County chair in N. Illinois can get lawyer to sue colleagues

August 30, 2019 GMT

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The chairman of the Winnebago County Board has won approval to hire to a lawyer to file a lawsuit against fellow members who have diluted his powers.

Frank Haney sought his own lawyer because it would have been a conflict for the state’s attorney to represent both sides. The Rockford Register Star says attorney Ken Florey will be paid by taxpayers. A judge approved the request Friday.

Haney says the board violated his rights and the will of voters with a March ordinance that took budget and management authority away from him. But Haney’s critics say the county board has plenty of discretion to change the chairman’s duties.