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April 25, 2024

Michael Parkinson, Madison Co. Board member and Granite City Police Officer: Prohibited Interest in Contract –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 8, 2018


A member of a public body cannot sue that public body, and then turn around and settle the lawsuit without creating a prohibited interest in a contract (settlements are contracts).

Michael Parkinson is a Granite City Police Officer and a member of the Madison County Board. He sued Madison County for an alleged Open Meetings Act violation, and then settled the lawsuit for $1500.

Allegation of Prohibited Interest in Contract (Class 4 Felony), which is a violation of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act

  • On February 15, 2017, and while a Madison County Board Member, Mr. Michael Parkinson filed a two-count Complaint of violations of the Open Meetings Act in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, Illinois. Case No. 17-MR-63
  • On September 13, 2017, while still a member of the Madison County Board, Parkinson executed a contract (settlement) in which he and/or his attorney was paid the sum of $1500.00 from the County of Madison.
  • This is a prohibited interest in a contract by a county board member and is considered a Class 4 Felony if found guilty.
  • The Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act [50 ILCS 105/3(a)] prohibits this type of contract. This contract is void, not merely voidable.
  • Public Officials cannot settle lawsuits against the public body they are a member of if that settlement consists of the transfer of funds to either the member or for the member’s attorney fees:
    • People v. Adduci, 412 Ill.621, 108 N.E.2d 1 (1952) – harm, injury, beneficial to government irrelevant. Motive has no play in whether a conflict of interest exists.
    • People ex rel. Madigan v. Bertrand, Jr., 2012 IL App (1st) 111419 – board member could not settle a lawsuit he filed against the public board because the settlement agreement included payment of his attorney fees, thus making it a contract in which he was financially interested.
    • People v. Scharlau, 141 Ill.2d 180(1990) – Danville’s elected commissioners convicted in state court for prohibited interest in contract even though a federal court had “approved” the settlement
    • Mulligan v. Village of Bradley, 131 Ill App.3d 513 (1985) – Village President urged Trustees to create village manager position and offer the position to him. President abstained from voting, and the Court declared his employment and contract void even though the president did not vote and even though the president resigned to take the employment.
    • People v. Savaiano, 66 Ill.2d 7 (1977) – Forest Preserve Commissioner prosecuted even though the contract fell through and was never acted upon. The Court determined that the word “contract” encompassed the entire bargaining process, not simply the final contract.

This should be prosecuted, repayment demanded, and removal from the Madison County Board if found guilty.

Parkinson’s attorney should be reported to the ARDC for possible disciplinary actions for his role in assisting in this alleged criminal activity.

Supporting documents below:

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  • Cass Broomfield
    Posted at 12:09h, 07 May

    He has a bigger conflict of interest with his position on the County Board since he was already a Police Officer. This simple fact is pointed out by a news article from the Southern Illinoisan news article “Court rules Hightower must give up cop job” By Nick Mariano of The Southern Jun 30, 2015. Other similar news articles to the Southern’s article have been written about this topic and they all show this is illegal.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:39h, 07 May

      That case dealt with a police officer in the same city as the elected official. This is not the case with Parkinson.

      • Cass Broomfield
        Posted at 13:10h, 09 May

        Jim Kraft while I respect your opinion here, I am merely pointing out an additional fact that it is illegal in Illinois for a Police Officer to hold any elected Office due to the “conflict of interest’ this presents. Especially in the same area where the Officer patrols, in those areas it is only allowed when the population is extremely low in that same area by IL statues. The population rule by Statue does not apply to Madison County IL or Granite City IL where the population is too high.

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 16:06h, 09 May

          You are entitled to your opinion, but we have found nothing to support your claim.

          • Cass Broomfield
            Posted at 08:56h, 10 May

            Then perhaps I need to share with everyone my findings and directly point out the actual statutes and rules that apply to this and I have spoken to several attorneys who have confirmed this. There is well established case law concerning this issue including “conflict of interest” statutes and rules. To clarify the only elected position that does not fall under a conflict of interest is the position of Sheriff, because it is a position within law enforcement itself.

      • cassandraclements
        Posted at 16:17h, 14 July

        Granite City resides within the boarders of Madison County. Parkinson is holding a seat on the Madison County Board which has authority over Granite City where Parkinson works as an Officer, this fact makes holding both offices incompatible. Serving in both positions would also restrict the actions of the Granite City Chief of Police, because Madison County Board members control the purse strings for “budgeted funds” that are also provided to Granite City and it’s Police Department. This fact makes it an inherent conflict of interest, along with any contracts that Madison County holds with Granite City of that affect Granite City as a whole separately from with it’s Police Department.

  • Cass Broomfield
    Posted at 11:12h, 10 May

    Recommended Citation “Conflict of Interest: A Totally Ignored Illinois Criminal Sanction against Corruption in Government”, 52 Chi.-Kent. L. Rev. 64 (1975). by Michael I. Spak, Michael I. Spak & Philip Parenti. This article calls out all of the Illinois Statues that make it illegal for a Municipal Police Officer to hold any elected office.

  • Cass Broomfield
    Posted at 13:04h, 10 May

    Similar concerns were raised in another case in this article from the Chicago Tribune titled “Mayor’s status as cop a problem’83 case says roles are incompatible” by Matthew Walberg, Tribune staff reporter February 09, 2007. All Police Officers are licensed by the State of Illinois and therefore are considered State employees under that license which provides them with powers of arrest in Illinois, holding any elected Office out side of Law Enforcement is a conflict of interest. Holding this office is a known conflict of interest due to the contractual relationship between the municipality where he Patrols and the other unit of local government.

  • cassandraclements
    Posted at 15:58h, 14 July

    It is illegal for a Police Officer to hold an elected Office due to the conflict of interest between these two offices! Where in 1983, the Illinois Appellate Court held that an elected official may not be employed by a police department under the authority of that official.

    See also the Illinois Municipal leagues Legal Q & A By BETH ANNE JANICKI, Chief Legal Counsel, IML and LORI ANN VERKUILEN, Paralegal, IML from (February 1998) on pages 3 and 4. Quote “After the Rogers v. Tinley Park decision, the statutes were amended to permit an elected officer to take a leave of absence from another municipal office which is in conflict.

    Thus, a police officer may hold an elected office only if he or she takes a leave of absence from the position of police officer”. Beside for ROGERS v. VILLAGE OF TINLEY PARK there are other cases where the same rulings have been made that resulted in the same ruling. In Williamson County the Court ruled Officer Angelo Hightower must give up his cop job. There is no criminal penalty that exists for violation of the law of compatibility, but civil proceedings may be brought by state and local authorities or private citizens to remove an official from one of the offices.

  • cassandraclements
    Posted at 13:29h, 27 September

    This court case proves that Police have jurisdiction anywhere in the State of Illinois, So the fact is that he is an Officer in Granite City gives him jurisdiction anywhere means he is “Holding an elected Office” in the same area where he has Jurisdiction and that is in fact an illegal conflict of interest.