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Vickery Defends Political Invitation on County E-mail

A former judge has asserted the e-mail violates the Illinois Election Code and the Ethics Act.

Kendall County Board member Anne Vickery publicly apologized Monday for using her county e-mail account to invite three fellow board members to a political fundraiser she hosted.

Vickery read the e-mail aloud during the county board meeting the same day former 16th Circuit Judge James Wilson used the Freedom of Information Act to request all the e-mails Vickery sent on Oct. 31.

“If this was wrong, I apologize,” Vickery told her fellow board members. “You can confiscate my county computer perhaps. And that would be OK, too.”

But Wilson, who Vickery sarcastically referred to as a member of her “fan club,” is asserting that the e-mail is not only wrong, but illegal. Wilson had not received a response to his FOIA request by Wednesday afternoon, but he said he intends to pass the information along to Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis or to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Wilson, who retired in 2006 after 24 years on the bench, said he is not presently campaigning on behalf of any county board candidates, nor has he been asked to. But he said he suspects the e-mail violates the Illinois Ethics Act and the Illinois Election Code. The invitation should have been sent from a private e-mail account using personal computer equipment, Wilson said.

“I’m a big believer in elected officials following the law,” Wilson said.

The e-mail invited County Board members Dan Koukol, John Shaw and Bob Davidson to a fundraiser Vickery hosted for Republican State Rep. Pam Roth of Morris, who is running for re-election in the 75th District.

Weis was at Monday’s meeting when Vickery made the comments, but said he had not received a formal complaint nor taken an in-depth look at the matter.

“I won’t make any comment about whether it does or does not violate it without a full investigation,” Weis said Wednesday afternoon.

At Monday’s meeting, Vickery said she has been asked several times to get a private e-mail, but has not yet done so.

“I wanted to get out in front of this,” Vickery said, “so you all have a pretty good feeling of how all this works.”

Thewatch Dog December 01, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Ms Vickery not having her OWN email just shows her lack of interest in the technical age. You can also tell by this video that she thinks that what she does will never have consequences = *take away my county computer* was dripping with scarcasm. Words come out of her mouth most people would never say. She's comes off as snippy, angry, and bitter and that us citizens are beneath her. Regardless - I can't use my work computer for personal use - she shouldn't either. If I do, I get fired... If she does - we should do the same. There are many reasons why Vickery shouldn't be re-elected - here's another, little, nit-pickey one. Getting people to remember things like this when they go to the polls is a totally different project.
Adam Engler December 01, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Vickery's been in office long enough to know this is wrong. Not enough time to set up a personal email, really? Too busy planning political fund raisers on county computers I guess. I'm surprised the State's Attorney didn't step up right away--then again, that's a partisian office, isn't it?
Jane Enviere December 01, 2011 at 02:57 PM
When people behave as she has, they are basically saying...well, 2 words to the public and the second one is "you". Patch won't let me put the first in. lol ; ) Don't worry about your computer...you're on your way out. People, regardless of party, don't fancy public officials who believe themselves to above the law.
Jane December 01, 2011 at 03:38 PM
I did not hear “snippy, angry and bitter”. What I did here was her owning up to the fact that she should have sent the email from her own private account. If you think there is sarcasm here, you need to get out of your shelter. Let them spend their time working on important issues instead of wasting time on this pettiness.
Gene DuSell December 01, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Vickory always has been arrogant,foul mouthed, and thinks she is above everyone Judge Wilson is correct in bringing out her disdain to follow law and ethics
Clay Hamm December 01, 2011 at 11:50 PM
This is really good. I'm glad to see it on PATCH. Our public officials need do know that they are not free to do whatever they please with our money and resources.
Clay Hamm December 01, 2011 at 11:51 PM
What is Anne Vickery's email address please
Yorkville Will December 02, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Given her tenure in politics and the fact that anyone with a pulse can get a free, personal email, this just does not add up. She knows exactly what she is doing and that is daring people to challenge her. If Weis doesn't immediately investigate, he should be out on his ear, too.
Jillian Duchnowski December 02, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Clay, You can find all the public e-mail addresses for county board members on this website: http://www.co.kendall.il.us/county_board/index.htm
evie givens December 02, 2011 at 03:40 PM
She basically opened the door for other candidates to replace her. Thanks Ms. Vickery.
George Jones December 02, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Those of us who live in incorporated areas such as Oswego, Yorkville, Montgomery etc. need to vote out of office Anne Vickery, John Purcell, and others like them. They put the screws to taxpayers in incorporated areas with their antics with KenCom and in other ways to advantage "rural people" and hurt "city people" They think that Kendall County is "THEIR" county and they need not respect the law, follow good ethics, nor do the right thing. So much for Good Governance with the likes of Vickery. It will be interesting to see where Eric Weis does with all this ... it's at his discretion. He represents the County Board and he's supposed to also represent County People. In other words, he's supposed to protect from people like Vickery ... but is he? IMHO ... Weis ain't going to rock the ship ... a ship that needs rocking big time.
It all comes out in the wash December 02, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Kendall County Voters must get out and VOTE! We need to send a message to these current council members. I agree, she knows the law and her excuses are lame. Let's see if Eric Weis does his job as described on his web site:Eric has shown that he has the proven experience to handle the tough cases and the complex issues we face here, in Kendall County. Eric will continue to put the People of Kendall County first. Well we're waiting to see if he walks the talk.
Daisy Doe December 02, 2011 at 08:16 PM
You said exactly what I was thinking!
Daisy Doe December 02, 2011 at 08:17 PM
It's a shame there is never anyone else who challenges our current State's Attorney at election time.
Tim December 02, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Ensuring elected officials follow the law is not 'petty'. Get out of your shelter? When you hold such contempt for ideas that are different from your own, you are showing you have the same ethical intelligence as Vickery.... None.
Clay Hamm December 02, 2011 at 10:38 PM
That she added "you can confiscate my computer" shows that she's not sorry. Improper use of resources is not pettiness.
Clay Hamm December 02, 2011 at 10:48 PM
"...I have been asked a number of times to get a private email. I haven’t ever done it because I seldom ever put anything on my email. But obviously, I did. And if this is wrong, I apologize. You can confiscate my county computer, okay? And, uh, that way you don’t pay too....” Classic politician-style apology: IF this was wrong
Jane Enviere December 03, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Amen!
Matt Walker December 03, 2011 at 04:47 AM
Wow, so much banter back and forth over an email. Must be election season. I don't think Anne has much to worry about. If your political enemies resort to an "illicit email" as the mainstay of their attack, you're well on your way to re-election.
George Jones December 04, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Sounds like some lawyers commenting here would be the same one saying: "Well the prosecution of 2 recent governors in Illinois is nothing to worry about" "And, this is just election time ... and don't worry about it." Sound's like that lawyer needs to go practice in Nigeria where those type of actions may be ingrained .... but they are not here with this American Voter.
Jane Enviere December 04, 2011 at 09:47 PM
The email is the symptom of a bigger problem, not the "...mainstay of their attack..." However, right or wrong, sometimes it takes something like this to get voters to look at how their representation is acting. Some people need to be nudged (or shoved, lol!) to pay attention. So what if that nudge is an email?
Matt Walker December 04, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Wow. Comparing an email to shakedowns by a State's chief executive. That's a rational thought process.
Clay Hamm December 04, 2011 at 11:05 PM
How dare anyone question the behavior of our elected officials!
Tim December 05, 2011 at 01:26 AM
He's a lawyer. Did you expect him to have an understanding of ethics? I saw his comments too. They weren't even worth a response.
Matt Walker December 05, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Wow Tim. How original. Lawyers are unethical. I've never head that one, before. Well, at least I have the guts to post under my full name, unlike some on this forum. George may be recommending that I practice law in Nigeria, but at least he does it out in the open. And George, just so you can rest easier tonight. I am an American voter, too. I even served in the 24th Infantry Division. So you can rest easy that I'm not an undocumented Nigerian lawyer trying to throw salt in your wounds after your re-districting plan was rejected.
Matt Walker December 05, 2011 at 02:05 AM
...and just to be entirely fair and open, I think your re-districting plan was a good idea. I'm off to try and get Blago and Ryan off the hook. Wish me luck.
George Jones December 05, 2011 at 04:11 AM
"I don't think Anne has much to worry about." ... says some. Others say ... "Anne has much to worry about because she falls in the same trash heap of governance that Blago and Ryan wallowed in." What does Vickery primarily want? She wants the Garbage Dumps that want the Prairie Parkway. There was just a good journalism piece on 60 Minutes concerning the Prairie Parkway and about a former Congressman (and his puppet master lawyers that helped him in drafting some secret land trusts). There are going to be better County Board candidates than Vickery for voters to choose from. And, anyone who lives in a municipality such as Oswego, Montgomery, Aurora, Yorkville, etc. should think twice about voting for persons such as Vickery, Purcell, Petrella that won't properly represent voters in such urban areas, or much worse, choose to keep an antiquated 2 county districting plan that is purposefulness designed to disenfranchise minority voters. Yes, I fought the good battle about County Board redistricting and lost that battle. But as our military experts know, one battle usually does not decide a war. And if we want a better Kendall County, and I do, that war is worth fighting for and supporting those for the County Board who also want a better Kendall County.
kpfarrer December 06, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Ms. Vickery has a long and well documented history of arrogant disregard and disrespect. Her condescending comments regarding her unprofessional and illegal conduct regarding this email incident are not surprising, and only substantiate what we already know, she does not have the appropriate attitude for public service. I am so glad I will have superior options on my ballot in March.

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