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Crime & Courts

DuPage County court upholds Downers Grove Village Council's removal of library trustee

Arthur Jaros to appeal judge's decision

A DuPage County judge on Sept. 21 upheld the Downers Grove Village Council’s decision to remove Arthur Jaros from the library board, after he reportedly made controversial remarks regarding homosexuality at a meeting.
A DuPage County judge on Sept. 21 upheld the Downers Grove Village Council’s decision to remove Arthur Jaros from the library board, after he reportedly made controversial remarks regarding homosexuality at a meeting.

DOWNERS GROVE – A DuPage County judge on Sept. 21 upheld the Downers Grove Village Council’s decision to remove Arthur Jaros from the library board, after he reportedly made controversial remarks regarding homosexuality at a meeting.

“The 18th Judicial Circuit Court upheld the action of the Downers Grove Village Council in removing Art Jaros from the Library Board of Trustees,” the village said in a statement. “Judge Paul Fullerton held that the Village Council action was a valid exercise of home-rule authority."

Jaros said he will appeal the decision to the Appellate Court.

“The judge ruled that the village did have the power to remove me,” Jaros said.

He said he was disappointed in the decision, especially because the ruling did not address the case law cited in his argument before the court on Sept. 19.

“There were whole parts of my argument that he didn’t address,” Jaros said.

The Illinois Constitution states the village cannot “interfere in matters not of their own government,” he previously told Suburban Life. He added only the Downers Grove Public Library Board of Trustees has the authority to remove a member.

Library trustees are appointed by the mayor, but the board acts independently of the village.

Village commissioners on Sept. 5 voted 6-0 to remove Jaros from the library board.

The village had agreed not to fill Jaros's seat pending the hearing. It is unclear if the village will delay an appointment until after Jaros has exhausted all appeals.

The library board will meet Sept. 27. Approval of the minutes from the Aug. 23 meeting is expected to be on the agenda.

Jaros, a library board member since 2015, allegedly questioned why library staff required training in equity, diversity or inclusion during the Aug. 23 board meeting. His comments came during a discussion of the diversity component of the library’s strategic plan.

Jaros also has filed a lawsuit against the village, Mayor Martin Tully, two village commissioners and the League of Women Voters of Downers Grove, Woodridge and Lisle, alleging defamation of character.

The meeting was not recorded, but observer notes were taken by Sue Farley, a member of the League of Women Voters. Farley also is named in Jaros’s lawsuit.

“He stated he objected to staff, who would be around children, receiving any training in how to handle inclusion,” Farley’s notes stated.

Jaros also reportedly read from the sex education section of the Illinois School Code, according to the notes.

“He personally commented that the code he read did not recognize homosexual marriage and he felt the library must not either,” the notes stated. “The staff had to protect the children from homosexuals and exposure to homosexual lifestyle.”

Jaros called the notes “false and defamatory," referring to a comment in the notes about "white straight people."

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