Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Madison County auditor, Board negotiating settlement in suit preventing access to county financial software


By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jul 2, 2019

Faccin and Prenzler

In a request to continue a motion hearing, Madison County auditor Rick Faccin states that he is nearing a proposed settlement agreement with the Madison County Board in regards to a contested resolution demanding access to county financial information for certain officials. 

With the consent of the defendants, Faccin filed a motion to continue the hearing on all pending motions through attorney Kevin Green of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli PC in Edwardsville.

“The parties have been engaged in substantial settlement discussions over the last month,” the motion states. “At the last meeting of the Board, the Board rejected plaintiff’s settlement proposal, but provided feedback on a potential resolution of this case.

“Plaintiff has accounted for the feedback from the Board and, earlier this week, made a second firm settlement offer to the Board. On June 28, 2019, the Board’s attorney proposed two additional changes thatplaintiff agreed to, so it appears plaintiff and the Board are on the verge of an agreement.”

If the Board approves the changes and votes to settle the case, it would result in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. 

A counterclaim filed by the Madison County Board, board chairman Kurt Prenzler, administrator Doug Hulme and treasurer Chris Slusser would still remain pending, but Faccin argues that the proposed settlement “provides virtually all of the relief requested in the counterclaim.”

The motion states that the Board needs time to allow for a vote. 

“Therefore, to avoid the expense to the taxpayers that would result from the hearing, and to provide the parties time to narrow, if not eliminate, the issues and parties involved in the case,” Faccin requests the hearing be continued to sometime after July 23. 

He also requests an extension of the temporary restraining order. 

Faccin filed the suit in Madison County against the county board, Prenzler, Hulme and Slusser. He seeks an injunction of a March 20 resolution ordering the auditor to allow the county board and a number of officials access to the USL financial system used to track county financial information. 

The county board passed the resolution by a party line vote of 13-12 with Republicans carrying the majority. 

The county board had declared that the system serves as the official book of accounts, and that it is essential for honest government that details be accessible by administrators.

Faccin’s lawsuit claims information contained in the records of the auditor included medical details protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

In the defendants’ countersuit, they claim they are seeking county financial information from the USL system on a “read only” basis, which is allowed in all other Illinois counties.

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Organizations in this Story

Madison County Circuit CourtMadison County BoardGoldenberg, Heller, Antognoli

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