Update: See page 3 Bertrand-Rule
By: Diane Benjamin
This paragraph in the minutes of the June meeting of the Atlanta Il Public Library Board: http://www.atlantapld.org/board-of-trustees/
Bill Thomas is a Board member and the owner of the building next door to the library. He previously got the library to rent the building from him, at this meeting the Board agreed to buy the building.
Anybody see a conflict of interest? Appearance of a conflict?
First, the Illinois Supreme court has ruled that abstaining from voting is the same as voting “yea”: http://law.justia.com/cases/illinois/supreme-court/1982/54922-6.html
Thus, a municipal legislator’s failure to vote either “yea” or “nay” on a proposed ordinance must be interpreted to have the same effect as either a “yea” or a “nay” vote.
That means Bill Thomas approved taxpayers leasing his building and at this meeting he agreed to not only sell his building, he agreed citizens needed to buy it.
What does the Illinois Municipal code say? See sect 3.1-55-10(a)
A municipal officer shall not be financially interested directly in the officer’s own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation in any contract, work, or business of the municipality, or in the sale of any article whenever the expense, price, or consideration of the contract, work, business, or sale is paid either from the treasury or by an assessment levied by statute or ordinance.
The Library Board is meeting tonight at 6:30. Citizens of Atlanta should be asking questions. The State’s Attorney for Logan County should be answering them.
If found guilty, it’s a felony! Actually, two felonies: lease and purchase.