As long as I avoid conflicts of interest by abstaining from votes that directly affect me and removing myself from negotiations related to my union contract, I can maintain my employment at the College while simultaneously serving as a Trustee.
On April 4, 2017, I was elected to a six-year term as a member of the Parkland Board of Trustees. On April 26, 2017, I was sworn in as a member of the Parkland Board. The next day, Parkland Trustee’s lawyer Lorna Geiler filed a complaint for a declaratory judgement.
Parkland College Board of Trustees is seeking a declaratory judgement from the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit (Campaign County, Illinois) to declare whether a duly elected member of a public community college board of trustees may simultaneously be employed as a full-time tenured employee of the same public community college.
Below is the list of laws and cases, the Board feels support their opinion that I cannot maintain my employment at Parkland and serve on the Board of Trustees.
- Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act
- Public Community College Act
- Solomon v. Scholefield
- Rogers v. Village of Tinley Park
- People ex rel. Teros v. Verbeck
I am extremely confident in my reading of the law. As I see it,
- I qualify for all the exceptions in Section 3(b-5) of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act.
- I qualify for the first exception in Section 3-48 of the Public Community College Act.
- The Solomon v. Scholefield case is not directly related, but it does support my ability to serve both as a faculty member at Parkland and a Trustee.
- The Rogers v. Village of Tinley Park case does not apply because it used the common law doctrine of incompatibility that refers to two elected positions.
- The People ex. rel. Teros v. Verbeck case also does not apply because it also used the common law doctrine of incompatibility.
I also believe the following law is applicable:
I hired a lawyer to represent me, and I am in the process of raising funds to pay for legal costs. I look forward to the opportunity to defend my position on the board and the opportunity to serve Parkland’s community as a Board of Trustee.