Lerna, IL. (ECWd) -
Tonight's meeting of the Village of Lerna Board of Trustees received the resignations of Village Clerk, John Protz, and also Village Trustee Janette Beals.
We previously wrote about the apparent conflict with the Village Clerk also working by the hour in the Clerk's office. He has protested the article, claiming village policy set his salary at the amount he is receiving. He claims he gets a stipend to attend meetings, and also gets paid minimum wage plus fifteen cents per hour working in the Clerk's office. I have not seen a copy of whatever he says his salary is, but I do not believe an elected village clerk gets paid hourly, if they did they could effectively raise and/or lower their pay any given week they so chose to do so, which violates the Constitution of Illinois.
Additionally, he claims the Coles County Clerk, or someone in that office, told him what to write down on his Statement of Economic Interest. Something the clerk's office has told me they never do. That, he says, is the reason he didn't fill out his SEI correctly.
I will research this further and clarify the previous article if need be.
We also know that Trustee Beals was also working for the village by mowing yards and turning the invoice in for payment from the village - which is a violation of the Illinois Municipal Code.
Village President Don Pearcy is still digging in his heals trying to stay on in the conflicted positions of Village President and Village Maintenance Supervisor, which is a violation of the Illinois Municipal Code and a Class 4 Felony for each and every paycheck he gets while in both positions. He receives a check every week.
Why is this so hard to understand about the Illinois Municipal Code?
a) A municipal officer shall not be financially interested directly in the officer's own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract, work, or business of the municipality or in the sale of any article whenever the expense, price, or consideration of the contract, work, business, or sale is paid either from the treasury or by an assessment levied by statute or ordinance.
(d) An officer who violates this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony. In addition, any office held by an officer so convicted shall become vacant and shall be so declared as part of the judgment of the court.
The next steps for the Village of Lerna are to place "declare office of Village Clerk vacant", "declare office of Village Trustee vacant", appoint Clerk, and appoint Trustee, on the agenda of a meeting, declare the offices vacant, and appoint replacements.