WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney and 47 county residents have filed a lawsuit in Federal court claiming that board members are illegally attempting to strip him of power.
Haney was elected in November of 2016 on a platform of government reform.
According to the lawsuit, “The community was able to choose their representative each and every election – someone they chose to fulfill those duties. Today, the chairman position does not exist on the organizational chart, literally or figuratively, after these politically-motivated, mid-term changes. For over two years, the position of chairman has been under endless threat of change: 7 actual ordinance changes and another 7 threatened changes. This has completely distracted, divided, and distorted the governance process during a very consequential time in our community and in county government.”
“We are told that every vote matters and every vote counts. But not in Winnebago County if this is how we do government. Twelve people hijacked an election after voters clearly said they wanted a new direction,” said plaintiff David Dale Johnson of northwest Rockford.
“Haney was never going to be liked in some political circles because he came from outside of the board and outside the good ‘ole boys club. But that is also why I voted for him. I sent him in to do a particular job for a particular period of time (4 years). Now a small group of people I didn’t vote for have functionally eliminated his ability to participate in the process in the middle of his term. Instead of voting “no” when they didn’t agree with an issue, they eliminated his ability to represent me on major issues that impact my family and my community,” said Kristin Dixon who lives in central Rockford.
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