Why the rush for the exit?

June 19, 2013 

Bob Delaney, the St. Clair County clerk from 1999 until Wednesday, said there's no basis to a sexual harassment/racial discrimination complaint against him. Maybe not, but something must be up for him to resign with less than 24 hours notice. Fast-food workers give more notice than that.

"The lawsuit is the last straw. It's becoming a bloodsport," Delaney said. He didn't elaborate, but we're guessing that's a reference to the St. Clair County Democratic Party.

It's no secret that he butted heads with party Chairman Bob Sprague on multiple occasions. Delaney in his farewell statement referred to himself as an "independent candidate," not a Democrat, and talked about how tough it was to get anything done in the county courthouse. That tells you how far out of grace he'd fallen.

Delaney thought he'd patched things up in February when he resigned as head of the Caseyville Township Democratic organization and as the elected 12th Precinct committeeman. He believed that doing that would persuade the party to support him for re-election in 2014.

Maybe the complaint against him and the findings of the county's equal employment opportunity officer -- that Delaney regularly made racist and sexist remarks, among other offenses -- was the last straw for the party. If Delaney had been viewed as a loyal soldier, would the party have protected him regardless?

Delaney's abrupt resignation doesn't end this story; it just raises more questions.

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