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An attorney for Evanston’s former community services manager, Kevin Brown, says Brown plans file complaints with state and federal agencies challenging his dismissal.

Shawn Jones, in a news release issued this morning, claims the dismissal was based on “illegal retaliation and discrimination.”

Jones concedes in the release that Brown, as a non-union supervisory worker, was an “at will” employee who could be dismissed at any time for any reason.

And he concedes that Brown was warned three times in emails over a two-year span not to let his staff park in the visitor section of the Civic Center parking lot against city policy.

But he argues that termination was an excessive penalty for the offense and attacks Interim City Manager Erika Storlie, who dismissed Brown, saying that despite numerous comments from residents supporting Brown, she “could not be budged from her hard line, disproportionate and devastating disciplinary stance.”

Jones says Brown will file his complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.


Brown complaining about his proposed reassignment at an OPAL Evanston meeting in October 2018.

Brown previously drew attention in 2018 when he publicly objected to a plan by then City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz to transfer him from his existing position to head a new Elevate Evanston workforce development program that had been proposed by Mayor Steve Hagerty.

In the face of public opposition Brown generated, Bobkiewicz ultimately dropped the plan to shift Brown’s assignment.

Related stories

Should city workers have to pay their parking tickets? (11/16/19)

Activists object to human services cuts (10/19/18)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Complaining

    The caption under the picture sums up Mr. Brown well, “Brown complaining”. I worked with him for years and that is all he did was complain. Mostly about having to do his own work, which he always thought was beneath him. He critiques staff but offers no solutions and threatens co-workers when he doesn’t get his way. He’s a bully. Unfortunately the current political climate has so many blindly running to his defense. Happy to see that someone finally got tired of his ways and held him accountable after so many years of sweeping things under the rug to avoid political fall out. 

    1. Brown to challenge dismissal
      In this season of peace, I want to wish the residents of our fabulous community peace, love, and joy. I am proud of our work with local nonprofits and Evanston PD that helped to reduce crime in our City committed by 16 to 24 year olds by 219%. I am also proud of the work of our great team at the City that helped increase summer employment for our young people by 246%. Today, every teen in Evanston who wants to work can. I think that is so positive. I worked with a great team and great people to accomplish some pretty remarkable things for our community and our children. I hope that the work will continue. The arc of the universe is bending toward justice. In Peace.

      Kevin Brown

      1. Wasting Our Tax Dollars

        Kevin Brown, 

        If these statements by your lawyer are true, please go peacefully and do not waste more tax payer money. That waste will impact those you are trying to help. 

        • Jones concedes in the release that Brown, as a non-union supervisory worker, was an “at will” employee who could be dismissed at any time for any reason.
        • And he concedes that Brown was warned three times in emails over a two-year span not to let his staff park in the visitor section of the Civic Center parking lot against city policy.

        I’m not sure why you or any city employee would not discourage city employees to park illegally, then pay for the tickets they receive using city funds. As an Evanston resident and tax payer, your message of peace seems self serving more than peaceful. IF you have a case with the City, then deal with the City. Don’t pull in residents who do not have and cannot have a full picture of your performance. 

        Please do not waste any more tax payer dollars.

      2. Kevin Brown Needs To Go!

        I’m sick of Kevin Brown’s supporters giving him credit for all the great work the program accomplished. This was absolutely IN SPITE of Mr. Brown. He was a horrible manager and the city is much better off without him. His supporters have never worked for him and have no idea about the culture of arrogance and incompetence he created during his tenure. The only reason he was employed as long as he was, was because the former Mayor and former City Manager looked the other way at the many complaints lodged against him for fear of retaliation, exactly what’s happening here. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with incompetence. This spoken a person of color myself. Bye Kevin Brown. Please stay gone. 

      3. As a former manager with the

        As a former manager with the City, when you are willfully insubordinate, as Brown was, you are given a “last chance agreement”.  You are asked to acknowledge the wrong doing and commit to stopping the action(s).  Brown has stated he REFUSED to sign this document, therefore he was out of a job.  He walked out of a meeting and threatened legal action, if you think this was the first time that happened, you’d be wrong.  This is his MO and probably why the current managers let his behavior go for so long as the former leadership allowed him to play these games with zero consequence.  His arrogance will cost the tax payers and yet so many are blindly encouraging him.

        And those numbers he keeps touting, inflated as hell.  Youth and Young Adult was moved into Parks and Recreation prior to Brown’s arrival.  At that point, leadership within that division mandated that all the summer staff, typically independently hired by Recreation employees, must go through the Job Fair put on by the Youth and Young Adult Division.  This means that all those summer camp counselors and lifeguard staff that were always hired anyway were now being included in Brown’s numbers.   As the need for summer camps has increased so have Brown’s numbers, to no work of his own. But as another poster comments, he’s more than willing to take the credit.

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