Channahon Village President Joe Cook Defends Credit Card Charges

Channahon Village President Joe Cook calls accusations 'a bold-faced lie.'

At the regular Village Board meeting Monday night, addressed charges on a village credit card that were highlighted in a article last week.

He explained that the "steak dinner" referenced in the Tribune's report was actually a meet-and-greet for potential police chief candidates when the village was looking to fill the vacant position now held by Channahon Police Chief Joe Pena.

Cook told those in attendance Monday that his card is used as the default credit card for the village, so any village function, like the meet-and-greet that was held at , would be paid for on his card.

Regarding the multiple limo trips to the airport, he said again, those trips were for all those in the village and he expressed his dislike of limos.

"I don't like limos," he said. "When you're my size, getting in and out of a limo is not easy."

During the public comment portion of the meeting, a woman in the audience asked about the , saying he opened a can of worms into his personal life by addressing the village credit card issue. She asked him to comment on the case.

"I certainly will not comment on it and I did not open a can of worms," he said.

Check back with Channahon-Minooka Patch later this week for a more in-depth story about village credit card charges.

Jon C October 04, 2011 at 10:45 AM
I mean this comment out of all due to respect to the trustees of this village and my friend's and neighbors of this community. I am absolutely appauled and shocked that we are not asking Joe Cook to resign as President of the Village of Channahon. When we vote somebody into office, just as we voted Joe Cook into office, we entrust these individuals with great responsibility and assume that they will be good stewarts of the taxpayers money. In the case of Joe Cook - how do we trust him? He is being accused of not paying his income taxes, has what I believe to be questionable charges related to his village credit card, and has the nerve to come back and say that we need more revenue, so let's put on a communications tax for those residing and doing business in this town. Let's face it: People make mistakes. But make no mistake here: Joe Cook is not somebody that I want leading the town that I live in and call home.
Christine October 04, 2011 at 12:24 PM
I agree. If Joe Cook needs to impress potential candidates by blowing taxpayer money on extravagant dinners, then that candidate isn't for Channahon. We aren't an endless stream of free money. Have some common sense and respect for the people that pay for that stuff.
Average Joe October 04, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Agreed! Do we have access to all his credt card receipts to see what he did spend during his time as Mayor? When is the next Village meeting?
Christine October 04, 2011 at 12:40 PM
If you are talking about Wayne Chesson, he spent $500 over SIXTEEN YEARS on the village credit card. If you are talking about Cook, he spent $36,000. Rather a larger difference. And frankly, it doesn't matter if the village employees agreed that the dinner was a great idea. Joe is the Village President and should set a frugal example. Spendthrifts are out. Frugal is in.
Opinionated October 04, 2011 at 01:15 PM
It would be one thing if his spending was conducive to creating new jobs or bringing new business to town legally. There has been little growth in Channahon since I have been a resident. Meanwhile Minooka continues to grow and adapt. What has Joe Cook done to make Channahon competitive and bring new business to town to lower the resident's tax burden?
Christine October 04, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Discussing my difference of opinion does not make me disrespectful.
Christine October 04, 2011 at 01:33 PM
And, I know how much Wayne spent because it was in the Tribune. And of course there's someone to blame. Did the money spend itself?
Christine October 04, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Actually, several businesses have left Channahon. Rent and taxes are too high. One moved to Morris and I don't know where the others went.
Average Joe October 04, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Just release the $36,000 and see where it was spent, should be simple if there is nothing to hide. Seems to me that people tend to spend more when they are not picking up the tab themselves......and since this Mayor lacks the ethics to pay his own taxes, maybe we should worry a bit about what he is doing.
Tim October 04, 2011 at 04:05 PM
What is most concerning to the residents is not the amount of money spent(although that is concerning as well). What is most concerning, is the way this mayor and police chief have responded to this with the attitude that they are wasting their time having to explain such things to the 'little people'. They are coming off with an attitude that they know better than you, and they are wrong in this. It is absolutely disgusting what this town has become after I moved out a few years ago. I expected it to get worse, which is why I left, but to see the absolute train-wreck of the pair of dueling banJoe's (Cook and Pena) and what they have destroyed in just a few short years is nothing short of astounding.
Jennifer October 04, 2011 at 06:01 PM
I am also surprised that no one is asking for a recall. I am glad to FINALLY see something written about this in a local source instead of having to read everything in the Tribune. I don't care what he and the trustees are spending $36,000 on, that is too much money in itself. They need to act like responsible adults and be conservative when it comes to spending the taxpayer's money, and not run out and have steak dinners and limo rides...those things are not necessary ESPECIALLY in a time when people are losing jobs and homes. I want to see a recall election. I've been researching and there needs to be a petition and signatures from residents...most of all there needs to be ORGANIZATION. Alone, nothing will get done, but if enough people who are sick of seeing their taxes go to Joe Cook's community steak dinners get together, maybe some changes can actually be made. For the amount of taxes I pay here as a resident, I would AT LEAST expect the main road to not be full of pot holes and maybe have a grocery store. Minooka definitely is leaps ahead of Channahon. And yes Joe Cook, you ran for a public office. You need to start answering to the public. I have a feeling this $36,000 is only the tip of the iceberg.
Jennifer October 04, 2011 at 06:19 PM
I would have hoped that someone who was elected to be the mayor of a town was already educated enough to know that he would be held responsible by taxpayers if they found out he was spending too much of their tax money. Also, what kind of "education" is he getting out there in Las Vegas, with "$500 extra money" the was asked for and approved by other village employees? He certainly hasn't been schooled in the area of paying your taxes and your child support or the government will come after you. No one with financial problems should be given access to public funds EVER.
Sandy October 05, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Where was the full attention of the elected Village Board members when the $36,000 worth of expenses were being approved? You would think they would have caught on a lot sooner or are they just a bunch of Mayoral "rubber stamps"?
Christine October 05, 2011 at 11:54 AM
I think they just recently initiated an approval process for Joe Cook's expenses. Too little, too late.
Jim October 06, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Can anyone say coverup? Enough is enough disclose all receipts and let the Taxpayers decide if it is legit or not. We elected him we can replace him if he is in fact misusing Taxpayer funds. Why hasn't the Board put forth more questioning and demand the disclosure of all this. I know I would in a minute if there was any question of this. Or are they all in on it? I think we all want answers.
Joan October 12, 2011 at 04:54 PM
If I had to chose to believe a Chicago newspaper or our Mayor. I would go with our Mayor. I was put back by our former mayor's comments. Maybe he thinks everyone forgot about his sweetheart land deal and how his administrator didn't live in town and was the maid of honor in the Hunter's Crossing developer's wedding. Guess who had their business cards for insurance in all the model homes in Hunters?
Skb October 19, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Starting tomorrow I am not paying income or property taxes and if ingest divorced in the future,no child support either.ifnits ok for the boss it should be ok for me.ps does anyone know where I can get a village credit card?
Skb October 19, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Stickers October 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Now he is claiming hardship. Hoping for sympathy in court??? Time for this guy to go.


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