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Ex-deputy clerk cashed severance check

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 10:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 10:20 p.m. CDT

GENEVA –  A former deputy clerk at the Kane County Clerk's Office recently cashed a severance check for $7,076.34, county payroll records show.

The severance agreement between Jeff Ward of Geneva and Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham was for $11,298.42. The lesser amount represents $4,222.08 in deductions, Kane County Treasurer David Rickert said.

Ward worked for 17 months as a systems analyst at the clerk's office. He started part time Dec. 7, 2012, then went full time starting June 9, 2013, according to payroll records obtained by the Kane County Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act. 

Ward was earning $47,990.90 a year, according to county records.

Ward was suspended without pay for five days in March for doing campaign work on Cunningham's primary election. Ward sent an email on behalf of Cunningham's campaign to the Illinois State Board of Elections on the county's server, using his county email account and during the normal work day, records show.

A review of Ward's and Cunningham's county email accounts, released through the Freedom of Information Act, showed Ward and Cunningham routinely used the county's computers and email addresses for Cunningham's reelection campaign.

Ward's use of the county email was referred to the county ethics advisor, who then referred it to the Kane County State's Attorney. The state's attorney's office said it does not comment on possible or pending investigations.

Cunningham said he has since moved his campaign to a mobile office so it would be completely separated from his county office duties.

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