Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Kane County Raises
Reports: Judge Thomas Mueller cites "lack of evidence" in case accusing former Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay of dishing out raises to cronies.
A Kane County judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former County Board chairman candidate that accused Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay of dishing out hefty raises to high-level employees.
The suit, filed by Jim MacRunnels, said McConnaughay didn't follow proper procedures in administering county personnel and salaries.
The suit was filed in 2010, then dismissed, and was dismissed again Tuesday in appellate court, according to an article in the Daily Herald.
A McConnaughay press release referred to the lawsuit as "politically motivated" and "frivilous."
“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,” said McConnaughay, who is retiring from the County Board after winning the Nov. 6 election for xx District state senator.
McConnaughay argued that the raises were part of a restructuring of county government that reduced the number of department director positions and total headcount and saved millions of dollars in salary and benefit costs.
“Board members were able to examine line items including salaries throughout the budget process,” said McConnaughay. “My detractors simply sought a way to try and derail county government and embarrass me in the process. Once again, their efforts completely failed, and unfortunately the taxpayers got stuck with the bill.”
The Appellate Court did not disagree with the original decision but remanded the case to the lower court to provide the plaintiff the opportunity to introduce additional information. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Muller issued a summary judgment Tuesday.
“In the end, this case has provided validation of the process we followed, which is a good thing,” McConnaughay said in the press release. “But validating what we were already doing is scarcely worth clogging up our legal system and the unnecessary cost to taxpayers. And when such abuses are perpetrated by self-appointed ‘good-government’ advocates, the hypocrisy is astounding.”