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Court tosses suit against McConnaughay over pay raises



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Updated: November 14, 2012 9:19PM

A lawsuit brought against Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay over issuing raises to department heads without board approval has been dismissed for a second time.

Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller ruled in favor of McConnaughay on Tuesday, after the appellate court sent the original case back to the local court.

The lawsuit, which was brought by a former McConnaughay political opponent, Jim MacRunnels of Elburn, alleged that she violated county ordinance by issuing raises to 13 department heads without board consent.

“While it is gratifying that the court has again found these allegations meritless, it is unfortunate that the county had to incur the cost of defending itself from what was essentially a case of sour grapes,” McConnaughay said in a press release.

McConnaughay, who was elected Nov. 6 to represent the 33rd District in the Illinois State Senate next year, recently had two previous County Board chairmen sign affidavits stating that the raises were issued in accordance with policies that they followed.

She also attempted to have the County Board retroactively ratify the raises, but that move never garnered enough votes.

The raises were issued several years ago, and MacRunnels filed the lawsuit in 2010. It was dismissed in April of 2011, but then the appellate courts asked for more clarification last summer.

MacRunnels said Tuesday that he was disappointed but not surprised by the ruling. He said it was a good thing that five of the people McConnaughay gave raises to are no longer on the county payroll.

Though he did not receive the ruling he was looking for, the lawsuit served its purpose, MacRunnels said.

“We accomplished what we wanted,” he said. “We stopped her from giving raises without board approval.”

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