AFSCME to request Coghlan resignation

By Greg Rivara

A union representing DeKalb County employees will ask for State’s Attorney Michael Coghlan’s resignation at 11:30 a.m. today.

Coghlan is calling the news conference “propaganda” spurred by the union’s worries “about talk of decertification.”

The resignation request stems from an Illinois Labor Relations Board decision ruling that Coghlan wrongfully fired then AFSCME Local 3537 Union President Donna Friel in 1989.

The news conference is slated for the Strattford Inn’s Fireside Room, 355 W. State St., Sycamore.

Among the charges are allegations that Coghlan fired Friel because of her union affiliation and that Coghlan failed to investigate charges of a leak in his office that might have jeopardized drug investigations.

“I fired her because she failed to respond to allegations that she affiliated with people involved with illegal drugs. She also failed to respond to the question of why she kept asking the names of the undercover police officers when her duties did not deal with drug cases,” Coghlan said.

The board ruled Friel to be rehired to the same or similar position and receive back-pay with 7 percent interest. Friel was fired in September 1989. She worked under the union’s clerical and technical employee representation.

The ruling will be appealed, Coghlan said.