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Government LawyersThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

September 2010, vol. 12, no. 1

Attorney General issues opinions

Under section 4 of the Attorney General Act (15 ILCS 205/4 (West 2008)), the Attorney General is authorized, upon request, to furnish written legal opinions to State officers and State’s Attorneys on matters relating to their official duties. The following is a summary of informal opinion Nos. I-10-001 through I-10-008 that may be of interest to the government bar.

Copies of an opinion may be requested by contacting the Opinions Bureau in the Attorney General’s Springfield office at (217)782-9070. Copies of official opinions may also be found on the internet at <http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/index.html>.

Informal Opinion No. I-10-001

Issued January 7, 2010

Compatibility of Offices – County Board Member and Community College District Trustee

Pursuant to section 1 of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, a county board member may not be elected to hold the office of community college district trustee simultaneously unless specifically authorized to do so by statute. If a county board member, during his or her term of office, is elected to the office of community college district trustee, that election is void under section 1 of the Prohibited Activities Act. 50 ILCS 105/1 (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-002

Issued February 5, 2010

Compatibility of Offices –Village Trustee and Community Mental Health Board Member

Because of the potential conflicts in duties, the office of village trustee is incompatible with the office of community mental health board member. 65 ILCS 5/11-29.2-1 (West 2008); 405 ILCS 20/3e (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-003

Issued March 11, 2010

Authority to Enact an Ordinance Prohibiting Running at Large of Dogs in Certain Unincorporated Residential Areas

A county board is authorized to regulate and prohibit the running at large of dogs in unincorporated areas of a county which have been subdivided for residential purposes. The decision to enact a leash law that is applicable to one subdivided area but not to another, similarly-situated subdivided area, may survive an equal protection challenge if the county can demonstrate an appropriate reason to treat subdivisions differently. 55 ILCS 5/5-1071 (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-005

Issued May 27, 2010

Compatibility of Offices–Township Assessor and Village Trustee

Because of the potentially conflicting duties, the offices of township assessor and village trustees are incompatible, and one person may not hold both offices simultaneously. 35 ILCS 200/15-60, 15-80 (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-006

Issued June 10, 2010

Compatibility of Offices–County Board Member and City Clerk

Pursuant to section 1 of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, a county board member may not be elected to hold the office of city clerk simultaneously unless specifically authorized to do so by statute. If a county board member, during his or her term of office, is elected to the office of city clerk, that election is void under section 1 of the Prohibited Activities Act. 50 ILCS 105/1 (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-007

Issued June 24, 2010

Authority to Levy a Tax to Support a Downstate Working Cash Fund

Section 6-29002 of the Downstate County Working Cash Fund Law (the Law) authorizes counties to create a county working cash fund. Nothing in section 6-29003 of the Law, however, authorizes a county board to levy a tax subsequent to 1977 to support the working cash fund. Accordingly, the county board may wish to seek an amendment to section 6-29003 of the Law which authorizes it to levy a tax to support the county working cash fund. 55 ILCS 5/6-29002, 6-29003 (West 2008).

Informal Opinion No. I-10-008

Issued July 1, 2010

Payment of Circuit Clerk Salary from Fees Collected in Absence of State Appropriations

Article VI, section 14, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, which eliminates fee officers in the judicial branch, prohibits circuit clerks from being compensated from fees collected. Accordingly, the proceeds of the Separate Maintenance and Child Support Collection Fund, the Court Automation Fund, and the Court Document Storage Fund may not be used to pay for a salary increase for the circuit clerk. 705 ILCS 105/27.1a(bb)(4), 27.3a, 27.3c (West 2008); Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, §14. ■


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