Madigan’s office investigating Mt. Vernon city council

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Office has launched an investigation into actions by the Mt. Vernon City Council that may have violated state laws.

As previously reported by Withers Broadcasting, meetings the council allegedly held in secret regarding a then proposed sale of the city’s water and sewer systems would have been in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, which prohibits governing bodies from making decisions or taking votes outside public forum.

According to WSIL-TV, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed an email reportedly written by Mayor Mary Jane Chesley that shows she worked “behind-the-scenes to come up with a decision in secret before a crucial meeting in public.”

The email was dated four days before a crucial meeting at the Rolland Lewis Building that first placed the water and sewer system sale issue before the public.

In her email to city council members, Chesley appears to plan with them how the system sale would be tabled at the public meeting, and a workshop on the issue then be scheduled.

The meeting ultimately played out just as scripted in Chesley’s email.

It is unclear at this time who filed the citizen’s complaint with Madigan’s office that led to the investigation.

To read a guide on Illinois Open Meetings Act, go here. To read the full citizen’s complaint, go here.