DIXON – The Lee County Board appointed two new members to its ranks after having two vacancies within a month.
Danielle Allen, of Paw Paw, and Michael Broome, of Ashton, were sworn in Thursday to fill vacancies left by longtime board members Jerry Leffelman and Greg Witzleb, respectively.
Leffelman stepped down last month because of health issues, and Witzleb died March 15 at age 73.
Broome, appointed to District 3, was a bailiff in Lee County for 5 years and also interim chief of the Ashton Police Department for 1 year. Before that, he served more than 25 years with the Illinois State Police.
Broome's appointment was a split vote, and board member Jim Wentling said he was concerned they weren't going with the recommendations by the Lee County Republican Central Committee, which recommended Allen and Keane Hudson, who's a Lee County bailiff and member of the Dixon Veterans Memorial Park Commission.
Board Chairman John Nicholson said they thought it might be a conflict of interest with Hudson being employed by the county, but Lee County State's Attorney Charlie Boonstra said that it likely wouldn't have been a conflict as long as he abstained from votes such as pay raises for bailiffs.
The board approved Broome's appointment in a 12-to-8 vote with two abstentions.
Allen, appointed to District 2, is a business operations manager in the global transportation division of U.S. Bank and also a member of the Paw Paw School Board.
Both of their terms run through Nov. 30.