CHICAGO | Officials with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said Friday they are waiting to hear from the president of the School Board for Thornton Township High School District 205 about a complaint they filed seeking his removal from office.
Kenneth Williams was elected to a four-year term on the District 205 board in 2009 and appointed president in 2011, even though he has a 27-year-old felony conviction on his record.
Prosecutors say that an appellate court ruling last year indicates that felons cannot serve on school boards. That caused the state’s attorney’s office on Wednesday to file a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court.
That complaint seeks a court order that would force Williams to resign his post.
Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, said that as of Friday officials had not received confirmation that a process server had delivered the notice to Williams informing him of the action.
Simonton said that once Williams is served, he has 30 days in which to respond to the complaint that seeks his removal. If he ignores it, the state’s attorney could then get a judge to sign the order concerning his school board post.
As of Friday, no court hearings on this case had been scheduled.
“We’re waiting to hear from him before we proceed,” Simonton said of Williams.
Williams on Friday afternoon said he had not been served with anything indicating legal action had been taken against him.
"I'm not stepping down," he said.
Earlier in the week, Williams told The Times he was working with attorneys to defend himself against any effort by the state’s attorney to try to remove him from the post.
Williams, who is 48, has said he was involved in “aiding and abetting” a crime when he was 20. He was found guilty of forgery in Indiana and served more than two years in prison. He has not had any felony arrests since then and has gone on to create the Silk ’n’ Classy barber college, 804 Sibley Blvd., in Dolton.
But during his time on the School Board, he has been involved in conflicts with fellow board members.
In 2011, those board members who oppose him tried to pressure him to resign. They ultimately asked the regional superintendent of schools to conduct an investigation into Williams’ conduct in running the School Board.
Williams survived that effort, and he has said he thinks those board members are behind the effort by the state’s attorney to remove him. However, board members have said their efforts are not connected to the current work by the state’s attorney’s office.