DANVILLE — Former Vermilion County Well being Division Administrator Doug Toole has filed a lawsuit in opposition to the county’s board of well being that states he was given an ultimatum — resign or be fired.
“This got here out of nowhere,” mentioned Toole’s Urbana legal professional, Ronald Langacker.
Toole, who labored for the Vermilion County Well being Division for 31 years and was its administrator since 2016, resigned Nov. 16 at a gathering with some well being board members and county Human Relations Director Nancy Boose that had been scheduled to guage his job efficiency.
At that assembly, board President Brad Gross knowledgeable Toole that the board “had misplaced religion” in Toole’s capability to steer the well being division and supplied him an ultimatum — to resign or instantly be terminated, based on the lawsuit filed in Vermilion County.
“Shocked by the ultimatum and confronted with prospect of instant termination, plaintiff (Toole) was involuntarily coerced by the board into tendering his instant resignation,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit additionally accuses the board of violating the state’s Open Conferences Act at a Nov. 10 assembly by:
- Adjourning to closed session and not using a quorum.
- Failing to take a vote to enter closed session.
- Taking remaining motion in closed session to inform Toole of an ultimatum.
- Failing to vote to return to open session after the closed session.
- Failing to take any remaining motion associated to Toole’s employment in open session, together with taking a vote authorizing Gross to present Instrument an ultimatum.
- Failing to maintain correct minutes of the Nov. 10 assembly.
Previous to serving as administrator of the county well being division, Toole was its director of environmental well being, and earlier than that, an environmental well being inspector.
From 2020 till his resignation, he steered the county’s public-health operation by means of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anyone who survives a pandemic in a public well being division ought to get a gold star,” Langacker mentioned.
Toole wasn’t anticipating to be compelled to resign, his legal professional mentioned.
“The board didn’t beforehand inform him there have been substantive issues together with his efficiency that may require his instant removing from employment,” Langacker mentioned.
The lawsuit states Toole has been broken “in quantities to be confirmed at trial, together with struggling, embarrassment, stress and different compensatory damages.”
The lawsuit asks that an order be entered vacating and expunging the board’s resolution to discharge Toole and that he be reinstated as public well being administrator.
It additionally seeks a public declaration that the well being board violated the Open Conferences Act, that an in-camera (personal) overview of the document of the closed session be approved and that the well being board be enjoined from future Open Conferences Act violations.
Vermilion County State’s Legal professional Jacqueline Lacy mentioned she couldn’t touch upon ongoing litigation.