Controversy, confusion follow McHenry County Board chairman's hires
Diane Evertsen says McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks might need a refresher course on the extent of his powers.
“The county board chairman does not want to acknowledge that his office is not a constitutional office in the state and therefore does not have the same authorities as offices like the county clerk’s office and the county’s sheriff office,” Evertsen told the McHenry Times.
In dispute is Franks’ recent hiring of two county board staffers who work directly under him.
As McHenry County Republican Party secretary, a post she was elected to nearly four years ago, Evertsen insists she’s well-versed on the rules.
"The rules stipulate that a county administrator for the state of Illinois does not have the authority to hire without the county board’s approval,” she said. “Not only weren’t the two people hired not approved by the board, they weren’t even presented to them.”
Franks’ hiring of Bridget Geenen as his assistant and Kevin Craver as communications specialist was the primary focus of a special meeting in late August. Craver was hired to replace Oliver Serafini, who along with Geenen worked with Franks when he was a state representative.
After the special meeting failed to establish a quorum, Evertsen admitted she isn’t sure what comes next.
“It’s hard to say what will happen,” she said. “It looks like we also have some county board members that don’t quite seem to understand the rules as they are already clearly written and established.”
The Northwest Herald has reported the two positions in question don’t match their job descriptions and that they come at a collective cost to the county of nearly $170,000.
Franks has disputed those figures, arguing that the salaries don’t exceed $108,000. The two hires were made in December, and the money from them comes from the budgets of the county administration and Department of Transportation budgets.