Feud over proposed appointments leads to call for Chairperson Frank Haney’s resignation

Four months before the election a call for the Winnebago County Chairperson to step down after the controversy surrounding an appointment proposed by Frank Haney.
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 10:10 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A call for Winnebago County Chairperson Frank Haney to step down four months before the election after the controversy surrounding a proposed appointment made by Haney.

“Mr. Haney, I don’t want you to resign I just want you to grow up,” said Winnebago County Board Member David Fiduccia.

On Tuesday, Haney made four proposed minority appointments to fill various county leadership roles. That included appointing local NAACP President Rhonda Greer Robinson to replace current board member Fred Wescott as the chairperson of the Winnebago County Housing Authority.

Wescott has chaired the county housing authority since 2001 and even though his term was expiring Wescott wanted to remain in the post.

“For you to say something like this lady is the most qualified that you’ve ever seen or however you said it is an insult to me,” said Winnebago County Board Member Fred Wescott. “And I think this board should chastise you and I’m going to ask you again for your resignation. Just because the way you present yourself anymore. You need to go away.”

Haney says the move was made because Greer Robinson is extremely qualified and that there has been multiple conversations on the board to get diverse perspectives in leadership roles.

“Sorry if anyone took that personally,” said Haney. “It is not. It is about the idea of what the needs of the community, the organization, the skill set of the individual and also the community’s call to get more people involved.”

However other board members say Wescott excelled in his role and they believe this is just a way for Haney to get back at a board member that has publicly feuded with him in the past.

“All the comments that I heard were a bunch of comments from a bunch of white men with white privilege,” said Winnebago County Board Member Tim Nabors. “And so for you to come at the Chairman and attack him for his minority appointments because your feelings got hurt. That’s a dig at the minority community.”

The Winnebago County Board decided to table all four of Haney’s proposed appointments by a 16-3 vote. Those in favor say they believe that the appointments should be something the new chairperson should make when voted in this November.

Also tonight the board voted to make an offer to Patrick Thompson to become the new county administrator.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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