Legal Debate

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.

  1. Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act
  2. Public Community College Act
  3. Solomon v. Scholefield
  4. Rogers v. Village of Tinley Park
  5. People ex rel. Teros v. Verbeck

I am extremely confident in my reading of the law. As I see it,

  1. I qualify for all the exceptions in Section 3(b-5) of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act.
  2. I qualify for the first exception in Section 3-48 of the Public Community College Act.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.