Bruce Cannon

SHELBYVILLE -- Bruce Cannon remains chairman of the Shelby County Board after members rejected calls to remove him from the position amid allegation of impropriety.

"I have no intention of resigning," Cannon said at the outset of the meeting held Wednesday morning at the 9th Street Pavilion near Lake Shelbyville.

Gary Gergeni, the member of the county board who asked that the motion to remove Cannon be placed on Wednesday's agenda, said there were several issues that led to the request. He cited times where county decisions haven't involved the entire board, with other decisions dragging on too long, specifically referencing an ongoing audit into the payroll of the Shelby County Sheriff's office.

Gary Gergeni

Gary Gergeni

"I'm hearing a lot of things that's going on that we're considering or thinking about doing that I don't recall discussing in our meetings," Gergeni said Wednesday.

In the end, board members voted 16 to 4 against Cannon's removal. This was the second time an effort had been made to remove Cannon as chairman, the first being several months prior.

Cannon said a majority of the board stands behind the actions he's taken as chairman and that "the watchdogs and the voices of the public have stood in our way," adding that he has "no intention of doing anything illegal."

During the public comments portion of the meeting, a resident questioned the board's lack of transparency and even accused the board of conducting business under the table. Some board members responded with outrage or laughed at the woman.

Cannon said he's trying "to keep this county together," adding a struggle to fill county positions that include the chief deputy of the sheriff's department and emergency management agency director.

"I think it's kind of like the impeachment of President Trump to be honest with you," Cannon said of the removal effort, accusing the Edgar County Watchdogs of "sensationalizing one side of the story" similar to what "CNN and the fake news has been doing to Trump."

Cannon went on to compare county board members to national figures who have opposed Trump, like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and expects opposition until the end of his current term.

"I'm trying to preserve a county here," Cannon said, his roots in Shelby County going back 17 years. "I'm just as concerned about this as everybody else and I'm sick about what's happening."

Contact Garrett Karsten at (217) 421-6949. Follow him on Twitter: @GarrettKarsten

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