DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – A heated exchange took place during Tuesday’s Vermilion County Board meeting as one member’s role as a committee leader hung in the balance.

“What portion of my statement is out of order, Mr. chairman?” Jerry Hawker asked during the meeting.

“I just told you, any accusations,” Board Chairman Larry Baughn responded.

WCIA-3 received tips that the full board would be voting on whether to remove Jerry Hawker from his position on the Health & Education Committee, which oversees the animal shelter. This comes after current shelter director Kasey Snyder filed a sexual harassment complaint against Hawker in December.

Baughn asked to hold the vote during executive session, but tension leading up to it could be felt by everyone in the room.

“She could be directing any shelter or any large organization in this country, but she chose Vermilion County. She chooses Vermilion County on a daily basis. It’s time for Vermilion County to choose her, to choose women,” one of the five supporters who went before the board and spoke up for Snyder during public comment said.

“She has led the team through investigations of some of the largest cruelty cases that the county has seen with successful prosecutions,” another speaker said.

One month ago, board member Kevin Green passed documents to his colleagues describing two sexual harassment complaints filed against fellow member, Jerry Hawker. One of them came from Snyder, who says she felt “singled out” by Hawker because she is a woman, and called a “little girl” in a December phone call with him.

“During that phone conversation, I did refer to Ms. Synder as ‘young lady.’ It is a common phrase that I use probably daily,” Hawker said Tuesday night.

Hawker denies most of the language used in the more than 20-page document. Primarily, the term “sexual harassment.”

“I have never met with her [Snyder] by myself,” he said. “I have talked to her on the phone no more than three or four times in the 2 1/2 years I’ve been on the board.”

Hawker began describing financial problems he says an auditor brought to him concerning Snyder. Baughn interrupted, saying any accusations made against Snyder or another employee during the meeting would be deemed out of order.

“This is information provided by the county auditor that her and I came to you [with] Mr. chairman… How is that out of order to advise the rest of the board?” Hawker asked.

Kevin Green did not speak during the agenda item for board member comments. One of the main concerns he raised during February’s board meeting was the potential for litigation to be brought against the county if the sexual harassment complaints aren’t addressed. It was brought up again Tuesday by a member of the public.

“If I were State’s Attorney, I would be very concerned about what happens if you don’t take reasonable action against credible accusations,” one man said during public comment.

Hawker asked his colleagues to be fair, saying he has not had due process.

Green confirmed the board voted to temporarily remove Hawker as Health & Education Committee chairman – not because of the sexual harassment complaints, but in case of potential future lawsuits.