Kane County officials call for resignation of treasurer

A bipartisan group of Kane County Board members on Wednesday called upon Treasurer David Rickert to either resign or quit his new job in Winnebago County.

After his narrow loss in a bid to become Kane County Board chairman, Rickert took a job as the chief financial officer of Winnebago County. It was widely assumed by both Kane County and local GOP officials that Rickert would step down from his role as treasurer even though two years remain on his elected term.

The woman who defeated Rickert to become chairman, Democrat Corinne Pierog, had initial conversations with Rickert that indicated he would prepare his staff for his departure and suggest ideas for how to fill his seat.

By law, if Rickert stepped down as treasurer, Pierog would have to select a Republican or at least someone who pulled a Republican ballot in the most recent primary. That choice would be confirmed by the county board.

But this week, Pierog said her most recent conversation with Rickert indicated his resignation is "tenuous." The Kane County state's attorney's office already clarified that there is no evident legal conflict for Rickerts.

But the bipartisan group of county board members said that Rickert's serving in both roles would be a disservice to both Kane and Winnebago counties.

"Ethically or morally, he has an obligation to give up the job in Winnebago County or resign from this one," fellow Republican Bill Lenert said.

Board members also pointed to a double-dipping nature of collecting two six-figure government salaries at the same time.

"I'm supportive of him either fishing or cutting bait," Republican Jim Martin said. "There's got to be a choice between these two positions."

Dale Berman, who served as mayor of North Aurora before his recent election as a Democrat to the county board, said it is impossible for Rickert to do both jobs at a level he owes the taxpayers of both counties.

"When I was working full time and being a mayor, your work has a tendency to interfere with your elected position, and your elected position tends to interfere with your work. It's his employees who are going to suffer," Berman said. "I don't know how, if he's working 40 hours a week, he's going to be able to spend any time here."

The bipartisan group called on Rickert to make a decision as soon as possible. Pierog suggested Rickert may step down as treasurer after the county's tax sale in February.

Rickert has not responded to repeated requests for interviews for the last several weeks.

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