BELLEVILLE — St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said Tuesday that he will resign Wednesday morning from the office he's been in since 1999.
"I will resign tomorrow at 9 a.m.," Delaney said.
His surprise announcement came the same day that a Clayton, Mo., lawyer, Thomas Kennedy, said that racial and sex discrimination and wrongful-discharge allegations made by a former female employee were "overwhelmingly" found to have merit. Kennedy said he could not provide a copy of a report or identify his client "at this time."
Delaney, 54, when asked why he intended to resign, said: "The lawsuit is the last straw. It's becoming a blood sport. This lawsuit is totally bogus ... I'm getting too old to fight all the time."
"It's tough to be an independent candidate. It's tough to get anything done in the St. Clair County Courthouse."
When asked if politics played a role in his decision to resign, Delaney declined to comment. He would have run for re-election in November 2014 if he wanted to stay in office.
State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said the woman who complained initially came to his office, but was referred to attorney Laura Beasley, who is the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer on behalf of the county's human resources department. Beasley conducted the investigation, Kelly said.
"As required by the personnel code, the findings of that investigation were forwarded to the complaining employee and the person about whom the complaint was made," Kelly said Tuesday night.
The complaint is not a criminal charge. Beasley could not be reached for comment.
"The lawsuit has no merit at all ... There was no sexual harassment between me and this woman," Delaney said. "It's just not fun anymore ... All I wanted to do is be the county clerk ... It's been a long time since I looked for a job. I'll be making some phone calls."
"I'm not going to put my wife and kids and employees through this. I am going to go out with my head held high."
Delaney, a Democrat, was appointed to the position in July 1999. He was last re-elected in 2010.
State law requires the County Board chairman picks someone to fill a vacancy in an elected county office, with approval from the County Board. The appointee must be from the same political party as the person who leaves the position.
County Board Chairman Mark Kern was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
For many years Delaney headed the Caseyville Democratic Committee but recently resigned that position as well as his elected position of Democratic precinct committeeman. At the time of these resignations, Delaney said that he hoped that by quitting politics in Caseyville it would stop any "silly rumors" that he was orchestrating a power grab.
He first began working for the county in 1979 as field crew supervisor in the assessor's office, and worked his way up to become office manager of the county clerk's office in 1994.