Maine Township Trustee Carrabotta cleared of any violation of sexual harassment policy
Maine Township Trustee Dave Carrabotta has been exonerated of allegations that he sexually harassed fellow board member Kimberly Jones after a two-month investigation by the board’s law firm.
The investigation by Ancel Glink, a Chicago firm specializing in local government law, was unable to find that any harassment had taken place.
“Regarding any inadvertent, unintentional touching or bumping, other than the conflicting testimony of Trustees Jones and Carrabotta, there is simply no evidence proving whether it occurred or not,” the firm’s report stated.
Trustee Susan Kelly Sweeney told North Cook News the firm's final report, dated July 30, will be posted on the township’s website.
On Aug. 6, Sweeney chaired an emergency meeting where the board voted 3-0 to make the findings of the investigation public. Jones and Supervisor Laura Morask, the board’s other voting members, did not attend the meeting.
Sweeney said that soon after the allegations against Carrabotta came to light in May, she was pressured in the press and by some fellow Republican officials to call for Carrabotta’s resignation
"It's sad someone would be prodding me to call for his resignation before due process can occur,” she said.
Township residents in attendance praised the board’s transparency, but some questioned the possible appearance of a conflict having the board’s law firm conduct the investigation. Some also criticized Jones for not attending the meeting.
Sweeney, Carrabotta and Trustee Claire McKenzie — recently elected board members — have been at odds with Jones and Morask over the lack of procedure and transparency in the governing of the township.
“We don’t even have Robert’s Rules of Order established,” Sweeney said.
The Edgar County Watchdogs, which investigates local and state government activity, has accused Maine Township numerous times of violations of the Open Meetings Act, poor record keeping and abuse of the General Assistance Fund.
Sweeney said that at the next scheduled board meeting on Aug. 28 she will attach a letter to the agenda commenting on the lack of consideration of her amendment from an earlier meeting that called for township employees to receive bonuses and not salary increases.
“The bonuses will not increase our pension liability,” she said. “The salaries will.”