Madison Country Board District 7 Representative Michael Walters has presented a letter to the Madison County Board asking for the resignation of Circuit Judge Barbra Crowder. Earlier Wednesday, County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan asked the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board to consider if some of the campagin contributions received by Crowder were improper.
Walters says that this situation needs to be resolved immediately.
Walters also says that this situation could discourage new jobs within the county, further damaging the local economy. Crowder recently returned $30,000 in campaign donations that were made by individual attorneys who worked for law firms that focused on asbestos cases. At the time the donations were made, Crowder was in charge of the asbestos docket for the circuit court, but has since been moved to hear other cases. Crowder denies the donations had any influence on her work on the bench, but returned the money to show there was no conflict of interest.
In other business from Wedneday, the board approved an agreement with the union that represents most of its employees. The new deal with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will prevent nine of the 12 layoffs that would have been caused by the 2012 budget, by offering early retirement incentives for those who qualify.