UCCI Legal Opinions



Access to Legal Opinion Letters is available to the Chair and/or the Chair's designee of all member counties.

County Boards can face any number of questions, challenges and uncharted dilemmas while performing their duties and responsibilities to the citizens of their communities; and, the first person they turn to for guidance and legal advice ... and, rightfully so ... is their State’s Attorney.  However, on occasion the need arises for assistance over and above the legal advice of their State’s Attorney.  United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI) offers to its member counties, at no cost, the assistance of UCCI legal counsel, Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., retained for the purpose of examining a specific legal issue or question confronting a county and their officials, the answer to which is believed to have a general benefit to all of the membership.

This service is a benefit of membership in UCCI, and is available to the Chair and/or the Chair’s designee of all member counties.  UCCI legal counsel does not represent UCCI member counties, or their officers, and only offers these opinions as general explanations of the legal issues identified in its opinion.  Counties should always consult their State’s Attorney regarding any legal issues or decisions facing their county.

Requests for assistance with legal issues or questions must be submitted by the Chair and/or the Chair’s designee, in writing, to UCCI.   



  • Appointed Assessor Compensation
  • Are County Elected Officials eligible to receive premium pay from American Rescue Plan (ARPS)/State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) funds
  • Removal of Board Member due to residency
  • Due to COVID-19 bars are closed until further notice ... Can their liquor licenses be extended the number of days they are required to be closed
  • If a Township has previously approved a prohibition against sales at retail of alcoholic liquor, may the County override the prohibition
  • Authority of Sheriff to restrict access to portions of courthouse
  • Whether it is permissible for a County to pay employee compensation for security guards from the Tort Liability Fund
  • What criteria should a County Board consider when determining whether to release closed meeting minutes for public inspection
  • Whether it is permissible after returning to open session from a closed session to simply "make a motion as discussed in closed session" or does the motion have to be more specific
  • Conflict of Interest of County Board Member Involving Private Employment
  • What governmental unit inherits the duties if a municipality dissolves its police department
  • Whether a conflict of interest exists where an elected county sheriff is simultaneously employed as a municipal police officer by a city within the county
  • Is a Municipality required to have a County's permission to establish an Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA)
  • May a County modify its budget after presentation to the public, but before final adoption
  • Whether the appointment of a municipal police officer to a County Sheriff's Merit Commission is permissible under the Counties Code
  • Registration for Addressing the County Board at Public Meetings
  • Whether a County Board may impose an increase to Public Safety Tax by more than a one-quarter percent increment
  • Whether a County Board may mandate that all departments, including those of elected officials, require their employees to complete performance evaluations
  • Whether the Chairman of a County Board of Commissioners possesses authority to bind a county contractually without advice and consent of the rest of the Board
  • Combining PTELL and Sales Tax Referendum Questions
  • Requirements for County Advisory Referenda
  • Do counties have to comply with the zoning process of a municipality; and, if not, does the exemption extend to county property that the county intends to lease to a third party on a short-term basis
  • Whether a County Board may hire, as opposed to appoint, the same individual to serve both as the county animal administrator and the county zoning officer
  • Authority of a County to Collect a Fee on behalf of a Municipality
  • Circuit Clerk Vacancy & Salary Reduction ... Can the County Board lower the salary of the person it appoints to fill the office of Circuit Clerk
  • Under what circumstances may a county board increase or decrease the number of county board members
  • When may a County change the compensation of their respective elected officers
  • Are Counties required to hold more than one public meeting regarding their proposed budgets prior to taking final action to adopt such budgets
  • Hiring Office Worker ... Appointment of County Office Administrator
  • County Borrowing to Refund Bonds
  • Employee Health Insurance Compensation Programs ... Can an employer provide compensation to eligible employees who opt out of the employer’s health insurance coverage? If so, can an employer provide this benefit to qualified employees who are also elected officials
  • Authority of a County Board to Rescind an Appointment
  • Best Practices for having County Board Appointment Information Online
  • Authority of County Boards to Control the Expenditures of County Officers
  • Exceeding Appropriations ... to what extent are officials permitted to exceed their annual appropriation
  • What recourse does the County Board have if an elected official exceeds their annual budget allocation
  • When may the compensation of a County Board Member, including the Chairman, be changed or altered
  • Provision of Non-Emergency Dispatch and Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) to Municipalities
  • Compensation of Committees of the County Board
  • Voting on multiple resolutions
  • County-wide Electronic Cigarette Ban
  • County Employees Under the Affordable Care Act ... Who is considered a full-time employee of the county
  • Leasing county property to private entity
  • Non-Home Rule County Lease ... may a non-home rule county enter into a contract to lease a public building to an ambulance provider for a term exceeding two years
  • Use of volunteers and/or prison inmates to perform work for counties - Coverage under Workers' Compensation Act
  • Term of County Board Chairman
  • County's authority over hog confinement
  • Can a county that has created a County Housing Authority, pursuant to Section 3 of the Housing Authorities Act, increase the number of commissioners from five to seven
  • May a county legally gift county property to a charitable organization that has received tax exempt status pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
  • Necessary requirements for sale of county nursing home
  • Is the tort immunity levy exempt from the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL)
  • Overweight vehicle violations – distribution of money received from fine
  • Can a county charge a convenience fee for transactions paid with a credit card
  • Public Act 100-0001 ... Bail Reform Act of 2017
  • Federal Dollars to Counties ... Whether a county may request that federal pass-through dollars be paid directly to the county without having to go through the State first