LEWISTOWN-In wake of communication from the Department of Human Rights, Fulton County Board Chairman Jason Strandberg resigned from his position Tuesday night.
Strandberg said the county has received a letter from the Department of Human Rights requesting a list of policies, such those regarding employees and sexual harassment.
The county then received another letter saying state funding would cease until the policies were sent; Strandberg said the county will still receive its funding but the matter still needs to be resolved.
“A lot of stuff that needs done we don’t do here in Fulton County, and it’s fine that we say that’s not our jobs as board members - maybe it’s not,” Strandberg told board members. “As your board chair, I want to make it clear that we need to make policies so that whoever’s your board chair next, your job is to make policies with you guys and run meetings. What I am is your de facto county administrator, which is a terrible idea because you’re blurring the lines between making policies and enforcing it.
I have a couple personal situations that are going to draw me away from the county for some extended periods of time. I don’t want to drop the ball. If I drop the ball on this human rights issue, we’re in trouble. You’re just finding this out now. There’s no one here to do this, and I don’t want to be that guy who drops the ball. I will be resigning not from the board but I will be resigning from my duties as Chair tonight because I don’t want to mess that up.”
Strandberg also noted that one issue that has risen is that while the Fulton County Board passed a resolution for ethics training, board members have not completed it yet.
“We are required by law to do ethics training as board members. Some people here need it,” he said.
Board member John Taylor nominated electing Patrick O’Brian as Chairman. It was approved.
“It’s an honor to serve as Chairman of the County board,” O’Brian told the Ledger Wednesday morning. “It is very humbling to receive the confidence of your peers. I am fortunate to have a very supportive wife and children to allow me to do this. I am excited to tackle the issues that are before us and collectively come up with solutions that serve in the best interest of our constituents. It’s truly an honor!”
An email sent to the Illinois Department of Human Rights had not been answered as of press time Wednesday night.