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.”