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April 14, 2024

Village Board Votes To Violate Ethics Laws – Approves Electioneering For Tax Referendum –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 23, 2024

Maryville, Ill. (ECWd) –

The Village of Maryville recently place an advertisement on their electronic sign urging voters to vote “YES” in favor of a tax referendum for the local school district (here).

More troubling is the village board’s passage of a Resolution in support of Collinsville Community School District #10’s tax referendum, which included urging the public to vote “YES” on the ballot.

In the resolution, the village called the 44 percent increase a “modest” increase.

The Resolution states (emphasis ours):

“The Village of Maryville Board of Trustees urge all residents of the Village of Maryville to carefully consider the long-term benefits of supporting this Zero Tax Rate Change Proposal and to vote in favor of it in the upcoming election.”

The State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, which local governments are required to adopt, prohibits this type of electioneering.

“Prohibited Political Activity” is defined as:

  • (7) Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to get voters to the polls.
  • (11) Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.

Section 5-15 deals with the prohibition on political activities:

  • (a) State employees shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time (other than vacation, personal, or compensatory time off). State employees shall not intentionally misappropriate any State property or resources by engaging in any prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organization.

The Village of Maryville has adopted an Ethics Ordinance in 2004 (here). In passing this Resolution, the village board violated their own Ethics Ordinance (Sec 1, para D) by participating in prohibited political activities as described in the Act. The village also adopted the penalties from the Act as found in Section 50-5 of the Act, which prescribes penalties for violations as Class A Misdemeanors and subject the offending individual(s) to discipline or discharge.

Resolution 2024-03

 

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4 Comments
  • Dave
    Posted at 09:31h, 23 March Reply

    Wow….. it’s unbelievable! How do they think obeying the law is optional is okay?

  • Helen McMahon
    Posted at 17:25h, 23 March Reply

    Our state has set a bad example of corruption and our president ignores Supreme Court decisions

  • Justice Seeker
    Posted at 15:00h, 24 March Reply

    Only in Illinois where state’s attorneys and the Attorney General won’t prosecute! Everyone wants to complain but they sit silent and stay at home instead of vote. FOLKS, you get what you ask for. No one can sit on the sidelines in today’s world and come out on the winning side.

  • JQA WINS
    Posted at 10:28h, 25 March Reply

    Where is the Madison County States Attorney on this clear violation of the law? Mark Auckenbach and the Collinsville Township engineerd this scheme. I would not be surprised
    If the Madison County Central Committee did not discuss this scheme at a meeting prior to the primary election.. Tom Haine doesn’t have the courage to take on a loyal Republican in Auckenbach or the Collinsville Township full of loyal Republicans. Cheers to the law breakers in Madison County government. You win, again.

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