MADISON COUNTY, Ill. — The Madison County Board has voted to take hiring privileges away from Chairman Kurt Prenzler. Voters and board members attended the special meeting Wednesday night.

“I obviously disagreed with it,” Prenzler told FOX 2. “I think the voters elected me to do the job of county chairman.”

The board voted 19-6 to remove Prenzler’s ability to hire or fire county employees without the board’s permission. Board members said this is partly due to lawsuits involving former county employees that have cost taxpayers money.

“His performance has been abysmal, and I think it speaks for itself. There are hires that brought lawsuits on the county, and taxpayers are subject for,” said Rick Faccin, a former board member who attended the meeting. “I’d say there’s a lot of emotion in the room people are fed up with what’s going on out there.”

However, many people like Kelly Harris in the room came in support of Prenzler. Harris questioned if the process tonight was legal.

“I would’ve liked to have a say. Seventy thousand voters voted for Kurt. We would like to believe he would make the right decision. So, I believe that needs to come back to the votes,” Harris said.

Madison County Democratic Party Chair Randy Harris released a statementing, saying in part: “This is nothing new, the only thing that changed, some of these Republican Board members lost an election, now they’re asking the Democrats to help them.”

Prenzler, who is a Republican, said he believes this is a political attack from the board.

“I think the timing of it really speaks volumes. We, just in Illinois, had a primary and June 28, and I indeed endorsed county board candidates who were challenging incumbents,” said Prenzler. “I will remain fighting for the taxpayers. I think we’re heading into difficult waters in the economy, and a lot of things are causing a lot of uncertainty. And I will continue to listen to it and work for the people of Madison County.”

The board is also planning for another meeting to vote on installing a chairman pro tem, who if voted in will serve as a vice-chairman and take over some of Prenzler’s duties.