Naperville Park District Commissioner faces ethics probe into social media posts
A commissioner from the Naperville Park District Board of Directors is the subject of an ethics inquiry into his recent conduct on social media.
Controversy surrounding Commissioner Josh McBroom erupted this week when it was revealed that he suggested in a private Facebook group that executive director Ray McGury was “beyond fed up” with recent mask tenure issued by Governor JB Pritzker. McBroom also reacted positively to a Facebook post insulting the five female board members.
McBroom apologized at Thursday’s board meeting for what he wrote about McGury, saying he shouldn’t speak for McGury and “doesn’t know what’s going on in his head “. McBroom, however, did not apologize to the female commissioners who said McBroom engaged in “bodily humiliation” in a series of Facebook group posts.
McBroom wrote at the start of last week in the Open DuPage and Will County Facebook group, a private page advocating “Unmasking the Children”, that this should be a requirement for board members supporting the mask mandate of playing a basketball game on a full “masked” court. A commentator responded with a derogatory remark about the female board members, and McBroom responded with a laughing emoji.
“I responded quickly to a comment,” McBroom said. “At the end of the day, I am a citizen and there is nothing that says an elected official cannot say what he wants to say.”
McBroom said he does not support the mask policy and it is within his rights to express these views online with “like-minded people” and his supporters.
“It’s part of my role in raising awareness in the community,” he said. “I apologize to Ray McGury. I apologize if anyone thought I was directly embarrassing my body. That’s not what I was doing. I would never do that… a laugh emoji on a comment that I just passed quickly.
“But as for the publication of the message, I will not withdraw it,” he said. “I’m not going to be silenced.”
After Park District Vice President Mary Gibson and other commissioners suggested an ethics inquiry was warranted, the park district announced on Friday that attorney Derke Price, the ethics officer of the council, investigate possible violations and report to council.
“I think there are several issues here that directly conflict with our code of conduct,” Gibson said Thursday, “particularly communication and involvement with outside groups that interfere with ongoing administrative activity. staff, specifically involving blatant insubordination on the part of the executive director, without a shadow of evidence, which also publicly compromises the implementation of majority decisions of the board.
“And, in general, I think the public humiliation of fellow Commissioners is incompatible with our expectations of the conduct of board members,” she said.
The five board commissioners, including chairwoman Marie Todd and the four commissioners elected in April – Gibson, Rhonda Ansier, Leslie Ruffing and Alison Thompson – addressed the messages online at Thursday’s meeting. Commissioner Rich Janor did not comment, saying he was aware of the messages but had not seen them.
Reached Friday to comment on the ethics inquiry, McBroom questioned the motivations of other commissioners to raise the issue at Thursday’s meeting.
“If any of these commissioners had a problem with anything I put on social media, they could have called me or they could have made it an agenda item so that I was better prepared to respond, ”McBroom said. Instead, they chose to launch this as part of ‘new business’ as a political coup.
“It’s the kind of classic cancellation culture that everyone is so tired of,” he said. “Their agenda is to silence people they don’t agree with, period. And if ethics violations have occurred, it’s coordination between commissioners to publicly tarnish the reputation of the commissioner. ‘another commissioner. “