Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, creating more accountability in Illinois’ 98 public water districts became law this month.
Under the new law, public water district trustees may be removed for misconduct or neglect of office by their appointing authority.
“Often, when we talk about government reform, we focus on high-profile, statewide offices,” Manar said. “Government affects our lives at every level, so when we look to root out misconduct, we must work at the local level as well.”
The legislation, House Bill 4253, was a response to a Fosterburg Water District trustee in Madison County who Manar said made a profit of more than $14,000 on contracts between his business and the water district board on which he sits, despite being prohibited from having any direct or indirect interest in any contract or work of the district.
Before the new law, there was no method allowing the removal of water district trustees, even when one was found to have violated the public’s trust.
House Bill 4253 takes effect immediately.