NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Normal City Councilmember Stan Nord has issued the following statement after Normal’s Deputy Clerk Jodi Pomis told the council Nord acted unprofessionally and with the intent to intimidate during Monday’s council meeting.

Nord shared the following statement with WMBD.

Normal has told residents that they cannot have district representation nor can they have the elected representatives that are spelled out in state law for “each,” “every”, and “all” incorporated towns. I apologize to anyone who misinterpreted my group email. It is long past due for the incorporated town of Normal to comply with state laws and act as an incorporated town.

Pomis has filed a grievance against Nord for the email she said was unethical.

Tuesday, five other council members and the mayor continued to condemn Nord’s email and are now looking into what, if anything can be done about the incident.

Normal Mayor Chris Koos said it was unacceptable of Nord to address staff in that manner, especially non-executive staff.

“In a council-manager form of government, it’s the height of impropriety in my opinion,” Koos said.

Monday night, deputy clerk Jodi Pomis addressed the mayor and council regarding the email. Pomis, practically in tears said she and her co workers felt intimidated and called Nord’s actions unethical and unprofessional.

In his email, Nord addressed staff members in the town clerk’s office regarding three petitions filed for the upcoming municipal elections in April for town clerk, supervisor and collector. These three positions aren’t elected in the Town.

Nord asked staff why the three petitions weren’t on the Town’s website. It stated in part: Hopefully, this was an over-site and is NOT hinting that a ruling has been made by someone outside of the electoral board process to deny ballot access. Without publishing ALL of the petitions filed, those who may wish to file objections to these unpublished petitions may argue they are being denied their right to review election petitions during the statutory objection window by the town simply because a different publishing protocol is being used with them. 

He added: I am not accusing the clerk’s office, which currently does not report directly to the public, of any wrongdoing at this time. My intent is to ensure you are aware that it is a felony to knowingly prevent any person from being nominated for elected public office. I don’t believe an adequate defense against any felony charge is “my boss instructed me to commit it,” if that were the case. 

Read the full email here

Pomis said she believes Nord was trying to intimidate the town’s clerk staff to believe they were committing a felony.

“The thought that any council member or any elected official for that matter would reach out to an entire department at the Town and send an email that was perceived as intimidating is something that is just unacceptable,” said councilmember, Scott Preston.

Preston said traditionally the only staff member that reports to the council is the city manager and that any concerns about other staff member conduct should be brought up to her.

“I think the larger issue is the content of the email that was sent to the entire clerk staff and residents that were CCed on that,” Preston said.

Mayor Chris Koos said many council members have asked what can be done in regard to Nord’s behavior.

“I forwarded it to our legal department to see if there are things to do. We could do a censure but I’m not sure that’s a formal action. I think an informal censure pretty well happened last night,” Koos said.

“Six out of the seven of us stood up and said enough and I think that’s a first step that needs to happen,” said councilwoman, Kathleen Lorenz.

Lorenz said while council may not be able to take any formal action, she and other council members can show town staff going forward that they’re supported.

“More now than ever we need to show our appreciation and verbally and intentionally make that known,” Lorenz said.

In addition to his apology Tuesday, Nord did apologize Monday night during the meeting. He said his intention was not to intimidate or degrade anyone on staff.