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July 24, 2024

AG Opinion validates every point we made re: Disqualification of Airport Authority Commissioners

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 26, 2019

Vermilion, DuPage, Rock Island, Sangamon, Henry, and Mclean Counties (ECWd) –

Updated: 12-27-2019 @ 0910 hrs. to include Henry County and the Kewanee Airport Authority

During 2017, 2018, and 2019, we were busy ousting disqualified Airport Authority Commissioners in six separate counties in Illinois.

All but two counties (DuPage and Henry) tried telling us we didn’t know what we were talking about, but we pressed on and the Aeronautics Division of the Illinois Department of Transportation wrote some of them letters mandating public hearings on why they should not be removed from office.

All of the offending commissioners resigned from office because they should have never been appointed in the first place as they were disqualified.

All of our complaints were due to the commissioners either holding another office, being employed by a local government, or not living within the airport authority boundaries.

Those are the three disqualifications from serving as an Airport Authority Commissioner in nearly all Airport Authorities in Illinois.

During our review of the several Illinois Airport Authorities, we found:

  • 4 of the 5 commissioners in Vermillion County disqualified
  • 2 commissioners in Sangamon County disqualified
  • 1 commissioner in Mclean County disqualified
  • 1 commissioner in Rock Island County disqualified
  • 1 commissioner in DuPage County disqualified
  • 1 commissioner in Henry County (Kewanee Airport Authority) disqualified

On August 17, 2018, the Attorney General’s Office, Opinions Bureau, responded to the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s (the only one in the five counties that requested an opinion) letter asking if an alderman, community college employee, village planning commissioner, or a conservation district trustee could serve as an airport authority commissioner, and also if an airport authority commissioner must live within the corporate limits of the airport authority. Incidentally, those were all of the reasons we pointed to as disqualifications earlier that year.

The Opinions Bureau stated that all of them were prohibited from serving as an airport authority commissioner and that commissioners of an airport authority must live in, and remain living in, the corporate boundaries of the authority they serve on.

Read the opinion below:

AG Opinion - Airport Authroity COmmissioner Disqualification Aug 2018 61083 RM

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  • Dave
    Posted at 22:40h, 26 December Reply

    WOW, great job dogs!

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 09:01h, 27 December Reply

    One of the greatest disappointments regarding the Vermilion County Airport situation was that 4 of the 5 board members were serving in violation of the law. Some left shortly after becoming aware of the inappropriateness of their appointments. They did the honorable thing.

    The worst offender in my opinion was the chairman, whom was also employed at DACC. As a professor and life long educator, he should have the least problem with comprehension, when given the laws and facts.

    Not only did he refuse to leave until he was forced to do so by the scheduling of a hearing: something that would have publicly exposed his wrongdoing…but he managed to get DACC and the president of same involved in defense of his folly.
    In addition, this situation does not speak well for the law firm that represented both DACC and the Vermilion County Airport.

    The chairman of the Vermilion County Airport, by his example, and that of DACC’s president in defending his lawlessness gets an F grade in my book. They flunked the course on integrity.

    In closing, Vermilion does have good people at work, doing their best, as is demonstrated by J. M. Lacy and her request. Her work is appreciated. Great work!

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