Watchdogs prompt PAC review of Sullivan city manager contract
East Central Reporter Reports | Jan 8, 2017
The Edgar County Watchdogs recently revealed in Illinois Leaks that the city of Sullivan may have violated the Open Meetings Act.
The group's attention was caught by a guest commentary by Adam Andrzejewski in the News-Gazette. Andrzejewski's article focused on Illinois officials' bloated pay packages, including a Sullivan city administrator's five-year contract.
The Watchdogs filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the contract, meeting agenda and meeting minutes regarding the city administrator contract. The city responded with copies of the requested paperwork.
Upon review of the agenda, the Watchdogs found that there was no agenda item for the employment contract.
In addition to the lack of an agenda item, the relevant discussion and vote were held at a special meeting of the city council. Special meetings are restricted to the specific items on the agenda. No other matters should be discussed.
The city administrator position was awarded to retiring Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Dan Flannell. The judge will receive his public pension as well as an annual salary of $92,500.
The salary, however, is only one part of the benefit package. The estimated cost of the five-year contract is $786,939. This includes a city vehicle, city-paid Social Security and municipal retirement system pension. In total, the judicial pension and employment contract adds up to an estimated $1.6 million.
Upon receiving and reviewing the contract and other materials from the city of Sullivan, the watchdog group filed a request for review with the Attorney General Public Access Counselor (PAC). The PAC is currently reviewing the case.