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Madison County Board fires two of Prenzler’s top aides

Two top aides to Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler were fired Thursday night following a long executive session into allegations of improperly accessing emails and other data for political purposes.

Madison County Administrator Doug Hulme and Information Technology Director Rob Dorman were fired in a 26-1 vote following an almost three-hour executive session at a special meeting, published reports said.

A Madison County anti-corruption task force raided the administration offices in January 2018, but a subsequent investigation by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office was eventually closed without charges being filed.

Details of the allegations came out after the unsealing of documents relating to the two-year investigation.

Prenzler had placed the two men on administrative leave only a day earlier and sought an independent review of the situation.

The issue has been hotly contested in recent days, driven in part by the upcoming election in which Prenzler, a Republican, faces re-election against Bob Daiber, a Democrat and the former Madison County regional superintendent of schools.

Daiber and other Democrat elected officials had been calling for the two men at the heart of the investigation to resign their posts.

Democrats issue statement

Friday morning, Democrats issued a joint release.

Madison County Board Member Mike Parkinson, D-Granite City, said, “We came together as a board to do the right thing to restore public trust in the integrity of our county government. I am proud of the members from both sides of the aisle who stood together to put an end to the corrupt practices and abuse of power so clearly revealed by the diligent work of local investigators.”

County Board Member Jack Minner, D-Edwardsville, said, “The last several years under the Prenzler administration have been very difficult. The board has been divided and contentious because of the tone set at the top. It used to be enjoyable serving on the county board. We respected our colleagues and worked together to get things done. Tonight, I feel like we restored a little of that good will by coming together in good faith to do what’s right. I hope we have taken a permanent step in restoring a less partisan and more collegial tone to county government.”

Madison County Board Chairman candidate Bob Daiber, D-Marine, said, “Justice was served tonight as the Board took a stand against corruption and abuse of power. It was jarring to hear Kurt Prenzler continue to fight to the end against a united board. I am proud of our County Board and certainly hope that the cooperation and bipartisanship shown in this decision can continue as the Board sets out to make certain this never happens again.”

Minner, Daiber and County Auditor candidate Joe Silkwood are heralding Madison County Auditor Rick Faccin as a hero in the fight to protect confidential data from e-mail surveillance. He fought a two-year battle with Kurt Prenzler over his administration’s inappropriate and illegal hacking efforts that would have resulted in access to social security numbers, protected health data and other confidential information from private citizens of Madison County.  Silkwood said, “Rick wasn’t just fighting for his office. He was fighting to protect the citizens of Madison County. To me, that’s a hero.”

 

1 Comment

  1. Greg Snyder on April 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Justice has been served for the moment. It reads like there is more to come.

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