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Ex-deputy clerk to get $11K payout

GENEVA – Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham's former deputy clerk will be paid more than $11,000, according to a separation agreement obtained by the Kane County Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act.

Jeff Ward was placed on a five-day suspension in March for doing campaign work for Cunningham's GOP primary race on the county's server. Ward agreed to resign his position as an applications analyst on April 1, according to the seven-page agreement.

Ward had worked in Cunningham's office, starting on Dec. 7, 2012, records show.

Cunningham's office agreed to pay Ward $11,298.42 in a one-time lump sum within 30 days of the agreement being signed on April 19. The amount represents 12 weeks of Ward's current salary of $47,999.90 per year, according to county records.

Cunningham said on Tuesday that Ward had not been paid yet. 

"The check is in the hands of the legal department," Cunningham said. 

"Ward acknowledges and agrees that the monetary payment he is receiving pursuant to this agreement exceeds any amount of payment or debt that may be due or owing to him from [the] county clerk," the agreement states.

According to the agreement, Cunningham's office agrees not to contest if Ward applies for unemployment insurance benefits. Ward will state the reason for his termination is the elimination of his position, the agreement states.

Ward provided a letter of resignation, and Cunningham wrote a letter of reference for Ward to use in pursuing another job. The separation agreement states the clerk will "limit any commentary to the contents of the letter of reference."

Cunningham's letter states that Ward "was responsible for implementing and supporting internal and countywide software systems, designing and programming a voter database, [and] documenting and improving internal and interoffice workflow," among other accomplishments.

"Jeff has excellent communication and writing skills ... works independently and consistently follows through to be sure the job gets done," Cunningham's letter of recommendation states, in part.

The agreement states that Ward will release Cunningham from all claims and expenses and damages of any kind, and both parties also deny any liability to each other, violation of law or wrongdoing.

Both sides also agreed not to disparage the other to the media, prospective employers or any third party, among others, the agreement states.

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