, I will file that complaint with the FAA and ask that they freeze any funding to this airport until it can come into compliance with State law.

Please confirm receipt of this email.

Thanks,

John Kraft

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