By Stephanie Malench
The Madison County Board voted at a special meeting on April 16 to terminate employment of County Administrator Doug Hulme and Director of Information Technology Rob Dorman at the end of their paid administrative leave on May 17, 2020.
The meeting was called after a week of events, including the announcement that Illinois Attorney General Kwami Raoul would not take action on the ongoing investigation of Dorman and Hulme, based on a raid and seizure of computers and other items from the Madison County Administration Building in January of 2018.
The raids were conducted January 10, 2018, after county officials provided evidence of possible illegal conduct was provided to the State’s Attorney’s Office in the last quarter of 2017. The investigation uncovered Dorman and Hulme had access e-mails from from Madison County judiciary and law enforcement officials for their own political purposes.
The board members went into closed session for over two hours before opening the meeting back up to the public before meeting for nearly 90 more minutes. Jim Dodd (D-Alton) was the only board member not in attendance on the phone call. Jack Minner (D-Edwardsville) made all four motions for the votes, one for each employees termination and one each for resolutions memorializing the boards decision to terminate Dorman’s and Hulme’s employment.
In a phone interview the next day, Minner said he confidently made the motions because “the county board members seemed to be on the same page for a change” and “was very impressed with the investigation and how thorough it was”.
Minner went on to say that he had the opportunity to have an interview with the investigators and “was blown away by their profressionalism”.
Illinois State’s Attorney asked before the votes were taken for Board Member Phillip Chapman (R-Highland) to abstain from voting on Hulme due to conflict of interest in regards to Chapman’s counter-lawsuit against Hulme, Prenzler, and the county for an investigation of sexual harassment against former administrator Kristen Poshard. Chapman abstained from all four votes.
The only member to vote no for the terminations and resolutions were Prenzler (who voted first and has no vote) and Moore. Prenzler stated after his first no vote on terminating Dorman, “this process is seriously flawed”. Moore was not available for comment as of this writing.
The Resolutions site that the employees “misconduct was a misuse of the powers entrusted upon [them], causing the Board to lose confidence in [their] ability to continue to perform [their] jobs…the actions undertaken by [them] were outside the bounds of ethical conduct and standards that are expected for someone in [their] position of leadership…and is violative of the public trust”.
Both Dorman and Hulme were “provided prior notice of, and an opportunity to attend, this hearing to review these allegations by this Board” and were not present.
Both terminations are effective on May 17 when their paid administrative leave expires.