At Wednesday’s District 46 School Board meeting, member Susan Facklam was censured for her role in distributing $5.00 gift certificates to voters during the recent Board election.
Emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Lennie Jarratt, who was represented by Round Lake attorney Gerald Dietz, revealed that Facklam appeared to be fully aware what she had done was probably illegal. In emails sent to former Board President Mary Garcia, Facklam wrote “Don’t let them turn us in; gifts to register to vote is probably illegal”.
Facklam had been previously notified by Lake County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Daniel Jasica that he had found her guilty of “a felony violation of Illinois election code by handing out the gift certificates”. It was decided not to prosecute the case based on prosecutorial discretion and lack of a broader pattern of illegal payments.
At Wednesday’s Board meeting, the vote to censure was 3-0 in favor, but what happened to the rest of the Board member votes?
There are six members on the District 46 School Board, plus the President, who generally only votes on tie-breakers. The following are District 46 School Board members and how they voted on Facklam’s censure:
Ray Millington, President = Voted in Favor of censure
Keith Surroz, Vice President = Voted in Favor of censure
Sue Facklam, Secretary = (couldn’t vote)
Michael Carbone = Temporarily left and sat with audience
Kip Evans = NO SHOW for the meeting
Shannon Smigielski = Abstained
Karen Weinert = Voted in Favor of censure
From the vote outcome, it would appear as though those who were most vocal when they heard about Facklam’s actions decided to sit on the sideline, unhappy with the content of the motion. Kip Evans was a ‘no-show’, Michael Carbone elected to leave the table and sit with the audience, and Shannon Smigielski abstained. Is this type of posturing what we expect from our elected officials?.