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Another censure called for Lakewood trustee at upcoming meeting

Another motion to censure Trustee Bryan Younge will be voted on at this week’s Lakewood Village Board meeting.

According to the agenda, the reason for the censure is because Younge violated the Open Meetings Act by inviting trustees to an unpublished WebEx Internet meeting. However, Younge said this invite was accidentally sent by his kid.

In a followup email to the other trustees sent by Younge and attached to the meeting’s agenda, he told them to ignore the invite.

Younge said he was showing his 9-year-old how to make text replacement shortcuts on his iPhone. This is something Younge said he uses at work to quickly set up conference calls.

“There’s no way I would do this with village employees,” he said.

When Younge let his child try it, his kid replied to an email that he thought would go just to Younge. Instead, the email ended up copying a group of trustees.

However, Trustee Ryan Berman told Younge, in an email attached to the meeting’s agenda, that he did not believe the invite was sent was a mistake.

“I do not appreciate being lied to,” Berman said.

The accidental Webex notification was sent on May 14, Younge said, but calls for a meeting on May 6.

“Obviously, it was done in error,” Younge said.

During a special meeting called last week, the Village Board voted to censure Younge because the trustee asked Village President Phil Stephan and Chief Administrative Officer Jeannine Smith not to contact the police chief or officers about police matters, except by calling them in through dispatch.

Younge said he did this because Stephan and Smith have been texting in service calls to officers, which is against protocol. Stephan has previously denied doing this.

Another motion to censure Younge was because he came to Village Hall on May 4 to prevent Smith from accessing her computer files. The agenda claims that Younge did this without Village Board approval, although Younge said he got approval from four trustees to restrict Smith’s access. That same day, the McHenry County Sheriff’s office was called to the Lakewood Village Hall.

Around 100 people listened into the Zoom meeting called to censure Younge.

Some attendees took issue that Younge was muted during the meeting, and that he was not able to read a statement until after the meeting adjourned. While the meeting was taking place, Younge held up a sign asking for a point of order, but was not given the opportunity to have one.

This Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Village Board meeting also will be held 7 p.m. via Zoom.

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