DU QUOIN — Less than a month since the resignation of Du Quoin councilman Dale Spencer — after an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund audit found him to be in violation of pension regulations — Mayor Guy Alongi hopes to have found his replacement in Jill Kirkpatrick.
The city announced Kirkpatrick’s recommendation in a news release Wednesday.
“Mayor Guy Alongi, with the advice and consent of the City Council, is pleased to recommend the appointment of Jill Kirkpatrick as the Finance Commissioner for the City of Du Quoin,” the release said.
The council is scheduled to vote on the matter during their meeting on Tuesday, March 13.
According to the release, Kirkpatrick was born in Du Quoin and attended SIU where she received a bachelor’s degree in business. She later earned her MBA from SIUE and later became SIU’s bursar in 1999.
“When I looked to fill the position, it was apparent I wanted someone with a strong background in finance and Jill’s qualifications perfectly meet that requirement,” Alongi said in the release.
Spencer submitted his resignation to the council in Febrary after he was forced out — the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund said because he was receiving a pension he earned for previous service to the city, he could not also serve on City Council at the same time.
Spencer was first elected to City Council in 1997, and later worked for the city of Du Quoin. After he retired from the city, he started collecting his pension. He decided in 2014 to come out of retirement and run for City Council again. City Council members are paid $4,800 per year and pay into the IMRF.
Before running again for Council, Spencer said he called IMRF on more than one occasion to see if he would be in violation of any rules. He said he was told it would not be a problem for him to run.
Spencer and the city plan to appeal the decision. Spencer said he does not plan to take his job back, but said part of the IMRF findings require him to repay pension payments he received while serving on the council. He hopes to have this reversed.