Crawford Co., IL. (ECWd) -
The Crawford County Airport Authority has two Commissioners who are ineligible to serve on the airport authority board of commissioners. One for holding another position in government and the other for unlawfully contracting with the board he sits on.
Commissioner Robert Quick is also an appointed member of the Crawford County Public Hospital Board, and as such is statutorily disqualified from serving as a commissioner of the airport authority.
Section 5 of the Airport Authorities Act provides the disqualification:
Sec. 5. Qualifications of commissioners and removal from office. No person shall be appointed to the Board of Commissioners of any Airport Authority who has any financial interest in the establishment or continued existence thereof or who is a member of the governing body or an officer or employee of a municipality, a county, or any other unit of local government, or an elected official of State or federal government, except when the authority is wholly located within a single county with a population of less than 40,000, an individual employed by a local school district may serve as a commissioner.
The Illinois Attorney General's Opinions Bureau has also weighed in on Section 5 of the Act (here).
Commissioner Tyler Devonshire, who owns Weber Insurance and Realty, has been selling insurance to the Airport Authority for several years. Weber Insurance was operating while "not in good standing" with the Secretary of State until we notified the airport board of their standing, and they have since updated their registration with the Illinois Secretary of State's office.
Section 5 of the Airport Authorities Act also provides for his disqualification for having a financial interest in the "establishment or continued existence thereof" of the airport authority through his contracting with the authority while he sits as a board member.
Section 3(a) of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act provides the statutory prohibition and Section 4 of the Act prescribes violations of the Act as a Class 4 felony, and upon conviction, vacating of the office held. This Act also provides certain conditions under which a board member may abstain from voting to cure any perceived conflicts, but Devonshire does not qualify under those listed conditions to abstain from voting.
The Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, has in the past issued a letter to various airport authorities asking them to comply with Section 5 of the airport authorities act and conduct a public hearing for certain commissioners to show cause why they should not be removed from office. IDOT has been notified of these issues.
Additionally, federal and state grants, such as the $4,435,200.00 grant recently announced for the Crawford County Airport Authority, generally require as a condition of receiving the grant, compliance with all federal and state laws. The Airport Authorities Act and Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act both fall in that category and must be complied with.
Each board member was informed of these allegations, the airport attorney was informed, and the State's Attorney was informed. They were also asked to provide comment for publication. No comment has been received as of this publication.
We urge both commissioners to immediately step down from the airport authority board.