Sparland Officials Resign Amid Investigations, Controversy

The (Peoria) Journal-Star reports that five elected officials of the central Illinois community of Sparland have resigned this month.

The departing officials are Mayor Linda Medearis, Village Clerk Susan Persinger, Treasurer Margo Danger-Smith, and trustees Louis Lenz and Ralph McCasky. All have recently submitted notarized letters of resignation.
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The resignations come in the wake of a third investigation by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office into village practices. That involves alleged failure to comply with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, while two earlier probes focus on possible violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act.

In addition, the board had to revote on some major ordinance amendments that had been passed with illegal “proxy” voting by absent members, including a water rate increase. The village also faces enforcement action from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency over a sewer problem. And a topless bar that opened here last spring has continued to generate controversy and divisions on the board.

The Village of Sparland is a community of 400 people that lies about 25 miles northeast of Peoria.