D.205 board prepares to pick new member

2013-11-04T14:16:00Z 2013-11-04T23:09:11Z D.205 board prepares to pick new memberGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 04, 2013 2:16 pm  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | The Thornton Township High School District 205 School Board is proceeding to pick a new board member to replace Kenneth Williams, who last month was declared by a judge ineligible to serve due to a felony conviction on his record.

Yet school officials said they’re also watching the courts for the possibility of a legal fight that could allow Williams to remain.

Glenn Harston, a spokesman for the school district, said officials will monitor a Tuesday hearing at the Daley Center in Chicago when Judge Rita L. Novak will be asked to consider a motion allowing Williams to remain in office while his legal battle is taking place.

A spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said Monday they were unaware of any scheduled court hearing involving Williams.

The Cook County state's attorney's office filed the lawsuit that got Williams removed from the post.

Novak is the judge who on Oct. 23 issued the order that removed Williams from the School Board, citing his 1985 conviction for aiding, inducing or causing a forgery in Indiana as an “infamous crime” that makes him ineligible to hold the School Board post to which voters elected him in 2009 and 2013.

If Novak refuses to alter her previously issued court order, Williams could then take his case to the Illinois appeals courts for further legal review.

“We’re waiting to see what happens in the courts because Ken Williams may come back,” Harston said. Williams on Monday did not return telephone calls from The Times.

But for now, the district is going through the process created in state law for filling a school board vacancy.

That includes asking people interested in the post to notify the district by Nov. 13 at its South Holland offices, 465 E. 170th St. After that, the School Board would hold interviews and would pick a new member at a future School Board meeting.

A memorandum posted on the district’s website said that district Interim Superintendent Stacey McJunkins, who is a Williams appointment, and board member Toni Williams, Kenneth Williams’ wife, are in charge of the process for now.

Under district rules, the existing School Board vice president automatically becomes the new board president, said Harston.

That is Darren Robinson, who in recent months has been among the board majority that supported Williams on various actions. He has served on the School Board since 2011, and previously was a member of Harvey’s economic planning and developing committee. Robinson on Monday declined to comment on the transition.

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