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Local News

Plainfield Township looks to enact new measures after longtime administrator's resignation

Trustee: ‘It’s something ... none of us are happy about’

The Plainfield Township Administration Center on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.
The Plainfield Township Administration Center on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

Plainfield Township officials are in the process of reviewing policies and procedures in the aftermath of the resignation of the longtime township administrator, after she reportedly stored her private boat and jet skis in a public storage facility.

Andi French, who was employed with the township for the past 21 years, resigned on Nov. 26 after township government was alerted to her use of the township-owned garage space at the Plainfield Township Community Center, located at 15014 South Des Plaines St. The garage is officially used to store items such as cleaning materials and sandbags for floods.

Township Trustee Ernie Knight said that when Supervisor Tony Fremarek and trustees first learned about French’s use of the garage space in late November, they acted quickly. French was put on paid administrative leave, according to township documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“As soon as we were made aware of this, the superintendent and the board took action to investigate and take appropriate action,” Knight said.

Knight said officials are looking to implement new procedures to improve “tracking and transparency” to avoid future problems. As administrator, French was in charge of tracking services the township provides. Knight said that while they have found no wrongdoing with her day-to-day work, they wanted to improve how the township keeps track of its services for better accountability and documentation.

“It’s something obviously that none of us are happy about,” Knight said.

Knight also added that he “absolutely” wants whatever findings the township uncovers in regard to French’s behavior during her time as administrator to be made public.

The same day French resigned, she attempted to reimburse the township with a personal check for $1,300 “representing rent for 13 months for the storage of our boat and jet skis,” according to township documents obtained through the FOIA. Knight said the township couldn’t accept the money, and there is no set policy about renting space in the garage.

French earned a salary of more than $80,000, and the township contributed to her Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

“We’re still investigating,” Knight said. “We are taking very proactive measures.”

Township Clerk Chuck Willard was appointed to replace French as administrator. The township announced a vacancy for the clerk’s position and advertised it on its Facebook page.

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