Just days after both his colleagues on the DuPage Board of Election Commissioners were replaced, panel chairman J.P. "Rick" Carney is being asked to resign so a new board can deal with issues raised in a report critical of the agency.
But it's unknown whether the Wheaton Republican will step down before his term expires in January.
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DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and 11 county board members sent a letter Friday to Carney requesting that he immediately step aside. The letter indicated that officials want to "act swiftly" to ensure administrative problems highlighted in an evaluation of the commission are resolved.
In a report released earlier in the week, the accounting firm of Crowe Horwath LLC concluded that improvements must be made to the bipartisan election commission's credit card, ethics and procurement policies. The agency also needs to increase transparency and accountability, according to the report.
"I think we've seen enough in the report that justifies our asking Mr. Carney to step down," said Cronin, adding that the commission's lack of transparency alone is a significant problem. "Even if they want to dispute some other things (in the report), I'm just not happy with the way that they do business on the surface."
Cronin already has appointed Elmhurst Republican Cathy Ficker Terrill and West Chicago Democrat Art Ludwig to the three-person election board. They replaced former board members Jeanne McNamara and Charlotte Mushow, who both were serving on expired terms.
The county board chairman doesn't need board approval to appoint new members to the election commission. State law requires both political parties be represented, but Republicans hold two of the three seats. Commissioners are paid $27,500 a year.
Carney didn't return several telephone messages on Friday.
Cronin said he hasn't spoken with Carney since the release of the Crowe Horwath report. But, he said, he made it clear to Carney weeks ago that he was concerned about the commission and wanted to move in a direction with new leadership.
"So this is not a surprise," Cronin said. "It's not a shock. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Carney and his family. But I have a job to do here, and the people expect me to deliver on the promise of making this agency a model agency."