EDWARDSVILLE — A civil lawsuit was filed Thursday by Madison County's former administrator Doug Hulme and Information Technology Director Robert Dorman against Alton, Edwardsville, Granite City and Collinsville.
The two-count suit, filed April 15 by attorney Edward Moorman, alleges the cities provided manpower to an "anti-corruption task force" whose investigation led to the county's firing of Hulme and Dorman in April 2020.
The suit claims the officers involved "intentionally and unjustifiably induced a breach of said employment contracts by specifically calling for the termination of each plaintiff's employment and by making false and unsupported accusations of improper conduct and in some cases alleged criminal misconduct."
According to the suit, the offers' accusations "persuaded a number of members of the Madison County Board to vote for termination of employment."
The second count claims the action was taken because "plaintiffs had discovered improper and/or illegal conduct on the part of various Madison County officials," making them whistleblowers and protected against "retaliatory discharge."
Each count seeks in excess of $50,000.
Hulme and Dorman were fired in April 2020 amid allegations they improperly accessed emails and other data for political purposes.
In late 2017, at the request of then-Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons, a "Madison County Public Corruption Task Force" was formed. Gibbons said there was evidence of possible illegal conduct by county officials.
The allegations culminated in a January 2018 raid on county administration offices in which computers and other evidence was seized. The investigation and prosecution of the case was turned over to the Illinois Attorney General's Office, which later announce no charges would be filed because of lack of evidence and they were dropping the case.
In early April 2020, numerous documents relating to the case were unsealed, creating a firestorm of allegations centering on Hulme and Dorman.
The Madison County Board met in executive session for about an hour during that month's regular meeting, then for about three hours at a special meeting the next night, before voting 26-1, with one abstention and one absence, to fire Hulme and Dorman. The two later filed suit against the county.
Their suit filed Thursday requests a jury trial.