Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

LeChien splits representation in workers' pay lawsuit; Judge has harsh words for AG Madigan

By The Madison County Record | Jul 21, 2015


Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan would have created havoc with her plan to pay state employees the minimum wage in the absence of a budget, according to St. Clair County circuit judge Robert LeChien.

He added sharp words to an order he signed on July 17, splitting representation of state comptroller Leslie Munger between Madigan and Munger’s staff lawyers.

LeChien wrote that, “it is apparent that the AG is not outwardly concerned about the havoc created in the governmental offices concerned with payroll and benefits.”

Nor was Madigan concerned about leaving Munger with an unworkable order derived through proceedings Madigan initiated against Munger, he wrote.

Madigan sued Munger in Cook County on July 1, after the state budget expired, for an order to pay minimum wage to all.

Munger, through outside counsel that Madigan authorized, pleaded that converting the payroll to minimum wage would take months.

A judge granted the order that Madigan sought, but by then state employee unions had sued for a normal payroll in St. Clair County.

Madigan did not authorize outside counsel for Munger in the St. Clair County action, so Munger moved to disqualify Madigan.

LeChien took the motion under advisement at a hearing on July 9, saying he would not decide what might not have to be decided.

Then he upset Madigan’s lawyers, first by letting Munger’s lawyers respond to them and next by granting the order Munger favored.

Madigan appealed to the Fifth District, sticking to her minimum wage position.

In LeChien’s court, she moved to strike the appearance and arguments of Munger’s chief counsel, Alissa Camp, at the hearing.

LeChien’s July 17 order denied both Munger’s motion to disqualify Madigan and Madigan’s motion to strike Camp’s arguments.

He wrote that Camp could continue presenting Munger’s position, “as it may diverge from that of the AG throughout the litigation.”

He wrote that Madigan would determine what course Munger takes.

As of July 20, legislators had not sent a budget to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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