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updated: 6/4/2014 5:26 PM

Suburban counties await Quinn's word on code of conduct plan

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  • Aaron Lawlor

      Aaron Lawlor

 
 

Suburban county boards would have a chance to remove appointees they think a broke a code of conduct under a plan on Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.

The idea was inspired in part by a large separation agreement given to an outgoing official in Lake County last year.

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The legislation approved by lawmakers last month would have counties set up a code that deals with financial decisions, transparency and ethics. Officials then could later use it to remove officials if the code was deemed to have been broken.

The idea came from Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, who questioned the Lake County Housing Authority board paying former CEO Jeneen Smith-Underwood $122,000 as part of a voluntary separation agreement.

Smith-Underwood was on the job for four months before the board made the agreement and rehired its previous CEO. No such code was in place at the time.

A spokesman for Quinn says the governor is reviewing the plan. He has about two months to sign, veto or rewrite it.

"If signed by the governor, this law will create a culture of accountability for appointed officials, similar to those enacted by Lake County last fall," Lawlor said in a statement.

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