Dorothy Brown: Puppet Master or Qualified Administrator? (Dolton, IL) — Former Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Dorothy A. Brown’s employment within the Village of Dolton was called into question today by four trustees. Dorothy Brown, who served as Circuit Court Clerk for 20 years, is the interim Village Administrator. According to the trustees, the position was transitional and temporary, and was only supposed to last for 3 – 6 months. Now five months into her tenure as interim administrator, Dorothy Brown appears to have no intention to resign.
Trustees Jason House, Tammy Brown, Edward Steave, and Brittany Norwood expressed concern and discontent with Dorothy Brown and Mayor Tiffany Henyard. According to the trustees, attempts to get the job of Village Administrator posted as an open position have fallen on deaf ears. Trustee Brown said, “I asked at the May 17th meeting to have the job posted, and nothing has happened.” The trustee said that when she inquired about the position again, this time directly asking Dorothy Brown, that Dorothy Brown responded, “Well, just have them all send their resumes to me.”
“Absolutely not…do you honestly think they’ll get a fair shake? I don’t.” Trustee Brown said. “I have many years of experience working in HR, and that is just wrong. What do we have an HR department for? Of course if she’s [Dorothy Brown] vetting the candidates, no one will be qualified.”
When asked why they believed the mayor and administrator were apparently reneging, the trustees all agreed that it was personal. “They have a personal relationship,” said Trustee House. “I’ve heard Tiffany refer to Dorothy as her God-mother.” The trustees nodded in unison, agreeing that Dorothy is the one pulling the mayor’s strings.
“At the meetings, when she goes off, she’s reading,” said Trustee Norwood of Mayor Henyard.
“It’s scripted, something that Dorothy wrote for her to say,” Trustee Brown agreed. They along with Trustees House and Steave agree that Dorothy is likely pulling at Mayor Henyard’s strings.
The trustees also expressed concern for the village’s employees, employment practices, spending, and transparency. According to the trustees, the village has been hiring more employees while neglecting to fulfill promises of providing raises to the existing employees. “It’s unnecessary,” said Trustee Norwood of the recent hiring. When asked if the number of village employees have increased since the previous administration, both Trustee Norwood and Trustee Brown nodded emphatically, “Yes, definitely.” All trustees also agreed that the mayor and administrator are likely returning political favors with the hires.
Village employees are also scared of retaliation from the administration. According to the trustees, employees have been instructed to not provide the trustees with any information. When the employees do divulge information, the trustees say they do so in secret, asking to remain anonymous.
Recently, the trustees voted to limit the mayor’s powers. Among other things, the mayor cannot hire or fire village employees without the advice and consent of the board. “She’s breaking the law,” said Trustee Norwood. The mayor is also limited in her spending, which currently limits her to $1,500. However, the board says that the warrant lists and credit card statements do not reflect that. “We have a village credit card. It has a limit of $25,000. Every month, it’s maxed out,” continued Norwood. They have also cited a lack of transparency in the warrant lists, saying the way the warrant list are written leave a lot of room for questions.
The trustees all firmly believe that these issues are stemming from the administrators office.
Dorothy Brown: Puppet Master or Qualified Administrator?