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Government

Appellate court rejects former Downers Grove library trustee's appeal

Ruling says village exercised home-rule powers

Former Downers Grove Public Library trustee Art Jaros’s legal battle with the village of Downers Grove was dealt another setback Dec. 29 when the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the village’s decision to remove him from the library Board of Trustees.
Former Downers Grove Public Library trustee Art Jaros’s legal battle with the village of Downers Grove was dealt another setback Dec. 29 when the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the village’s decision to remove him from the library Board of Trustees.

DOWNERS GROVE – Former Downers Grove Public Library trustee Art Jaros’s legal battle with the village of Downers Grove was dealt another setback Dec. 29 when the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the village’s decision to remove him from the library Board of Trustees.

In a 20-page ruling, the court stated Jaros’s removal from the board was “a valid exercise of the village’s home-rule powers.”

Jaros filed the appeal after a DuPage County judge on Sept. 21 upheld the Downers Grove Village Council’s decision to remove him from the library board.

The village responded to the appeal, saying home-rule authority was exercised when the council voted to remove Jaros from the library board.

The Appellate Court agreed.

“The court further determined that the village library is not a separate unit of government, given that the village council appoints library trustees and collects the tax for the library,” the ruling stated.

The ruling added “the removal of library trustees relates to the government and affairs of the village.”

Jaros said he may further pursue his legal fight.

“At my first quick read, the court's opinion appears not to have addressed various of my key arguments,” Jaros said in an email. “In such a situation, the appealing party has the right to ask the appellate court to reconsider and/or to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to take the case."

Jaros, a library board member since 2015, allegedly had 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 reportedly made controversial remarks regarding homosexuality at the meeting.

The meeting was not recorded, but observer notes were taken by Sue Farley, a member of the League of Women Voters of Downers Grove, Woodridge and Lisle.

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