Jumper retires, Douglass resigns during South Jax meeting

By Ryne Turke on April 24, 2015 at 5:36am

Village Hall is packed for South Jacksonville ethics meeting

South Jacksonville Village President Gordon Jumper and village treasurer and office manager Linda Douglass are stepping down from their positions.

Jumper’s retirement and the resignation of Douglass follow in the footsteps of Police Chief Richard Evans, who announced his retirement earlier this month.

The three officials were the focus of a 2014 Illinois State Police Report, centered on the investigation of alleged official wrongdoing in South Jacksonville’s Village Hall.

The announcements were made during a special board meeting Thursday night.

The meeting was established to discuss the creation of an ethics commission, which would properly investigate and adjudicate an April 2nd complaint from South Jacksonville citizens.

After an extended discussion by trustee members in front of dozens of vocal South Jacksonville residents, the decision was made to move forward with the efforts of setting up an ethics commission. That action, along with hiring special counsel for this process,  will take place April 30th.

Jumper, who will be retiring after 22 years of elected service in South Jacksonville, says the board’s action was “unfortunate.”

“My efforts primarily were to try and save the village tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. I think that the right decision would have been to accept the resignation and allow the village to save $20,000 to $30,000 in legal fees,” says Jumper.

Jumper says it will probably take some time to fill the open positions of the resigning South Jacksonville officials.

“The village board will now need to move ahead with some mechanism to select an acting mayor. Most of the activity is going to be on hold for the next 30 to 60 days,” says Jumper.

Linda Douglass was not present at the meeting, but released a statement that her resignation was due to personal, professional and health reasons. Her final day of employment will be June 19th.

Jumper’s retirement take effect on June 21st and Evans will conclude his duties of Police chief on May 31st.

Several edits have been made to this story. Clarification: Gordon Jumper is retiring; Linda Douglass is resigning.