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Former DuPage Township employee sues board members for violating Open Meetings Act

One defendant is running for State Representative

DuPage Township Board of Trustees members (from left to right) Alyssia Benford, Maripat Oliver and Dennis Raga, are being sued by a former Township employee they voted to terminate at a March 27, 2018 meeting for allegedly violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act.[]

BOLINGBROOK – A longtime employee of DuPage Township is suing three members of the DuPage Township Board for allegedly violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act at a March 27 meeting.

The plaintiff, Linda Youngs, worked as the assistant to Township Supervisor Bill Mayer for 10 years, according to a news release from attorney Joe Giamanco of Giamanco Law Partners in Bolingbrook. The suit alleges that Trustees Alyssia Benford, Maripat Oliver and Dennis Raga took action, in secret, before the scheduled meeting to vote to fire Youngs.

One of the exceptions of the Open Meetings Act includes “The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the public body ...” But the lawsuit points to evidence Youngs is claiming as proof of prior action. Giamanco stated in the release that such action still was a “clear violation of the Open Meetings Act” because of what happened after the board voted to terminate Youngs.

The lawsuit stated that after an executive session and the reopening of the meeting to the public, two Bolingbrook police officers and Deputy Police Chief Mike Rompa entered the DuPage Township offices. They then “announced they were requested to be there that evening and had been waiting in the parking lot for some unknown period of time and requested [the] plaintiff turn her office key over to them,” according to the lawsuit.

“The fact that police were present to escort Ms. Youngs from the property, before a vote was ever taken, supports Ms. Youngs’ belief that those who voted for her termination discussed doing so prior to the meeting and despite it not being on the agenda,” Giamanco said in the release.

The lawsuit asks the court to void the proceedings taken at the March 27 meeting that resulted in Youngs being fired, as well as for the awarding of attorney’s fees.