Antioch village trustee censured for ‘disruptive’ conduct

Board votes 5-0 to censure Petrina Burman and wants to focus on village business

Antioch trustees have reprimanded one of their own, saying it’s time to move on from social media distractions and focus on village business.

By a 5-0 vote Wednesday, trustees approved a resolution censuring Trustee Petrina Burman. Censure basically is a formal reprimand with no penalty.

The action involved an ongoing give and take between Burman and others on social media. Specific instances were not outlined.

According to the approved resolution, Burman is being censured for “repeatedly engaging in conduct that violates the Code of Conduct, which is detrimental and disruptive to the village and its residents.” It also asks that Burman try to “create a positive and constructive environment for the village.”

The action comes after about three years of social media interaction involving Burman and local schools.

In late 2022, trustees sent Burman a letter outlining concerns and saying the actions had taken a toll on staff and residents and asked her to stop the situation from continuing.

The censure resolution followed a lengthy discussion by the board on Jan. 10 involving social media and the village’s code of conduct. Burman did not attend that meeting. Veteran Trustee Ed Macek requested the matter be placed on the regular board agenda Jan. 24.

Trustees agreed Burman had a right to voice her opinions but also has a standard of conduct as a village official to uphold and so reluctantly were considering censure.

“She has been a fantastic colleague, but that’s not why we’re here,” said Trustee Mary J. Pedersen. “It has divided this community and this needs to stop. We're hoping this does stop it.”

Burman said she was the subject of false accusations, continues to be personally attacked and is being bulled to resign but doesn't intend to.

She added, her reputation and health is being affected by continuing attacks on social media from unidentified sources and she has the right to defend herself.

“That doesn't mean I'll do any less as an elected official,” she added.

Per the process, Burman was not allowed to vote on the censure. Mayor Scott Gartner votes only to break a tie.

“Let’s all take this as a moment to move forward and put this behind us and heal as a community,” he said after the vote.

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