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UPDATE: Village Officials Hope for "Quick Resolution" to Cook's Federal Charges

A federal complaint filed this week against Village President Joe Cook says he did not report about $250,000 in income made between 2005 and 2008.

Channahon Village Manager and Police Chief Joe Pena said Channahon officials are aware of the federal charges filed earlier this week against .

"The Channahon Village Board is aware of the current allegations against Mayor Joe Cook concerning his personal finances and not being current with his taxes," Pena said in a written statement sent by the village Wednesday morning. "We are confident that the allegations will be responded to in an appropriate matter."

On Tuesday, , who they say failed to file federal taxes between 2005 and 2008.

"Even though the allegations have no direct bearing on village operations, we are hopeful for a quick resolution to the issue so that we can remain focused on providing quality services to our residents," Pena said in the news release.

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Pena said he did not know whether a misdemeanour charge could legally be grounds for removing an official from a village leadership position.

"My guess is if it would be something of moral turpitude," he said.

Pena referred the question to the Channahon Village Attorney Dave Silverman.

"The law says that you're unfit to hold office if you are convicted of purjury, bribery, felony or other infamous crime," Silverman said. "I don't think that a misdemeanour tax issue is an infamous crime."

Even though residents may be wanting to see the removal of a board member facing or convicted of a crime other than the above, they really have no legal recourse to do so, Silverman said.

Filed Monday, the complaint says Cook did not report about $250,000 in income made between 2005 and 2008. Of that, about $16,000 per year was made from his position as village president, broken down as follows:

  • $7,200 annually for work as village president
  • $720 annually for work as liquor commissioner
  • $4,052.64 annually to attend Committee of the Whole meetings
  • $4,052.64 annually to attend Village Board meetings
  • $168.86 per special meeting attended

Cook, who was as village president in April, has declined to comment on the charges.

Paula September 08, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Tell me please why Channahon board members run all businesses and development out of town as fast as they can but they won't run Joe Cook out? The small business owners and developers in Channahon are all treated like criminals when they are paying and paying and paying taxes. This town is doomed if something is not done about the property tax rates. Anyone been to a town hall meeting lately?????
Tim September 08, 2011 at 04:05 PM
The town is doomed already. It is just a matter of watching it all unfold now. While the courts may find the tax evasion scheme legal, what has already happened is that a LOT of companies have been spooked by the possibility of having their names revealed publicly that they are engaging in this activity. There will not be more companies coming to Channahon because of this event. There will be less, and serious questions will have to be answered within any company thinking of newly locating in Channahon in the future. Most of those answers will all be the same; 'Somewhere Else' If he cared about the residents and the village, he would resign immediately to remove the taint that he and his pals over in the police department have brought upon Channahon in the last few years.
trivialthings October 26, 2011 at 02:53 PM
NO? Then why does the complaint say he failed to report $250000.00 in income? I believe if he failed to REPORT the income he DID NOT pay taxes on it.
Tim October 26, 2011 at 05:58 PM
you are aware that Joe Cook IS a republican, right? Idiocy like this in the majority of the residents is why I moved out of Channahon in the first place. Selfish and ignorant residents, will elect selfish and ignorant leaders.
R.R.D. April 17, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I don't understand this tax scheme - sales tax incentive, sales tax agreement, sales tax evasion - process. If we have companies that can get a 6.5% (whatever it is) sales tax by going through a phantomlocation to 'pretend' they operate from within the community, how does this help the community? The company does not bring jobs to the community and causes our communities to give these companies up to 85% of the tax revenue? I am no loan shark genious, but I believe that getting the lower tax rate, and getting back a perhaps 5-10% return would be incentive enough. How can these communities launder money from companies that don't exist here, and then give those same companies up to 85% of our tax dollars raised back to them. We need the 85% to build our roads, fiber, technology parks, farm land,improve our rivers, quality of life, schools, etc. I don't understand how a company can go to a broker, sign an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper, and then take our 85% money away from us. What happened to our communities working together to bring businesses to the community by way of building fiber technology and utilizing our land to benefit companies that wish to come down here to AVOID paying higher taxes elsewhere. Someone explain this to me like I'm a fifth grader... cause if your smarter than a fifth grader, I'd have to see it to believe it.

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