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State’s Attorney Demands School Board President Resign Over Felony

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CHICAGO (STMW) – The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office is demanding the president of a south suburban school district step down because of a felony conviction, the Sun-Times is reporting.

On Dec. 21, the office sent a letter to Kenneth Williams, president of the Thornton Township High School District 205 board, giving him until Jan. 15 to resign, according to Sally Daly, spokeswoman for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

If he doesn’t resign or respond to the letter by the deadline, the state’s attorney will file a lawsuit seeking his removal, Daly said.

The office is acting on a complaint that Williams has a felony conviction.

Cook County prosecutors confirmed he was convicted of forgery in Indiana in 1985. The Illinois election code makes Williams ineligible to hold elected office as a member of a school board because of the felony, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Williams, who is up for re-election April 9, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this year, the Sun-Times reported that another south suburban school board president, Janet Rogers, also has a felony background. In 2002, she was convicted of felony theft and state benefits fraud, and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

At the time, the convictions knocked her off a Harvey school board.

But she later changed her name from Janet Thomas to Janet Rogers, and she’s now the board president of Harvey School District 152.

Attorneys for Rogers and the school board have argued her latest election to the Harvey school board was legal.

In June, the chief of staff for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told the Sun-Times that Rogers’ background raised “serious concerns” and the office was reviewing its next steps.

But Harvey School District 152’s web site still lists Rogers as president of the board.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)