Belvidere Park District official responds after ousted by commission

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BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Belvidere Park Board of Commissioners voted to oust the district’s leader. We caught up with the former executive director who tells us decision came as a shock.

Mark Pentecost served as executive director for 4 years. He opens up about the end of us term.

“I was confused and didn’t understand why it’d be on an agenda for the third time,” said Pentecost.

That was his reaction when Pentecost saw his name and the word ‘termination’ on the board meeting agenda.

“I interpreted it as something that we wanted to get to a vote since it already failed two votes that they were just going to try to officially kill it on an agenda and then move on,” said Pentecost.

But that wasn’t the case this time.

“But then three of them voted to fire me so it became official,’ said Pentecost.

In the board meeting minutes from April 26, commissioners say Pentecost gave himself a 4.8% raise without their approval and discussed prosecuting him. Legal action was not taken, however.

He says the raise was a paperwork mistake.

“No I did not give myself a raise, it was not the intention of it. It was a clerical error within the office and it was fixed between staff and I. Really, that was as far as it needed to go,” said Pentecost.

Commission VP Amy Grafton and President Daniel Noble denied on-camera interviews. As of this week, Pentecost was terminated for convenience–effective immediately.

“Within my contract, there were two options for the board to be able to get rid of me as the executive director — one was for cause and the other was for convenience, so there was no cause they couldn’t find a cause so they used a backup plan of convenience,” said Pentecost.

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