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Forensic Accountant to Audit County Board Pay

Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis announced he's hiring a Palos Heights-based firm.

Eric Weis is hiring a Palos Heights-based forensic accountant to review county board members’ meeting pay since December 2008.

will review meeting minutes, board rules and related state statutes, payroll information and pay vouchers, which are documents board members submit requesting pay for individual meetings. Weis discussed the audit with county board members Tuesday morning and announced he would seek the special review without a board vote.

Prosecutors commonly rely on forensic audits for cases involving allegations of financial crimes, but generally an outside entity has paid for and completed the audit before prosecutors are involved, Weis said.

“This is a board matter,” Weis said. “I wanted to make sure the board had an opportunity to make their comments and understand that there would be an expense.”

when long-time county board member Anne Vickery claimed fellow board member Dan Koukol had improperly sought – and received – payment for about 50 meetings since he was seated in December 2010. Vickery did not receive a Republican nomination for re-election in the primary election.

Since then, County Board Koukol was improperly paid for three meetings since June 2011. Unlike Vickery, Purcell believes Koukol was justified in seeking payment for meetings related to his chairmanship of the county board’s Economic Development Committee, such as meetings with other local economic development organizations.

The forensic accountant will review payments surrounding all 10 county board members from December 2008 to June 1. Weis had suggested an audit of the past three years, which he estimated would cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but some county board members pushed for a longer audit.

Koukol suggested going back eight years, while board member Bob Davidson suggested going back four. Board member Jessie Hafenrichter thought that was too long.

“This is getting a little out of hand,” Hafenrichter said. “I’d just about (prefer) we’d all chip in and pay back whatever anyone thinks is owed.”

Czurylo’s firm had estimated a three-year audit would take three months after the firm received the relevant paperwork. The auditor’s findings will be reported to Weis, who would use them in connection with any investigation.

Recent Kendall County Board candidate with Weis’ office, seeking a criminal investigation of Koukol's pay, and of Purcell for allegedly conspiring with Koukol.

Tim June 23, 2012 at 04:48 PM
what was sexist, Todd? You can't help overlaying your own private thoughts onto others, and then blaming them for it, can you? Did you automatically think 'man', when I instead clearly and explicitly said 'people'? Once again, you are lashing out at others for your own misunderstanding of something. You failed to answer the question Todd. Are you going to demand Anne Vickery pay back ANY payments that she approved as head of the finance committee, if they are found invalid? Anne herself said she was 'holding onto this information' long before the two of you started this after you lost. She is basically admitting she was approving what she thought were fraudulent payouts the whole time, in order to use after she lost the election. Remember, Vickery told the SA in her signed letter, that she thought the solution was for Mr. Koukol to pay back the amount he owed. But when Mr. Koukol offered to do this on the spot during a board meeting, Vickery told him that was 'not necessary'. The only 'parallel and coordinated attempt' at anything, is between you and Vickery to play political games with the taxpayers money as retribution for losing the primary election.
Todd Milliron June 23, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Travis, All County Board (except the Chairman) members receive a small salary equally. I have been attending KCB meetings for around 5 years. There are certain KCB members that are assigned to more KCB committees than other KCB members. Some way had to be put in the board rules to account for the volume of work or number of committee assignments for each board member and that is the “per diem, which is currently limited to $85 per one full day, it does not matter if one board member does attend more than one committee meeting(s) and/or a full KCB meeting(s) that day, that KCB member is still only entitled to only one $85 per diem for that entire day’s collective meetings held and attended by that KCB member. It is my educated guess that a prior board in years past decided that each KCB member should be compensated based upon the amount of Committee work and /or full board meeting work they do or were assigned. Some KCB members do more work than others. Those that do have the favorable work schedule or have the time, are assigned or can be assigned to do more KCB committees than their peers that have time constraints. Your question about the objective, is it to "serve the County Board well" or is it to "serve the Taxpayers well?" I think it is was both and it worked well until Mr. Koukol was elected.
Todd Milliron June 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Jay, Your recollection is absolutely correct regarding my reply to the question about taking KCB member Health insurance benefits. My wife is a FULL-TIME employee of a major corp for 28 years. We have always taken advantage of her employer’s health insurance because her employer does kick in and pays a good amount of the total health insurance premium for our family. If she would be severely injured or become really sick and lose her job, we would also lose that employer provided Health Insurance and then my family could also have a pre-existing condition precluding me from finding an individual Major Medical family policy for us, only then would I have applied to the county for health insurance. That is the reason I did not rule it out and provided the answer I did. To reply to your last question, the answer is a Good One. It is simple matter of what is more economical for my family, my wife's employer charges my family less than I could buy it for, even with/when the offset is considered for the commission I would be paid on that individual family policy. I assure you each year it is something we review when her company has their open enrollment period and tells us what the next/new year’s monthly premium will be. Health Insurance is something I do quite a bit of in my insurance business and I consider myself a Serviceman, not Salesman and you will know the difference when you have a significant claim.
Travis McGee June 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I'll wait for the results of the audit, but I'm not ready to agree with the statement that it worked well until Dan Koukol was elected as this does seem to reinforce Tim's argument that this whole thing is just singling out Dan Koukol. I have problems with the whole "honor system" concept and tend to believe that while Dan Koukol may be found to have abused the system, it is also very possible, as Board President Purcell has stated, others may have done so as well. The audit will answer this. I still think that the honor system of a per diem is rife for abuse. Perhaps a flat salary for a committee assignment would be more appropriate. If a committee meets for an hour, is it really worth a $90 payment multiplied by the number of board members on that committee? This seems excessive to me.
Todd Milliron June 24, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Travis, I'm sure the auditor will come up with some recommendations that will need to be considered and implemented. When I first ran for KCB in the early primary of 2008, I did my own review at that time, mainly regarding mileage submitted by KCB members in 2007. The board members I had mileage questions about were asked about my concerns and I did receive answers that were acceptable explanations for what was being charged for mileage submitted at that time. The KCB meeting minutes I did check for the meetings I was reviewing and that were held in 2007 (Landfill Hearing Days, weeks at a time) appeared to check out for the charges being turned in for KCB member meeting attendance at that time. I agree attending meetings is a core part of a county board members responsibilities, as well as watching and paying the bills, but I believe the prevalent thought by prior boards was to only to pay the board members that actually do attend authorized and assigned committee and board meetings, hence the per diem system which was based upon one's honor and trustworthiness to follow board rules as written.

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