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July 20, 2024

Lerna Village President resigns, Village Board makes illegal appointment – –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 31, 2016


Don Pearcy, the unofficial now-former Village of Lerna President (maybe), tendered his “conditional resignation in a Special Meeting today, January 31, 2016.

The problem is that the term of his “conditional” resignation resulted in the village trustees violating the Illinois Municipal Code due to the fact that he conditioned his resignation on the appointment of Wilbert Beals as Village President – who happens to be the father of Janette Beals, the village clerk who resigned as trustee in order to take the clerk position.  It shows  how bad they wanted him out of there, to violate the law to get rid of him…

Any such appointment at this stage is a violation of the Illinois Municipal Code.

What is a Conditional Resignation?

The Illinois Municipal Code provides for “conditional resignations” in Section 3.1.10-50 (2):

(2) Conditional Resignation. A resignation that does not become effective unless a specified event occurs can be withdrawn at any time prior to the occurrence of the specified event, but if not withdrawn, the effective date of the resignation is the date of the occurrence of the specified event or the date the resignation is received by the officer authorized to fill the vacancy, whichever date occurs later.

The conditions placed on a resignation cannot violate other laws – like, say, the Illinois Municipal Code, Section 3.1/10-50 (f)(1):

(1) Mayor or President. If the vacancy is in the office of mayor or president, the vacancy must be filled by the corporate authorities electing one of their members as acting mayor or acting president. Except as set forth in subsection (d), the acting mayor or acting president shall perform the duties and possess all the rights and powers of the mayor or president until a mayor or president is elected at the next general municipal election and has qualified. However, in villages with a population of less than 5,000, if each of the trustees either declines the election as acting president or is not elected by a majority vote of the trustees presently holding office, then the trustees may elect, as acting president, any other village resident who is qualified to hold municipal office, and the acting president shall exercise the powers of the president and shall vote and have veto power in the manner provided by law for a president.

Here is what should have happened. Either the board should have declined his resignation on the position that he cannot dictate they violate the Illinois Municipal Code, or, they should have accepted his resignation and followed the Municipal Code. Each Trustee must decline the appointment OR not be elected to fill the vacancy by a majority of the board PRIOR to appointing a non-trustee to the position.

Either way, Dan Pearcy, in his final grasp at holding on to 0what little power he may have had,  has lost every shred of integrity that he might have had left. I will add him to the list of scumbags.

As for the board of trustees, they exhibited one of the most outrageous acts I have ever witnessed in a public body. Just when you thought you have seen it all, something like this pops up and takes the cake.

How much is he hiding that he must try and dictate who the next village president is?

Additionally, the appointment violated the Open Meetings Act since the action item was to “fill” or “appoint” a BOARD vacancy. There was never an item to accept the resignation of the village president or to appoint a person to fill the vacancy of the village president. There is no such thing as a “board” vacancy, only trustee vacancy and/or president vacancy for this situation.

What a freak-show.

I certainly hope their new attorney didn’t play any part in this.



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  • Village Resident
    Posted at 20:32h, 31 January Reply

    You wanted Don’s resignation you got it. Wilbert is very upstanding man. In a village our size people are going to be related. Anything wrong with that? Don’t believe board had any bad intent as you seem to think. I’m thinking no one on board wanted Mayor position or they would of appointed them. Also don”t believe anyone wanted Don to resign except you guys. Calling Don a scumbag and the board a freak show is uncalled for. Children call people names, not adults. Yes trustee, president, clerk are the positions. But they are our village board. Nit picking I think. Don’t you have bigger fish to fry?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 21:41h, 31 January Reply

      I call it as I see it, and this was everything I called it. The board knows correct procedure, they chose to ignore it.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 08:39h, 01 February Reply

    I believe the Village Resident is mistaken in his comments regarding the intentions of Mr. Kraft and the ECWDs. Mr. Kraft’s only interest is in good government, in due process and in following Illinois law.
    The facts are indisputable. The mayor cannot function as the towns “maintenance man” all the while making decisions on his own salary, or budget or other. That’s called a conflict of interest. The town’s attorney: the one that recently resigned; told the mayor (and the public) there was a conflict of interest and that she had discussed this with the mayor. That occurred in a meeting that I attended. Then she resigned, apparently not wanting to be part of this.

    Others knowledgeable in Illinois law have advised the same. The town’s present attorney…has yet to make a public statement regarding the Mayors conflict of interest. Has it occurred to Village Residents, there is a reason this new attorney has remained silent?
    The perpetuation of this controversy… it continues to morph itself into even more ridiculous activity, can only fall on the shoulders of the mayor: the one who claims to have the “interests of the residents” at heart.
    I cannot see how breaking Illinois Law the first time has benefited residents in any way. And now, the plot thickens with more illicit activities. These activities only serve to benefit the “Mayor” himself and possibly some personal interests that he may have. Why would he mandate his replacement if it were not so?
    These activities certainly do not speak well for the elected officials, the community or it’s residents. The question now becomes, what is the next law will the Town of Learna will choose to break in defense of the Mayor and where will it stop?

    • Concerned citizen
      Posted at 12:37h, 01 February Reply

      Well said robert

    • Concerned
      Posted at 15:26h, 03 February Reply

      A number of people believe you are mistaken.

      The ECWDs seek publicity and donations, and will cause a ruckus wherever they can find it. Mr. Kraft’s ridiculous antics only serve that purpose.

      It appears that any conflict with Pearcy has been resolved. Why the ECWDs should involve themselves further, is a mystery.

      There is not perpetuation of any controversy, except by the ECWDs, who apparently like to beat on dead horses. And stating that the town is engaged in illicit activities — those would seem to be pretty severe words. By stating that the mayor somehow is benefitting from all of this — well, that would appear to require some substantiation.

      Consensus is, the Mayor did a great job over his terms. You can’t dispute that. Your group has not identified any manner in which any alleged conflict hurt the village.

      As far as Kraft’s lunatic article, well: Illinois defines the board as the trustees and the village president. There was a vacancy on the village board. The agenda, clearly posted, stated that a resignation and appointment would be considered. The village can also take actions related to those items. Try reading the statute.

      The ECWDs, and Kraft in particular, are a bunch of bullies. You tell people how to do things, yet you claim not to be practicing law. You cite convenient laws, but omit others when it suits you.

      Maybe the ECWDs should disclose their supposed “non-profit” corporation tax returns to those interested, to see whether they are truly a “non-profit” organization.

      Sugar and honey go a lot further than vinegar and piss, if you are trying to accomplish anything.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 21:23h, 03 February Reply

        Concerned: Our tax return info is available on the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Database website.
        As far as the other items mentioned, if you want substantiation, we would be more than happy to publish all of it.
        Please provide the statutory reference that defines a vacancy of the village president, or mayor, as a vacancy on the “Board of Trustees”.

  • Concerned citizen
    Posted at 12:39h, 01 February Reply

    Well done Edgar County watchdogs

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