EDWARDSVILLE — Several Madison County Board members on Friday called for an investigation into allegations of electioneering by county officials or employees either on county time or using county computers.
At Friday’s Judiciary Committee meeting, Committee Chairman Mike Walters, R-Godfrey, read a letter from Andrew Kane outlining his allegations. Kane is a former employee who sued the county claiming retaliation for filing a sex harassment complaint in the state’s attorney’s office. The suit was settled in August 2019.
Kane also submitted the letter to the county board in September. Although it was not read aloud, it was submitted as part of the record and brought up by board members at the end of that meeting. Kane included numerous copies of emails he said he obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests., citing incidents from 2007 to 2016.
Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski said the only reason the information became public was because of “illegal snooping” by former county officials, referring to former county administrator Doug Hulme and information technology director Rob Dorman who were fired this year amid allegations they improperly accessed private communications and records for political purposes.
It was also noted that all of the emails referred to were part of documentation sent to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office as part of that investigation.
Walters read the letter at the beginning of the meeting. Later, Rekowski noted he had sent one of the emails, saying it was a political cartoon critical of now-Chief Judge Bill Mudge.
“It was a joke; it was not campaign material,” Rekowski said. “If they were not illegally snooping they would have never come across it. I apologize to no one for it.”
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons noted a specific email referenced someone no longer working for the state’s attorney’s office soliciting support for a fundraiser in 2012. He said Kane was one of the recipients who attended the event.
“He took ‘very liberal’ advantage of the free alcohol, which eventually led to disciplinary measures,” Gibbons said.
Committee member Chrissy Dutton, R-Bethalto, said there should be an investigation, noting there were “a few” emails by Rekowski. “There are people involved who still work for the county,” she said.
Board member Jamie Goggin, R-Edwardsville, agreed it needed to be discussed.Walters said it would be turned over to Gibbons.
Gibbons said the emails would have been part of the documentation sent to the Illinois Attorney General’s office as part of the investigation into Hulme and Dorman’s actions.
Gibbons added he would contact that office and ask if they had made specific recommendation on the matter and then get back to the committee.