A Madison County Judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the Wood River Township Assessor against the Township Board over budget cuts to her office. Thelma Kochan claimed that due to the actions of the board in trimming her budget, she has been unable to provide adequate services to residents. Judge Thomas Chapman disagreed that the actions were an abuse of discretion, and dismissed the suit.
Wood River Township Supervisor Mike Babcock, who is also a candidate for state senate, said he was pleased with the ruling. Kochan said she did not have any comment on the decision. The budget cuts were made after township board members noticed what it called unwarranted absenteeism as well as frequent office closures during normal business hours. The board had a study conducted on the assessor's office and found that a number of employees were given additional days off, above and beyond their paid holidays and vacation time. Kochan says she has had to layoff two employees and make other cuts as a result of the budget cut. An attorney for the board said the assessor did not even use all of the money allocated in the budget, so the suit wasn't warranted.