BOLINGBROOK – A DuPage Township trustee and candidate for the state House of Representatives has responded to a lawsuit against her in connection with violating the Open Meetings Act.
Through spokeswoman Lauren Shiliga, Trustee Alyssia Benford refuted the claims that the dismissal was handled improperly.
“Alyssia understands that some board members and staff may be upset about Ms. Youngs’ termination,” the statement read. “But the process was completely within the Open Meetings Act requirements. If those board members were truly concerned with the process, they would have filed a request for review with the Attorney General’s Office as the process allows, instead of a frivolous lawsuit, which is just an intimidation tactic and will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.”
The plaintiff, Linda Youngs, worked as the assistant to township Supervisor Bill Mayer for 10 years, according to a news release from attorney Joe Giamanco of Giamanco Law Partners in Bolingbrook. The suit alleges that Benford and fellow Trustees Maripat Oliver and Dennis Raga took action, in secret, before the scheduled meeting to vote to fire Youngs.
The lawsuit details how two Bolingbrook police officers appeared after a March 27 Board of Trustees meeting to escort Youngs from the property after an executive session in which the board voted to terminate her employment. The lawsuit also asks the court to void the proceedings taken at the meeting.
Last year, Benford declared she would run as a Republican for state representative in the 98th District. She will face Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, in the November general election. She has served as a DuPage Township trustee since 2012.
Raga said he would not comment, as it is pending litigation, and Oliver did not respond to multiple requests for comment.