2 School Board Presidents Pressured To Resign Over Felony Convictions
CHICAGO (CBS) – Two south suburban school board presidents, both convicted felons, have been told by top prosecutors to step down by next week, or face serious consequences.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports at least one of those officials appeared ready to fight to keep her post.
Harvey Public School District 152 school board president Janet Rogers and Thornton Township High Schools District 205 school board president Kenneth Williams both hold respected positions of leadership and trust in their communities. Both are also felons.
Rogers has a 2004 conviction for fraud, regarding state financial aid. Williams was convicted of forgery in Indiana in 1985.
Both recently received toughly-worded letters from prosecutors, telling them they must resign, because they are ineligible to hold their positions as convicted felons.
Williams wasn’t at home Wednesday and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Rogers wasn’t directly able to comment on the letter sent by the Illinois Attorney General’s office, stating her felony conviction makes her ineligible to hold her school board office. The attorney general’s office has said if her resignation isn’t submitted by Jan. 18, the state will sue.
Melvin Caldwell, a spokesperson for Rogers, said, “There is no reason for her to step down.”
Caldwell and Rogers’ attorney said her fraud conviction doesn’t fall under the vague law cited by the attorney general’s office, which states those convicted of “infamous crimes” can’t hold school district offices.
Asked if Rogers is prepared to fight to keep her job, Caldwell would only say “Ms. Rogers has served the community and Harvey with all that she has, and she’s put her whole heart into this, and she’s got a lot of support.”
As for Williams, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office sent him a letter giving him until Jan. 15 to resign before it takes action against him.
Neither school district would comment on the situation.