ROCK ISLAND — Rock Island County Board member Cecilia O'Brien has resigned her seat, effective immediately.
O'Brien, who was elected in November 2016, submitted her resignation to board chairman Richard Brunk prior to Tuesday's board meeting.
Brunk will appoint someone to fill the remainder of O'Brien's term, set to expire November 2020. O'Brien, who represented District 10 in Moline, said she has made a recommendation to Brunk.
O'Brien said she was stepping down because the duties of her new job are a priority. She recently was hired by the Quad Cities Federation of Labor to serve as the liaison to United Way.
"I don't feel right sitting in the seat when I can't be as effective as I could be," O'Brien said. "With this job, my creativity is valued."
Following a closed session Tuesday night, O'Brien addressed the board.
"I told them I had some advice for them, that they should listen to the public about saving the courthouse," O'Brien said. "I really hope the courthouse gets saved. Sometimes you have to be brave and do the right thing."
O'Brien said she was upset with the level of involvement by some Rock Island County judges in the courthouse process.
"Some of the judges in our county, even though they are elected, feel they aren't accountable to anyone," O'Brien said. "Judges don't have to be retained in office. They need to take a step back if they continue to overstep their authority or press an agenda that is clearly outside their authority.
"I don't remember whose idea it was to build a new courthouse, but it is not appropriate to threaten a lawsuit to get your way, especially if you are a judge. I am adamantly upset and disappointed over the way some of these judges have behaved.
"That historic courthouse is beloved," O'Brien said. "The way it has been handled is upsetting. I would take the courthouse with Bedford stone any day over the county office building with soft, red bricks. When you go in that attic, it shakes."
O'Brien said she also advised board members to take the size of the county board down from 25 to 15.
Brunk did not return phone calls asking for comment.