Naperville Park District attorney recommends no action against commissioner after ethics probe

  • Naperville Park District Commissioner Josh McBroom, middle, had no action taken against him following an ethics investigation by park district attorney Derke Price.

      Naperville Park District Commissioner Josh McBroom, middle, had no action taken against him following an ethics investigation by park district attorney Derke Price. Kevin Schmit | Staff Photographer

  • Following an ethics investigation, Derke Price, the attorney for the Naperville Park District, recommended no action be taken against Commissioner Josh McBroom for recent social media activity.

      Following an ethics investigation, Derke Price, the attorney for the Naperville Park District, recommended no action be taken against Commissioner Josh McBroom for recent social media activity. Kevin Schmit | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/15/2021 5:06 PM

A Naperville Park District commissioner will face no disciplinary action for his recent conduct on social media.

Park board members last month requested an ethics probe into posts made in a private Facebook group by fellow Commissioner Josh McBroom. But park district attorney Derke Price announced at Thursday's meeting he was recommending the board take no action.

 

McBroom's social media activity involved his opposition to mask mandates issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and their impact on the park district.

Last month, McBroom publicly apologized to Executive Director Ray McGury for comments he posted in a private Facebook group suggesting McGury was "beyond fed up" with the mandates. McBroom said on Sept. 9 that he shouldn't be speaking for McGury and "doesn't know what's going on in his head."

Park District Vice President Mary Gibson and other female board members also took issue with a laughing emoji McBroom placed on another person's post that disparaged female board members.

After concluding his investigation, Price said McBroom was allowed free speech protections under the First Amendment. Price also said McBroom's apology to McGury and the subsequent discourse among board members sufficed as a "learning experience."

McBroom and other board members agreed it was time to move on from the issue and focus on the needs of the community. McBroom, though, questioned the motives of the board members who prompted the ethics investigation, labeling their actions "political shenanigans."

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"I won't give the accusations the respect of commenting on, as I think most reasonable people can see right through what really happened here," McBroom said in a statement after Price made his recommendation.

"While I think it's a shame that the dais chose to direct taxpayer resources toward a made-up ethics inquiry," McBroom said, "I do appreciate attorney Price's thorough inquiry into the topic and his findings that there are no grounds for taking any further action here."

"I'm appreciative of Derke's efforts to look into the matter," Gibson said after the meeting. "I think as a board, it's important that we work together and move forward and serve the district."

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