Rock Island County Democratic Leader Wants County Chairman To Re - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island County Democratic Leader Wants County Chairman To Resign

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Big challenges face Rock Island County leaders.

Challenges including a crumbling courthouse and a nursing home running out of money.

Now the leader of the County's Democratic party says the County Board Chairman should resign.

Party Chairman Doug House says the public has lost trust in the board.

He says that's paralyzing it from taking action on the big issues.

Chairman Phil Banaszek has held the office for 18 months.

During that time former employees of the county job training agency say they were fired for revealing wrongdoing to the county.

They've sued.

Illinois audited the program and placed it under high risk status.

The former human resources director filed a whistle blower lawsuit, claiming she was fired for refusing to set up an illegal pension scheme.

The state's attorney says the county board did not follow policy when it paid out comp time to board executive assistant Shelly Champman.

Banaszek says these are legitimate issues, but he's done nothing wrong and will not step down.

"It indicates that I did something wrong which I didn't, and number two even if I would think about it, I think it shows that there was some level of guilt involved too," says Rock Island County Board Chairman Phil Banaszek.

He has been in county government for 18 years. He says government's get sued all the time. While he doesn't take the current lawsuits against the County lightly, he says the party chairman's demand is pure politics.

"For him to pin point one individual to resign and think that's going to solve all the ills not only in the County but election hopes in November, he's mistaken," says Banaszek.

Democratic Party Chairman Doug House says Banaszek needs to step down.

"The Rock Island County Board has been plagued with one problem after another, almost too numerous to count, from lawsuits and allegations of impropriety," says House.

He also wants a committee created to hire a professional administrator. A new ethics policy developed by the state's attorney and a committee to shrink the board.

"We need to turn the page in this County and these actions will help us to do that," says House.

But Banaszek says stepping down is not an option. He'll finish his term and decide what to do next at that point, regardless of what the party chairman wants.

"I don't quite understand how he thinks a chairman sitting after 18 months and asking him to resign is going to eliminate or alleviate all the problems we have here in the County."

The lawsuits against the County are still moving through the court process.

The full County board meets next week.

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