'We can't go on this way': Lisle Township board calls on supervisor to resign

Two years into her first term, Lisle Township Supervisor Diane Hewitt finds her one-time running mates asking for her resignation.

Township trustees on Wednesday unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Hewitt, who was elected supervisor in 2021.

"She just creates a wave of chaos, and we're spending so many hours undoing and unraveling the messes," said Trustee Autumn Geist, a Democrat who ran with Hewitt in 2021. "I really believe her heart is in the right place, but her challenges overshadow her strength."

Hewitt said she has no intention of stepping down, adding that the lack of confidence is a two-way street with the board.

"We don't have confidence in each other," Hewitt said Thursday. "It's a mutual no-confidence issue."

In the four-page resolution, trustees outlined various concerns regarding the supervisor: spending money that exceeds the township's budget and without board approval, moving the township clerk's office without board approval, and spreading false information, and creating an environment of mistrust and hostility.

"We can't go on this way," Township Clerk Debbie Pawlowicz said during Wednesday's meeting. "We need you to really step it up or resign."

Hewitt said the charges in the resolution are "amazingly inaccurate."

While the board and other township elected officials have criticized her lack of leadership, Hewitt points to the efforts she has led since taking office.

She said she has faced roadblocks in efforts to improve the food pantry, create job descriptions for township employees that previously had none, and hire employees to aid in the development of programs.

She even spent the last two years putting larvicide to combat mosquitoes in catch basins. She worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the city of Naperville and the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to create a program for the township that will help save more than $40,000 a year.

"I think she's doing a good job," said Gerry Galloway, who previously led the Lisle Township Democrats. "Do I think she's done a perfect job? No. But I think she's done a good job, and I know she works her butt off. I don't know anyone else who would work harder than her."

Geist and fellow board members don't doubt Hewitt's dedication. But they say her leadership style has caused problems.

In the resolution, they say she growled at an employee, a charge Hewitt flatly denies. The resolution further states Hewitt reworked job descriptions multiple times for the same employee. Trustees also claim she has refused to communicate with other township elected officials.

In addition, trustees criticized Hewitt's handling of township finances. They say Hewitt never sought board approval for $20,000 to print and mail a newsletter, even though trustees must sign off on expenses of more than $5,000.

In another example cited by trustees, Hewitt wrote two checks for the same amount to reimburse her significant other for materials purchased to make repairs around the township building.

The checks - along with some issues with township officials' paychecks that were either shorted or over - are the matter of a review by the DuPage County state's attorney's office, which Hewitt anticipates will be resolved soon.

"There is no money that is outstanding in any way, shape or form," said Hewitt, adding that once the mistakes were realized, any overpayments were returned to the township.

Debbie Pawlowicz
Autumn Geist
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.