On March 20, 2018, the Hancock County Board appointed Rachel Mast as interim State’s Attorney to complete the term of Jason Pohren. Pohren died on March 19 of an apparent heart attack.
The Board meeting that considered this appointment was not advertised as required by the State’s Open Meetings Act (48 hours prior to the meeting) on the County website, which is maintained by a full-time employee. In fact, the website stated that there were “No Upcoming Meetings Scheduled.” The purpose of the agenda is to allow the public to prepare and make public comment on those issues that concern them. The appointment of a State’s Attorney is very consequential. This item was not included on a legally posted agenda 48 hours prior to the meeting. This appointment is not in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
The previous State’s Attorney had “conflicts of interest” which prevented him from pursuing cases involving Nauvoo officials, and had a poor record of prosecuting sex offenders in Nauvoo. Citizens would like to ensure that whoever is considered for this position is free from conflicts, intends to enforce the law, and will be tough on sexual abuse of children. Perhaps Rachel Mast is the right person, but this decision must be made with citizen involvement, in a legal manner.
In apparent disregard for the statute, Hancock County Board President Delbert Kreps said that Rachel Mast was appointed Tuesday night in the County Board Meeting. She was scheduled to be sworn in at 9am Wednesday morning.
openNauvoo has filed a request for the Attorney General’s Office to review this case, and to invalidate all actions taken at this improper meeting.