Kane County ethics ordinance moving nearer to vote
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News May 23, 2012 3:10PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:45AM
The Kane County ethics ordinance has become a BYOA affair — bring your own amendment.
Changes to the highly talked about ethics ordinance were discussed for more than an hour at the County Board Committee of the Whole meeting this week.
Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said that the ethics ordinance will be on the agenda at the June meeting, and any board members who have an issue with it will need to bring specifically worded language to the Executive Committee so it can either be voted up or down.
“We are going to vote on that ordinance one way or the other,” she said.
For more than a year, county committees have been going over the ethics ordinance with the state’s attorney to make changes that would make it enforceable.
It went in front of the county board once, and was sent back to the committee level after the vote went to a tie.
Board member Jim Mitchell, R-North Aurora, said he would like to see a more proactive approach to handling ethics complaints.
He wants to see the state’s attorney office funded to investigate the D2 forms of county employees, where they make campaign disclosures. The ordinance had that provision at one time, but it was taken out.
“I think we owe it to the taxpayers to get this right, and police ourselves as much as possible,” Mitchell said.
The way the currently proposed ordinance reads, any investigation would rely on a complaint.
Board member T.R Smith, R-Hampshire, wanted an ethics panel put in place that would have subpoena power for possible investigations. Bonnie Kunkel, D-Aurora, suggested changing the ordinance to reflect those involved with civil unions as well as spouses.
The issue will be discussed again at the June 6 Executive Committee meeting, where they will vote on placing the ordinance and any possible amendments on the main County Board agenda.