Embattled Joliet Township trustee denied government pay

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A felon prosecutors want to bounce from the Joliet Township board was not given his regular $1,000 payment this month, a township official said.

Joliet Township Supervisor Angel Contreras said Trustee Karl Ferrell did not get paid this month because the township is “waiting to see where everything is at.”

Contreras confirmed he was referring to the ongoing conflict between Ferrell and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s office.

“We’re just waiting,” Contreras said.

Contreras said the township can “always pay him everything he’s due.”

Joliet Black Lives Matter activist Karl Ferrell marches to call for further investigation into the death of Eric Lurry, a Joliet resident who died while in police custody, on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, outside of the District AttorneyÕs Office in Joliet, Ill. (Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com/Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com)

Prosecutors are trying to remove Ferrell from the Joliet Township board because his past felony convictions make him ineligible for office. On Monday, prosecutors filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to remove Ferrell. The motion was set for a hearing Thursday.

Contreras said trustees get paid $1,000 a month.

As of Tuesday, Trustees Cesar Escutia, Suzanna Ibarra and Ray Slattery were paid $3,000 so far this year, while Ferrell has been paid $2,000, according to payroll records obtained from the township through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Board members Cesar Iscutia (left), Suzanna Ibarra, Ray Slattery and Angel Contreras during the Joliet Township regular board meeting. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Joliet.

Board members Cesar Escutia (left), Suzanna Ibarra, Ray Slattery and Angel Contreras during the Joliet Township regular board meeting. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Joliet. (Gary Middendorf – gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com/Gary Middendorf)

Ferrell repeatedly has referred questions about his situation on the township board to his attorney, John Partelow, who has failed to respond to calls.

Contreras told Ferrell not to attend any more board meetings or township functions after Ferrell informed the township March 4 that he would not resign, according to township attorney Bryan Wellner.

“The township’s position is that we believe Mr. Ferrell is ineligible for office, so we believe he should resign,” Wellner said.

The issue of Ferrell’s ineligibility for office has been ongoing since at least Dec. 7. Prosecutors gave Ferrell until March 8 to step down, telling him that if he did not, they would take him to court to remove him from office.

“The voters in Joliet Township must have their interests represented and their voices heard through their elected representatives,” Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Pyles said in a Feb. 25 letter to Ferrell.

“As you are not legally eligible to hold the position of Joliet Township trustee, the citizens of Joliet Township are being denied this fundamental right,” Pyles said.

Partelow said Ferrell has no intention of resigning and believes he has a legal right to serve as trustee.

“If there’s any challenges to that, we think it will be ultimately determined that he does have a right to serve,” Partelow said.

Under the Illinois Township Code, Ferrell is ineligible for office based on his past felony convictions. Partelow said he doesn’t think the statute is definitive.

Ferrell has claimed Glasgow’s office brought up the issue of his ineligibility for office as retaliation against him because of his past protests regarding the Eric Lurry case, his protest pushing for hate crime charges against Cord Krol and his other activism.

Glasgow’s spokeswoman, Carole Cheney, said the state’s attorney’s office notified the township of Ferrell’s ineligibility for office “based on the law, not any of the claimed reasons given by Mr. Ferrell.”

Karl Ferrell Joliet Township Trustee was absent for the Joliet Township regular board meeting. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Joliet.

Karl Ferrell Joliet Township Trustee was absent for the Joliet Township regular board meeting. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Joliet. (Gary Middendorf – gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com/Gary Middendorf)

via Shaw Local

March 17, 2022 at 09:13AM

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