McConnaughay: County’s pay hikes in line with past practices
By Matt Brennan For The Courier-News September 6, 2012 4:48PM
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:21PM
GENEVA — Karen McConnaughay’s procedure for issuing raises to county department heads and high-level employees was in line with what her predecessors as Kane County Board chairman had done, according to court paperwork from her lawyers.
McConnaughay’s attorneys filed the documents as part of a lawsuit brought by her former political opponent, Elburn resident Jim MacRunnels. The lawsuit alleges that McConnaughay violated county code by issuing the raises without board consent.
Affidavits from former county board chairmen Mike McCoy and Warren Kammerer both state that McConnaughay followed procedures that were in place before she was elected chairman.
“These have been the procedures for at least 20 years,” McConnaughay said. “That, I think, is an important point in all of this.”
McConnaughay has also noted in the past that the county board was involved in the process by passing the department budgets. The raises in question were issued several years ago and included 13 county department heads and high-level employees.
The lawsuit was filed by MacRunnels in 2010. Local courts dismissed it in April 2011, but an appellate court ruling breathed new life into the case, sending it back to the local courts for further clarification.
MacRunnels ran against McConnaughay for county board chairman in 2008. He has routinely said that the case is not about politics but about looking out for taxpayers.
He is not seeking any financial penalty from McConnaughay but instead wants a court ruling that would clarify the law. The raises in question could end up causing county taxpayers as much as $20 million in the long run, MacRunnels has said in the past.
The case is due back in court Nov. 13 for a hearing on a motion for summary judgment.