CARY – The Illinois House has adopted a bill from the desk of state Rep. David McSweeney that amends the Local Records Act to require public bodies to disclose information about severance agreements tied to sexual harassment or discrimination.
The Barrington Hills Republican filed the bill after news reports that the Des Plaines Elementary School District 62 Board voted to pay then-Superintendent Floyd Williams a severance package after he was accused of sexually harassing employees.
“We as taxpayers have a right to know if taxpayer money is being used to pay for settlements with government employees guilty of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination,” McSweeney said in a statement. “Settlements like this have been kept hidden from the public for far too long. This legislation shines a spotlight on these severance agreements and holds taxing bodies accountable for their actions.”
House Bill 4242 requires local governments, school districts, community college districts or other local taxing bodies to publish information about severance agreements with employees or contractors who have engaged in sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.
The legislation requires governments to publish that information on the internet, and to make the information available to the news media within 72 hours of approval of an agreement.
The House approved HB 4242 by a 106-0 vote.
The measure now will move to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.