Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford aldermen agree to pay legal fees in 2015 lawsuit

ROCKFORD – The Rockford City Council, on Monday, voted to pay more than $117,000 in attorneys’ fees in a 2015 lawsuit over ex-Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “turnaround agenda.”

The suit was brought by representatives of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 and the AFL-CIO, who claimed when aldermen, under Mayor Larry Morrissey, passed the resolution to adopt Rauner’s agenda, they violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Chief Judge Eugene Doherty ruled last December that the unions’ claim is no longer valid because Rauner and Morrissey are no longer in office. He did, however, order Rockford to pay the plaintiffs’ legal tabs that totaled $117,836. The city initially planned to appeal the ruling.

Rockford aldermen voted April 20, 2015 to adopt Rauner’s turnaround plan, which promised pension reform and that the state would go head-to-head with labor unions to curb collective bargaining. Instead, Rauner went almost four years without passing a budget before be was unseated by J.B. Pritzker in a 2018 landslide.


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