Chairman Wants Ethics Policy on Fast-Track

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Byline: James Fuller jfuller@dailyherald.com

Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay Wednesday promised to "light a fire under" the now stagnant debate about what constitutes ethical conduct for board members.

Changes to create a more stringent and proactive ethics ordinance for the county were once a frequent topic of debate for more than a year in various board committees. But that debate grew silent when the topic reached the county board's executive committee at the beginning of this year. McConnaughay said the discussion will begin as soon as the Kane County state's attorney's office provides a legal opinion on some lingering questions about possible changes to the ethics ordinance. Board members have asked about everything from limiting campaign contributions to requiring board members to verbally state any donations they've received before taking votes on any contracts.

"Many of those questions, my feeling was, weren't really answered," McConnaughay said. "We compiled all the questions that have been asked by all of the county board members, sent that to the state's attorney's office, and I've asked them to answer all those questions comprehensively."

McConnaughay made that formal request of Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon's office nearly three months ago. Assistant State's Attorney Joe Cullen, on Wednesday, promised an answer to that request would be coming very soon.

The longer the answers take, the closer the lame duck county board members get to a November general election that already promises to see vast turnover on the board. …