Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 10:04 pm
Mercer board mum on St. Germaine termination
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By Pam Berenger, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEDO -- Mercer County Board members provided no insight Tuesday night into why Don St. Germaine Jr. has been terminated as supervisor of assessments.
Mercer County Board Chairman Jeff McWhorter declined to comment, stating only that Vickie Bull was "functioning in the office in that capacity."Mr. St. Germaine was placed on a leave of absence Friday when Mr. McWhorter, accompanied by a Mercer County sheriff's deputy, went to the assessor's office and asked him to leave.
On Tuesday night, board members met in closed session for 20 minutes before voting to terminate Mr. St. Germaine. He did not attend the meeting and could not be reached for comment.
According to records, in 1999 Mr. St. Germaine was found guilty on eight violations of the state's Environmental Protection Act in Kankakee County, where he was a real estate appraiser. In 2000 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. banned him from working in any federally insured financial institution for a case that dates to when he was a vice president of Bank of Bourbonnais, a Kankakee suburb.
In other matters, the board accepted the resignation of board member Bill Olson, D-District 5, Mr. Olson's resignation letter stated his new job had taken him away from the county more frequently than anticipated and he now was calling Scott County his home.
Mr. Olson, who has served on the county board for six years and was re-elected to the seat in November, wrote that he had enjoyed his time on the "excellent people" on the board and encouraged them to work together.
Mr. McWhorter said he expects Mercer County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Dick Maynard will send recommendations to the board for an appointment.
Board members on Monday also pulled an item that would suspend per diem pay and mileage reimbursement for board members until the county budget is balanced. Board members agreed the concept was good, but they wanted to ensure it did not violate the county's bylaws.
Board member Ted Pappas said the intention was to help the county during the financial shortfall. He said it is important to keep track of how the county is doing on a month-by-month basis. Mr. Pappas said that reviewing the county'sexpenses over the first two months of the year and "annualizing" them makes it appear the county will have a $1.2 million deficit at the end of 2013.
"I'm not trying to be the grim reaper here," he said. "But as county board members we have to stay vigilant."
About half of the shortfall is expected to come in the sheriff's department because of the $439,000 payment to the building fund, Mr. Pappas said. That deficit could decrease, if additional prisoners arrive from Cook County. Next month the county is expected to sign a contract with Cook County to house some of its prisoners.
Board members on Tuesday also approved a $65,477.04 contract for inmate health care and approved Aledo Main Street's use of the courthouse lawn June 7-8for Rhubarb Fest and Aug. 23-24 for Antique Days.