DOLTON, IL. (ECWd) –
Arguments were heard during a Hearing for a TRO filed by Henyard to stay a new ordinance removing her from bank account and check signature authority.
Mayor Tiffany Henyard’s request for Emergency TRO DENIED. No irreparable injury. Remedy at law not inadequate. No allegation trustees overstepped any authority. Court Ordered trustees cannot pay bills without the Mayor submitting warrant list and approval by board of trustees. Trustees cannot add to the warrant list without Mayoral approval and later board approval. Access to bank account by trustees limited to signature authority. Mayor will not have signatory authority and cannot make payments. Trustees cannot transfer funds between accounts. All parties to work with the bank to change or correct any alleged unfettered access. Trustees wait for any Mayoral veto after board approval and prior to actual payment is made. Order to remain in place until the actual plenary hearing or trial/judgment on pleadings.
Option to “cure” the procedural defect in veto override of current ordinance given, with no effect on this Order.
Trustee’s Motion for Sanction not heard in Court today. Trustees indicated they would not pursue the sanctions motion.
We will post the actual Court Order when we receive it.
Next court date scheduled for status in approximately 60 days – December 19, 2022, at 8:30 a.m.
Discussion notes from today’s Hearing (not a complete record, simply notes of the discussions):
- This would be a total break-down in government, and no checks and balances
- Trustees recently issued a check
- Clerk complained about the taking and using of her signature stamp
- Ordinance improperly passed because they did not properly override the Mayor’s veto
Judge mentioned May 8, 2021, resolution is the “Status Quo” which requires signature of both Mayor and Clerk. Trustees claim Mayor violated this resolution.
- Henyard agrees on status quo date
- Not advocating any law be violated – but don’t want this solution
- Suggest a Court Order to comply with the “Status Quo” resolution (The Illinois Municipal Code)
J: Fair question raised on the override of veto – could it be put in an Order subject to Contempt of Court.
- Fearful of going back to the May 8, 2021, resolution will not solve the problem because she continued to violate the resolution, and the Clerk’s stamp was used without her authority and then Mayor simply signed checks on her own
- Very day of last hearing, Mayor signed three checks to unapproved vendors for more than $10,000
- Believe they will be back in front of Judge for contempt motions
- Bills approved by the board have not been paid
- Filed a Motion for Sanctions based off the agreed temporary order
- Suggests an Order requiring three people sign check: Mayor, Clerk, and Senior Trustees as a compromise – all payment must be approved by the board
J: Concerned with Board of Trustees with total, unfettered control of bank accounts
- Henyard disagrees with the three-signature addition
- Henyard still wants status quo of the May 8, 2021, resolution
- Trustees suggest an agreed order – Judge suggested a co-obligation to agree on an order
J: Concerned the new Ordinance did not properly override the veto. Says the board could do it properly
- Trustees do not believe there was any defect in their motion to override the veto, and it was on the agenda. A technical or procedural defect does not affect the validity of the action
J: Because this issue is so extraordinary, it must be properly done (with not procedural defects) – must be proper without underlying fundamental technical defects which could undermine the work of the attorneys and the court
- Trustees claim the Motion was proper to override veto, and it was on the agenda, voted, and passed
May 2021 Resolution: Two signatures – Clerk and Mayor
New Ordinance Discussion: No checks written without the Mayor submitting them as a warrant list to the board, and trustee and Clerk only signatories. Henyard disagrees, saying Trustees can add to the warrant list. If trustees cannot, or say they won’t, ad to warrant list, then the proper checks and balance would still be there.
Trustees agree the board will not be added to the warrant list without Mayoral approval. They also agree to wait five days between approval of bill and actual payment – to permit the Mayor to veto the bill if she chooses.
Henyard still wants to go back to the 2021 Resolution. Veto can only happen at “regular” meetings. Trustees agreed to wait. Henyard claims it would still be operating under invalid ordinance because of numerous special meetings called which include payment of corporate bills. Trustees agree they would not continue that process of bill payment without Mayoral warrant list.
Henyard claims the trustees and clerk have full administrator access to the fifth/third account. Trustees agree nothing would be paid without Mayoral warrant list and without board approval, and that the only change at the bank was signatory authority – meaning the Mayor and village administrator have complete access to the records of the account, just not signature authority.
Henyard wants trustee and clerk only as signatory – not complete access to the account. Court is allowing alleged invalid ordinance to continue. Still wants the TRO to stay enforcement of the new Ordinance.
J: With the trustee agreements on all three concerns, it basically usurped the Mayor’s stated claims.
Judge: No irreparable injury. Remedy at law not inadequate. No allegation trustees overstepped any authority. TRO DENIED.