Dolton School District 149 Violates Illinois Law, Board Policy (Dolton, IL) — Dolton School District 149 held a special meeting yesterday with the purpose of removing Rayya Ghani as school board president and appointing Wilbur Tillman in her stead. This illegal move came as a surprise to Ghani as there have been no disciplinary actions, questions of her competence, an unwillingness to perform, or other complaints against her service to the community. The meeting was called by Wilbur Tillman, Darlene Gray-Everett, Zacarias Castillo, and Teresa Jemine.
“I was completely blindsided by this move,” said Rayya Ghani, who has served on the school board since 2006. “I have always done what was asked of me by statute, by the board, and by the students and parents of the district. I have always served with the best interests of the students and community at heart, and have never failed to perform any of the duties of board President.”
Citing the Dolton School District 149 Board Policy Manual, the school board may only remove members that have “willfully failed to perform his or her official duties.” Furthermore, the Board Policy Manual cites 105 ILCS 5/3-15.5, which makes the same statement.
In addition, the Dolton School District 149 Board Policy Manual also states that a vacancy of the President position is to be filled by the Vice President who is currently Lolita C. Crisler-Liggons. Instead, the board chose to illegally vote on the matter once again in an attempt to seat freshman board member Wilbur Tillman as president. Tillman was in the hot seat last spring, when the board voted to remove him due to a policy violation where he obtained a vendor list from the school district then solicited them for campaign donations.
Board policy also outlines several other instances which could lead to the removal from office, including death, moving out of district, conviction of certain crimes, disability, resignation, conflict of interest, and acceptance of an incompatible public office seat.
“Mr. Tillman is completely wrong in his judgment here. It is disheartening to find that a person who is put in this position of authority and power would abuse it for what I could only imagine is personal gain. On top of all that, he is also going about this in the wrong way. I have been advised by the board’s legal counsel that this move was illegal and not in line with board policy,” stated Ghani. “I have not done anything wrong and am confident that I will continue to serve as board president.”
Dolton School District 149 Violates Illinois Law, Board Policy