Dolton Trustees Appoint Jason House as Mayor Pro Tem Amid Feud with Absent Mayor Henyard

Dolton, Illinois village trustees appoint Jason House as mayor pro tem amid Mayor Tiffany Henyard's prolonged absence and controversy. The move ensures continuity of village functions and resident services amid federal investigations into Henyard's administration and finances.

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Nitish Verma
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Dolton Trustees Appoint Jason House as Mayor Pro Tem Amid Feud with Absent Mayor Henyard

Dolton Trustees Appoint Jason House as Mayor Pro Tem Amid Feud with Absent Mayor Henyard

On Monday, May 13, 2024, the village trustees of Dolton, Illinois, appointed Jason House as mayor pro tem amid an ongoing feud with absent Mayor Tiffany Henyard. The decision was made to ensure the continuity of village functions and resident services. The move comes as a response to Mayor Henyard's prolonged absence, which has raised concerns among the trustees and the community.

Why this matters: The power struggle in Dolton highlights the importance of accountability in local government, as the actions of elected officials can significantly impact the daily lives of citizens. Theinvestigation into Mayor Henyard's administration and finances also underscores the need for transparency and oversight in government spending.

Mayor Henyard did not attend the special village board meeting on Monday evening. The trustees' decision to appoint Jason House as mayor pro tem was made to ensure the village's functionality and provision of services to residents. House stated, "We're really just trying to make sure that if something critical comes up, that there's a signature on deck that can move it forward."

The feud between village trustees and Mayor Henyard has been ongoing, with Henyard facing scrutiny over village finances and her spending habits. Federal investigators are currently investigating the village's finances. The village has been plagued by administrative chaos, with Henyard's absence from the meeting exacerbating the situation.

Henyard's total compensation last year was $365,000, more than double any other official in her township. She made $307,000 as the supervisor of Thornton Township, which includes Dolton, and an additional $58,000 as mayor. The next-highest paid employee in the township made $187,000, while more than half of other township supervisors near Chicago make less than $30,000.

The controversy surrounding Henyard began when she hired a convicted child sex offender as the village's code enforcement officer. She has also been accused of wasting village funds on lavish travel, including first-class flights, and on personal expenses such as hair and makeup services. In March, Henyard vetoed a resolution to investigate her purported misuse of funds, demanding she submit the village's financial records and calling for an FBI investigation.

Village Trustee Brittney Norwood emphasized the need for the mayor pro tem appointment, stating, "This is just in case, but we need 'Just in case' at this moment. We have meetings where we're all waiting 45 minutes just to get started." Jason House will step in as Mayor Pro Tem when Henyard is absent but will not replace her as mayor. The move is seen as a response to Henyard's frequent absences, which have caused delays in village business.

The FBI has recently served subpoenas in Dolton and Thornton Township, amid mounting scrutiny over how Mayor Henyard runs the village. Henyard's top aide, Keith Freeman, was recently charged with bankruptcy fraud, and her ally, Andrew Holmes, was accused of sexual assault on a taxpayer-funded trip to Las Vegas. Last week, Henyard vetoed the trustees' hiring of former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to spearhead a special investigation into her administration.

The Dolton village trustees' appointment of Jason House as mayor pro tem highlights the ongoing power struggle and administrative challenges facing the village. As federal investigators continue to probe into the village's finances and Mayor Henyard's leadership, the trustees' move aims to ensure the continuity of essential services for Dolton residents during this tumultuous period.

Key Takeaways

  • Dolton, IL village trustees appoint Jason House as mayor pro tem amid Mayor Henyard's prolonged absence.
  • Henyard's absence raises concerns about village functionality and resident services.
  • Federal investigators probe village finances amid allegations of waste and mismanagement.
  • Henyard's salary is $365,000, more than double any other official in her township.
  • Trustees' move aims to ensure continuity of essential services for Dolton residents.