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Winnebago County Board Members Claim Transparency Issues

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Winnebago County’s Former Administrator only spent eight months on the job. However, she received a severance payout of about  $30,000 .  Some county board members say they didn’t know about this.  Chairman Haney rebutted saying board members did approve the payout.

“I think the sentiment amongst most board members is only transparent to some not for all,” said Winnebago County Board Member (D-10t)  Dist.) Bert Gerl.

 A nearly $30 thousand dollar payout to a former County Administration Employee, Amanda Hamaker.  The severance by the Former Campaign Staffer for Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney comes after she worked for Winnebago County for just eight months.  The amounts of the checks are bizarre.  There were  three payments of  $9,999.99.  Board Members say anything more than $10,000 has to get approved through them.

“We just want the truth, just like everybody else,” said Gerl.  “Why was $30-thousand taxpayer money spent, when were laying off Police Deputies, Corrections Officers, 911 operators.  It just seems a little odd to us. “

At least four Board Members say they were kept mostly in the dark. However, Chairman  Haney, who signed the agreement, says in a statement:
    “The personnel dollars were 100% approved in the Fiscal Year ’18 budget by the board for the very line item it went to.”

Haney adds that both the legal department and HR signed off on it.  The Chairman said to Eyewitness News last Thursday, February 22nd, he assures it was a restructuring move.

“At the end of the day, we did it the right  way based on our processes and policies, advice from counsel and [I] stand by that,” said Chairman Haney. But he has also campaigned on a platform of transparency, and some Board Members say they’re confused, because Haney wasn’t transparent enough then.

“We should have been made aware of it,” said Gerl. ” I think that’s where some of the board members are kind of questioning the transparency that’s coming from the administration office.”

County Board Members filed a Freedom of Information Act request.  They want to know exactly what Hamaker did, when she served as a consultant for the last three months of her tenure with the County.

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