Freeport Mayor Issues Statement Regarding County Board Member Conduct

STEPHENSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS — Freeport Mayor Jodi Miller issued a statement regarding the recent revelations that a Stephenson County Board member proposed the addition of an ‘Enticement’ clause to the County’s Sexual Harassment Policy at a recent Stephenson County Board meeting. 

On Wednesday Mayor Miller said in a release that the proposition made by Board Member Alvin Wire [R — District 11], “show how far our government must come to ensure that all citizens can work and live in an environment free from all forms of harassment”.

“I cannot stress enough how such a clause would discount any sexual harassment a woman may face based simply on her manner of dress. Tone-deaf and offensive comments such as those made during the County Board Meeting continue to show how far our government must come to ensure that all citizens can work and live in an environment free from all forms of harassment, including harassment of a sexual nature.”

According to a release issued by Stephenson County Board Chairman William N. Hadley, a meeting of the Stephenson County Administration & Legal Affairs Committee was convened on July 8., 2020, during which discussion occurred concerning the possible approval of a “personnel policy” for Stephenson County employees.

During this discussion, the release states, Board Member Alvin Wire [R — District 11] suggested that the section of the policy covering sexual harassment be modified to include a clause, that if enacted, “would essentially shift the blame from abusers to victims”. Wire was quoted as suggesting to add the words “enticement” to the county employee harassment policy adding “any dress or bodily actions which could entice someone to commit any of the above actions”.

Mayor Miller said she will continue to use her position as Mayor of the City of Freeport to educate and empower citizens to make certain that all are protected from scourge of harassment.

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