April 18, 2021
McHenry County

McHenry County Board member files ethics, fraud complaint against Skillicorn

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A McHenry County board member filed an ethics violation and fraud complaint on Tuesday against her primary opponent, Rep. Allen Skillicorn, which questioned the lawmaker's whereabouts during a series of House votes in June.

Board member Carolyn Schofield alleges in her complaint to the Illinois Legislative Inspector General that Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, was in Harvard – which is approximately 220 miles away from the Illinois Capitol – during the Illinois House's last spring session of the year on June 1.

Schofield said in speaking with past and present lawmakers that it is not uncommon for a legislator to have someone else work their voting switch if they have to temporarily step away from the House floor.

However, she said it is unheard of for that to happen when a lawmaker is outside the Statehouse, let alone Springfield.

"We're in a climate where ethics is a top priority for many officials," Schofield said. "People are not so trusting of politics these days and this gives a reason as to why."

According to the Illinois House journal for June 1, roll was called at 12:11 p.m. with 114 members, including Skillicorn, voting present. Two other House members would be marked as present later in the day.

Between the start of the House session and a 3:01 p.m. recess, Skillicorn was recorded to have voted "yes" or "no" on 23 of 26 pieces of legislation.

Schofield included in her complaint a number of photos posted on various Facebook pages – some of which were on Skillicorn's political page – showing the lawmaker at Harvard Milk Days' parade, which began at 1 p.m. that day, according to the festival's schedule.

Skillicorn called the complaint ridiculous and said he had left Harvard to attend the House session that morning but could not provide a specific time. He declined to comment further until he read the full complaint.

Floor comments made from Skillicorn regarding a 19-cent-a-gallon tax increase on June 1 were posted on the Illinois House GOP's YouTube channel. However, a vote on that bill was taken after the House reconvened at 5:33 p.m.

Both candidates ran for the 66th House seat in 2016 with Skillicorn receiving 4,816 votes against Schofield’s 4,211 votes.