11 actions put end to Island Lake mayor's lawsuit
Island Lake village members Thursday night agreed to settle Mayor Debbie Herrmann's controversial lawsuit against two trustees.
By a 4-2 vote, the village board approved a package of 11 actions that ended the complaint that was filed in March.
With the settlement's approval, many of the 11 measures in the package undid various efforts to reduce Herrmann's powers as mayor earlier this year. Others address issues related to the power struggle.
During a break in the village board meeting, Herrmann expressed satisfaction with the settlement.
"It's an excellent night for Island Lake," Herrmann said. "We can move forward."
The settlement includes the following:
• Repeals of motions and ordinance amendments that sought to dismiss the legal firm representing the village -- Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni and Krafthefer.
• The payment of previously disputed bills from Ancel Glink totaling nearly $217,361. Documents show that amount billed to Island Lake will be at a 25 percent discount of $170 an hour.
• Consenting to the mayor's proposed reappointment of Ancel Glink as the village attorney.
• Hiring a second law firm -- Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle -- to serve as the board's counsel on an as-needed basis. Attorney David McArdle was hired by the board in March during the dispute with the mayor, and his representation has been at the heart of the conflict.
• Paying bills totaling nearly $59,211 from McArdle's firm.
• Repealing disputed ordinance amendments that would have reduced the mayor's executive powers.
Filed in March, Herrmann's lawsuit initially targeted Trustee Laura Rabattini and trustees Donna O'Malley, Don Saville and John Ponio. Saville and Ponio left the board in May and were dropped from the lawsuit last month.
Herrmann sued the foursome -- representing a majority on the board -- after they began adopting ordinances and policies that eroded her executive powers, particularly her ability to hire or fire the town's attorney and various employees.
Trustees Chuck Cermak, Shannon Fox, Connie Mascillino and Thea Morris voted in favor of the deal. Rabattini and O'Malley were the two dissenters.
Rabattini declined to comment about her "no" vote.
O'Malley said she couldn't agree to pay the $217,361 to Ancel Glink. She said the firm's fees were at the root of the controversy.
"I believe the attorney fees were astronomical," O'Malley said.
The settlement agreement was reached during a closed-door meeting last month between Herrmann and most of the board. Rabattini and O'Malley weren't present.