Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, October 19, 2019

CMC scheduled for $1 million lawsuit against Madison County and officials

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Sep 18, 2019


The Veterans Assistance Commission’s $1 million lawsuit against Madison County, County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza and ex County Clerk Mark Von Nida is moving along slowly but surely.

A new case management conference has been scheduled for September 25 at 9a.m.

This is the latest movement in the case ever since a case management conference was also previously scheduled in March 2019. That conference was held on April 24. On that day, an order case reset for case management conference was scheduled on June 26. On June 26, another order case set for further case management conference was scheduled for August 21. That’s when the newest conference was scheduled for September 25.


Interestingly enough, that’s really the most recent activity in the slow-moving case.

VAC superintendent Brad Lavite joined the VAC in the lawsuit that was filed on Christmas Eve 2018 via their counsel Thomas Burkart and Burkart Law Office in Hamel, the Madison-St. Clair Record previously reported.

Lavite claims the defendants didn’t properly spread the county’s tax rate enough to boost the money green-lighted for the VAC in the fiscal years for the past 10 years. The plaintiffs noted that the VAC is only recognized after the VAC suggests a proper amount of money needed to cover fees for veterans as well as salaries and other related expenses. It’s then up to the County Board to okay or veto the amount.

The VAC provided the board with its suggestion, which has previously been approved for each year for the past decade “with little or no change by written agreement contained in the board’s official minutes.”

It was noted that the maximum annual rate percent for VAC is .03 percent of the equalized assessed value of property in the county. But Lavite said things went left despite the rate percent not going over the allotted .03 percent since 2008. Lavite has alleged the county breached its written agreement when Von Nida and Ming-Mendoza didn’t sufficiently decide the proper rate percent to increase the funds for 2008 through 2016 tax years. Because of this, VAC experienced a decrease in funding of $1,058,882.

“Plaintiff has demanded, but defendant has refused to deposit that amount into the special fund” as required by the County Code of Illinois, according to the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs’ remedies at law are inadequate in that the county’s breaches continued year after year and were of such a continuing nature that redress cannot be had at law alone.”

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