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04/03/87 the People Ex Rel. James T v. Richard P. Verbeck

April 3, 1987

ISLAND COUNTY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

RICHARD P. VERBECK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

THE PEOPLE ex rel. JAMES T. TEROS, State's Attorney of Rock

506 N.E.2d 464, 155 Ill. App. 3d 81, 106 Ill. Dec. 757 1987.IL.439

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon. David DeDoncker, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE BARRY delivered the opinion of the court. WOMBACHER and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARRY

The action before us was instituted on August 21, 1986, by Rock Island County State's Attorney James Teros (the relator) in a quo warranto complaint seeking the ouster of defendant Richard Verbeck from his elected position as a member of the Rock Island County board. The complaint alleges that Verbeck was elected to the board in the general election of November 1982 and he continued to occupy his position at the time the complaint was filed. On July 3, 1986, Verbeck was appointed to the position of deputy county coroner, also a position which he continued to occupy at the time the complaint was filed. The complaint further alleges that the two positions are legally incompatible and that Verbeck's acceptance of the position as deputy coroner constitutes a forfeiture of his elected position.

Verbeck answered the complaint, admitting the factual allegations, denying the legal Conclusions and pleading as "affirmative defenses" that the two positions were not incompatible and, in the alternative, any incompatibility was "too attenuated . . . to create any serious potential for conflicting interests." Verbeck filed requests for discovery; however, before any responses were made, the relator moved for judgment on the pleadings. The matter was heard, and on October 16, 1986, the circuit court of Rock Island County granted judgment on the pleadings in favor of the relator, holding that Verbeck's acceptance of his position as deputy coroner on July 3, 1986, operated as an automatic resignation from the county board and declaring Verbeck's county board seat vacant as of July 3, 1986.

On November 4, 1986, Verbeck was reelected to his county board seat. This fact was brought to the trial court's attention in Verbeck's motion for reconsideration and/or a stay of enforcement pending further proceedings in the circuit court or on appeal. The post-judgment motion was denied, and this appeal ensued.

In his appeal, defendant contends that the matters alleged as affirmative defenses in his answer to the complaint raise the following issues of material fact, which should have precluded the granting of judgment on the pleadings:

"1) whether or not the appointment of the deputy coroner was made by or with the consent of the county board;

2) whether or not the position of deputy coroner has its salary determined by the county board;

3) whether or not the county board has anything to do with the approval of the hiring of the position of deputy coroner;

4) whether or not there were any facts that would show that the holding of either office, or the duties inherent in either office, would prohibit defendant from, in every instance, being able ...


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