Does a Unit 5 School Board member have a conflict?

By:  Diane Benjamin

A Statement of Economic Interest is required to be filed by EVERYONE who is elected and appointed to any unit of government.  Other employees may also be required to file.

It is the law that SEI must be filed.

Everyone on the Unit 5 School Board did file, unlike some other units of government (a story for later).

Here’s why it’s important that the law is complied with: (click to enlarge)

Or this one:

Or this one:

These are all from the Statement of Economic Interest filed by Joseph Cleary, Unit 5 Board member.

Cleary was appointed in 2016 and elected in 2017.  Do you know what UFEA/UFSPA means?

Cleary received over $500 from the Unit 5 Education Association:   or Unit Five Support Professional Association:

The Board negotiates with Unit 5 unions while the taxpayers are stuck with whatever the Board decides to give them.  Would you have voted for a Board member who took money from a union he will negotiate with?  I allege it’s a conflict of interest.  How much more than $500 did he receive?

Cleary filed that he holds positions on the regional Planning Commission and the Town of Normal Planning Commission too.  Did the voters know that?  The McLean County RPC spearheaded local bike lanes, as well as anything else the Federal and State governments want to hand out grants for to force compliance.

Finally, he works at ISU.  Employees at ISU don’t live in the real world.  His life revolves around living off taxpayers.

Is this who you want representing your interest on the Unit 5 School Board and spending your money?

Since this is Illinois, Cleary isn’t breaking any laws I know of.  Taxpayers/voters just didn’t pay attention.  Maybe somebody should ask why he was appointed and who appointed him!








  1. Wonder IF he’s related to the Clearys from Gridley who control a LOT of stuff up that way???


  2. I wonder if completed the required work outside of ISU form. That’s a thing.


  3. Notasnowflake says:

    Is he an honorary member of the football coach witch hunt?…I have heard there is growing belief there was help from the inside, as the 3 nut job parents wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without assistance of some kind.


  4. Many of us that work at ISU certainly live in the real world.


    • How many days off do you get a year? Expecting a pension? Do you get Federal and state holidays off? That’s not the real world if you do.


      • I get a lot of vacation, including federal and state holidays, in fact, I’m off right now. No, no pension for me, I chose the self managed plan (a 403B). I also don’t get paid what I could get in your so-called “real-world.” I could double my salary in the private sector, but I really love what I do at ISU.


      • I’ve never seen ANY public sector employee getting paid less than the private sector. How much is ISU kicking into your 403B? Many companies are now contributing nothing.


  5. Well, like I said, I could double my salary. Maybe you should look harder. I contribute 7.5%, they match it.


  6. Dawson Lake says:

    Hmmmm, “The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence” wrong.


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