HUNTLEY – In a change of mind about holding two offices at once, a longtime School District 158 board member will resign before being sworn-in as a County Board representative Dec. 2.
D-158 President Mike Skala said he changed his mind after the Illinois Attorney General's Office informed him that legal precedent would forbid him from being a school board and County Board member at the same time.
Skala contacted the Attorney General on Tuesday after he received calls from constituents in the wake of a Sunday Northwest Herald report about his intentions to serve in both positions until the last lawsuit involving the Square Barn Road construction contractors goes to trial in early February.
"I can't do anything about it," Skala said. "The state Attorney General says it's a conflict of interest. I don't see how there could be any potential conflicts that arise between the board and county, but that's their opinion. I have to respect that."
Skala said he does not know when he'll submit a resignation letter to the school board, but that it will be before he is sworn-in as the District 5 County Board representative in early December.
The school board has said it will conduct an open search for a candidate for the remainder of Skala's term, which expires in April.
Skala has offered to serve as an adviser and liaison between the board and district attorneys managing the lawsuit. But, he said, the board ultimately has to make that decision.
County voters during Election Day overwhelmingly endorsed an advisory referendum that asked whether an individual should be allowed to hold two elected offices simultaneously. Nearly 113,340 voters (90.2 percent) said simultaneous offices should not be allowed.