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April 16, 2024

Downers Grove Township Clerk Pension Debate – Part 2

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 31, 2017


Part one is located at this link (here) and mainly discusses the September 2016 Downers Grove Township meeting where there appeared to be an attempt to approve compensation for the clerk backdated to 2013.

Laura Hois had an attorney draft a letter to the Downers Grove Township Board last fall which purports to lay the groundwork to allow Hois to participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (“IMRF”). We found some inconsistencies between the letter and agendas/minutes/video of past meetings.

Section 9(b) of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution was properly quoted (cannot increase or decrease salary of elected official during term of office), and depending on how either the board or the courts look at the evidence in from of them, that section could be found to apply to the fact(s) pointing to no authorization was ever granted for the Twp Clerk to participate in IMRF – according to the videos and agendas – with the minutes not accurately reflecting what happened during the meetings (in our opinion).

July 5, 2012, meeting never discussed IMRF, but did discuss, vote, and pass all the other compensation. However, the meeting minutes say IMRF was approved – which we believe are not consistent with what actually happened in the meeting as can be observed in the video below. Hois’ attorney claims the video is “edited”, but we could only find where the insurance proposal was edited out, and nothing else, leaving the compensation discussion and vote in its entirety.

In the October 4, 2012, meeting, there was a discussion on compensation, and there was a vote on compensation (even though the agenda did not properly list the item for vote). However, nothing was ever mentioned about IMRF, but there was a discussion on every other aspect of compensation.

From the information provided by watching the videos of both meetings, it is clear the trustees did not consider or vote on IMRF, for anyone. We do understand that the video is not an “official record” of the meeting, but it is still clear that no IMRF discussion or approval occurred.

What consequences will be had when considering all the available information, and considering it in conjunction with the Open Meetings Act’s requirements for agendas, deliberations, and votes will probably have to be decided by a court. Our opinion is there was never authorization for IMRF – for any new person taking office in 2013, including the Clerk, Supervisor, and Road Commissioner.

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  • Ron Brzoska
    Posted at 21:57h, 31 March

    Do we have a potential issue of a township clerk willfully falsifying the minutes of a meeting? What kind of penalty, if any, goes with that?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 22:00h, 31 March

      No, this was done before she was the clerk – it might possibly apply to the previous one though. Regardless, the board should have caught it at the time.