Fired DuPage Township employee gets job back in settlement
Fired DuPage Township employee Linda Youngs won her job back and will receive back pay in a settlement of a case she brought against three members of the township board who voted to fire her during a March 27 board meeting, her attorney Joe Giamanco told the Will County Gazette.
"The township agreed to a full reinstatement of Ms. Youngs, with all back pay and benefits, and to pay all of Ms. Youngs’ attorney’s fees and costs she incurred in prosecuting the case," Giamanco wrote in an e-mail. "This was an outright win for Ms. Youngs and exactly what her lawsuit sought, to undo the actions taken by Ms. (Alyssia) Benford, Ms. (Maripat) Oliver and Mr. (Dennis) Raga (the three board members named in the suit), which were in violation of the law. Based on this there was effectively no longer an issue in dispute with the township over the March 27, 2018, meeting and today I entered a dismissal of the case."
In mid-April, Youngs, former administrative assistant for the township, sued Alyssia Benford, Maripat Oliver and Dennis Rage, alleging that her firing at the March 27 meeting was a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Act.
“There was nothing on the meeting’s agenda about her firing,” Giamanco previously told Will County Gazette. “And because the police came in and escorted her out, it means that the three who voted to fire her met ahead of time in private and planned this. That’s a violation of the act.”
But Benford, a Republican who is running to be a state representative in House District 98, told the Gazette that she did not meet with Oliver and Raga before the firing. She said that the motivation for the lawsuit was in part political and personal.
Benford, a certified public accountant, said that after Youngs' firing she found some “significant irregularities with the budget report, which contained incorrect historical information as well as quite a few questionable activities with the general assistance fund” -- the major one being an $80,000 difference with the ending fund balance and beginning fund balance.
On April 21, she held a budget workshop to sort out the discrepancies, but, she said, Township Supervisor William Mayer, Youngs' former boss, “effectively filibustered” the entire meeting.
“Over two-plus hours, he told us every story he could think of regarding the township,” Benford said. “I described the meeting as listening to the song ‘The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round'.”
Benford said she is trying to schedule more budget workshops to, among other things, review all the expenses paid in fiscal year 2017-18, and ensure that the township has budgeted the correct amount in the appropriate line items.