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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.

Christine September 01, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Mr. Cook's "situation" may be a "personal problem" but a portion of the money we're talking about is tax payer money. •$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 He needs to openly address it. It's not like he forgot to claim dividends from some stock he forgot he owned. He neglected to claim money we paid him, as well as other income.
Mike Rudy September 01, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Mr Cook needs to step down immediately. This situation is his own doing and what makes him think he can skate by and not file or pay taxes? This "our" money. A public official who handles his personal business like this illegally.......Plain and simple he broke the law........he has no longer has the intergity or credibility to lead the Village of Channahon..........and really is an embarassment to the town since you KNOW the rest of the state of Illinois is laughing at us........ Sorry Joe...........nothing personal BUT...........A public official does NOT break the law and maintain credibility or trustworthiness.
SAMMY September 01, 2011 at 10:52 PM
ITS NOT THAT JOE COOK DIDNT PAY TAXES ON HIS INCOME
Christine September 01, 2011 at 10:56 PM
"... failed to file federal taxes between 2006 and 2008." That means since he didn't report the income, so he didn't pay taxes on it. If there is some way to pay tax on money you didn't report, please enlighten me.
SAMMY September 01, 2011 at 11:01 PM
have you ever received a paycheck that did not have federal taxes taken out???
Christine September 01, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Yes, actually I have. Independent contractors do not have any taxes taken out. Joe Cook worked as a consultant (read Ind, Contractor). Read the article.
Earnan Drummann September 02, 2011 at 01:54 AM
Anybody can buy Turbotax at Walmart cheap--it's been available for a LONG TIME. Or it can be downloaded from a website and filed online. For the life of me I'm having trouble understanding how anyone, ANYONE, could not file their tax return. Everybody knows it has to be done every year. Even if it contains mistakes that's better than not filing at all. Joe--did you file your tax returns? If not, why not? Do you never read the CNN or Fox News Blogs warning people of the April 15 deadline? You need to talk to us about this and end your silence. Either you filed or not. Yes or no?
John Krenkel September 02, 2011 at 01:58 AM
I really wish people would stop saying Joe Cook is a good mayor. He is a mayor of a small town 15 minutes from Joliet. He flew under the radar long enough. Our town has empty strip malls galore, vacant homes galore and high property taxes. I agree with one of the comments above; when a personal tax problem involves public money for a job he was elected to do, he not only broke laws, he broke the peoples trust. The right thing to do is to be accountable. He did not miss one year of filings, he missed 4. And I am certain they just have not been able to catch up on 2009 and 2010 yet. What a joke!
Jim Devereux September 02, 2011 at 05:06 AM
John you very well could be right about 2009 and 2010. The IRS typically runs at least 2 years behind. What I would like to know is why in the application process to run for Village President was there no red flags for missing tax returns. After the gaffe with one of Obama's appointees you would think that our governing bodies would be checking this closely for people running for office. I know Cook won re-election rather easily, but had this come up before the election I'm assuming the outcome would have been quite different if he was allowed to run at all.
SAMMY September 02, 2011 at 08:30 AM
I understand that an independent contractor filing a 1099 the article reads also about his "HUGE" $16,000 income of being YOUR public servant also other articles noted his job in will county . I really don't think that this a matter that is needed to be addressed by him to you...you dont see anything "suspicious" this coming at the heels of the RTA situation?? The way i figure at least he didnt take any handouts or bribes to pay his personal debt!!! Joe Cook is a good mayor and as many politicians make personal sacrifices to meet the needs of the people they serve. Jim I see you are new to the community that according to your profile you like....this community was built and maintained by those elected officials as well as the people who live in it...Joe Cook has been an elected as a trustee/mayor since his early 20's ....he is still deserving of the respect if only for his commitment to his community over the past 2 decades!!! Let's not make assumptions that because this is been so sensationalized in the media that there is not any exceptions or reasoning as to why this happened. obama didn't come up with documentation of his citizenship till just recently???? Questioned about it before he was elected and still won....Rahm not even a resident in Chicago but was able to "strong arm" the courts board of elections into allowing him to be on the ballot he also won his election so really no i dont think this would have cost Joe the election....just my opinion...thanks
Tim September 02, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I'm sure when the investigations come out about the business tax-evasion going on with the consent and encouragement of Channahon, some more things will be revealed. You can say that he has never taken kickbacks... for certain? That would be an incredible rarity for an official who is involved in a tax evasion scheme. This is just the tip of the iceberg, things are going to get much more interesting for this 'good mayor' in the very near future.
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 10:25 AM
@ tim yes i CAN say that!!! And will stand by my words.FOR CERTAIN!!!!
Tim September 03, 2011 at 02:07 PM
You are attempting to defend tax dodgers, not just avoidance of their personal taxes, but the taxes they sit on the boards of villages controlling what OTHERS pay. Your 'word' is not what you think it is. How many residents of Channahon actually know that this little tax stunt the village pulled with giving businesses a place to hold fake addresses is actually costing them MORE taxes? Do any of them have a clue how finance works, or are they just being bamboozled by the cult of personality of the mayor? Hey, it's your money. I'm only railing against the lack of ethics and professionalism present in ALL levels of Channahon govt. The actual residents will have decades of negative growth to deal with, and unless they put a stop to it, decades of increasing taxes to make up the shortfalls every year as people as businesses leave Channahon. The administration is trying to raise taxes to provide MORE services, for a town that has seen a massive exodus of residents and businesses. And you think he is a 'good mayor'? You will get exactly what you deserve then.
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:09 PM
@ Tim you seem to "think" you know exactly what is at the case at hand...when indeed i know that you do not!!! How long have you been a resident in Channahon??? The past administration is what caused the enormous tax hike..nice people, but Hunters crossing is what got us in this situation to begin with ..the lots were too small which was going to cause overcrowding in the schools....not oppose to the neighborhod or the people ....Joe as well as others were opposed to such small lots ....the past mayor let it go through and for that obtained land adjacent to it!!! Not to mention false police reports that were filed to save his families face!!!!
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Joe Cook goes to Springfield to fight for his community and the services in it!!!! If you think you know whats really going please keep me informed because i have an answer for everything....an honest educated answer at that!! Tax stunt huh??? You can blame the democrats in chicago and their followers who sit around holding hands singing kumbaya praising our anit-american president we have in office!!! for the cost of this ....they strong arm those to get $$$ in their pockets....i've never seen anything in the media about Rainbow Push coming to Channahon to help those who cant pay their electric bill??? Joe Cook has a "cult" really?? probably because it does things for those in town that no otheer mayor would think of doing newspaper...one morning on my way to work @4:30 i seen him and another trustee bailing water from the ditches all by themselves with buckets alongside route 6 so that people in that neighborhood get get out of their subdivisions...Really!!! I'm not making this up...from then on out he will continue to have my vote!!! *IMPORTANT REMINDER: WE ARE IN A RECESSION!!! This is economic situation across the country ...is Joe really to blame for this???
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:11 PM
When you are more enlightened on the facts feel free to leave another comment im about through having a battle of wits with an unarmed person!!!!
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:15 PM
DEMOCRATIC FACT… On November 4, 1992 – the night after Bill Clinton​ had been elected President –Rahm Emanuel and other campaign aids convened for a celebratory dinner. At one point in the evening, the discussion turned to the topic of certain individuals who, in the estimation of Emanuel and his cohorts, had somehow betrayed the Clinton cause. One such person was Nathan Landow, a fundraiser who had backed the candidacy of Clinton’s Democrat rival Paul Tsongas​. Another was William Donald Schaefer​, the Democrat governor of Maryland who had endorsed Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush​. In a fit of anger, Emanuel, wielding a steak knife, stood up amidst his dinner companions and proceeded to stab the table repeatedly, screaming: “Nat Landow! Dead!… Bill Schaefer​! Dead!…” On another occasion, the tempestuous Emanuel mailed a 30-inch decomposing fish to a pollster who had annoyed him.
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:31 PM
*** HEADLINES OF CHICAGO TRIBUNE DAY AFTER CHANNAHON/KANKAKEE STORY ....Airlines avoid city sales tax United, American subsidiaries legally save millions a year by routing fuel purchases through small Illinois town Please take time to read couldnt put up link!!!! sorry
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 05:35 PM
august 24th paper....coincidence???? i dont think so!!!! Vote republican 2012 to get some of our change back!!!!!!!!!
Tim September 03, 2011 at 07:49 PM
wow. the crazy is out in full force here. What does any of your rambling posts have to do with the federal subpoenas issued against your mayor, and him standing here today facing multiple misdemeanor charges? Other than proving a duplicitous personality that will shake your hand with one hand, and stab your back with the other. Overcrowded schools have nothing to do with the village. The school district is completely separate taxing body that has nothing at all to do with sales tax collections. And you think you have an educated opinion? I have time on my side as the rest of the details, and further charges come out in public the future, and I know you do not. In your mind, this stream of unrelated posts of yours is easing your mind, because it is the only way you know how to defend this, by attempting to distract others from the main point entirely. ex-girlfriends talk... and more importantly ex-accountants who leave instead of filing false tax reports for the mayor, talk. You want to talk coincidence? How about the coincidence that the mayors personal accountant who used to do his taxes stopped doing them in 2005... coincidentally, the same year these tax 'problems' started.
Tim September 03, 2011 at 09:05 PM
What in the world are you talking about? "cult of personality" is a phrase often used in politics, and those who find themselves in the public eye. It does not mean he has a cult. Is this the first time you have been exposed to this phrase? Are you asking if Joe is to blame for not filing his tax returns? The answer is yes, and it doesn't matter if it is a recession or not. While you may consider yourself educated, I can assure you that nobody else who sees the use of 'I seen' in a sentence, or the use of multiple consecutive punctuation marks, would put you in the educated category.
SAMMY September 03, 2011 at 11:08 PM
???????? ex -girlfriends, ex-accountants?????? so you have been educated on this issue from idle gossip????? ......gotta run real quick Tim I'll respond soon....I have more to post..
Tim September 03, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Hopefully you will read the information contained in the subpoenas, before you post again and see for yourself how these charges were originated. I would hardly call what is contained in them to be 'gossip'. We all look forward to your continued posting of amusing strings of punctuation marks, without any actual facts on this issue.
Missy September 04, 2011 at 06:53 AM
What? What? If that were me NOT filing taxes I'd have been thrown in jail long ago. Get some new blood in this town, have the city fathers allow new businesses to come in, lower the taxes and get all the fat-cats out of office. No justice for the lowly. I'm part of the lowly. We all need help. Go Get Mr. Cook!
John Krenkel September 04, 2011 at 01:13 PM
Good God I love the Tea Party talking points. Rahm Emanunal wishes someone dead in 1992. Obama is an illegal president who could not product a birth certificate. Rahm was not a resident of Chicago therefore it was illegal for him to run and hold mayorship. Hey maybe Joe feels filing taxes is un-American. We can rant about what the current administration vs previous administrations accomplished. Channahon has a board of trustees for a specific reason, so a mayor cannot just push his own agenda through. Hunter's Crossing lot sizes had to be approved by the board first before the mayor can approve it. Kohl's wanted to build on the lot at Rt 6 and Ridge - FAILED - signed an agreement with Morris.... Target wanted to build at the same intersection - FAILED - Menards, same deal - Built in Morris. Jewel looked at the location but instead chose Minooka. All of this under Cook's awesome leadership. I guess we can be thankful that we have a McDonald's and Pizza hut. And on top of that, they are looking at new revenue streams (Utility tax and telecommunication tax)
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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