STEPHENSON COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Stephenson County board member Alvin Wire has been removed from his position as chairman of two committees after making “insensitive comments” during a meeting on July 8th.
The swift decision came after Wire suggested the board make changes to its sexual harassment policy, adding that women in the workplace whose attire showed “major cleavage could entice someone to ogle.”
Wire is the chairman of the County Administration and Legal Affairs Committee. He suggested that someone’s clothing could entice or invite people to sexually harass them, essentially, shifting the blame from abusers to victims, according to Vice Chairman Samuel Newton.
“While we tried to dismiss the conversation, he felt inclined to let everyone know how he felt,” explained Newton.
Many board members, including Board Chairman Bill Hadley, quickly interjected saying that those comments are illegal and move in the wrong direction.
“This is one individual making a comment during a committee meeting. That’s not the belief of our county board,” Chairman Hadley said.
Hadley urges Wire to apologize for his comments. However, Hadley does not have the power to remove or discipline him.
“I’m not even sure why he…felt the way he did. That was the blindsiding. The fact that he’s been a long term board member and that he was harboring feelings that way took everybody by surprise,” Newton added.
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