November 13, 2011 · 0 Comments
Disclosure of Economic Interest
“I declare that this statement of economic Interest has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete statement of my economic interest as required by the Illinois Governmental ethics Act. I understand that the penalty for willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1000, or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment.”
As mentioned in part one of this multi-part series on revenue generation, the County Board Chairman has requested ideas on generating revenues and my suggestion of enforcing the law is the same.
Enforce the Laws on the Books!
I have 7 years of signed statements of Economic Interest for an elected official obtained from a Freedom of Information Request, of which only 2 disclose any economic interest. That leaves 5 years in which, according to the County Treasures records, an economic interest has been established because payments went out to this elected officials private business name and his personal name for services rendered. In fact, just the department he was elected to reflects a total of over $13,000.00 paid out during those non disclosed years. Even more was paid to this person from other divisions within the county and that information will be presented in upcoming stories.
The problem this person faces is the 5 statements filed are incomplete as they reflect the word “none” on each section of the form which means the person signing it claims there is no economic interest. It appears the penalty of $1000 could be applied to each of those 5 forms, thus potentially raising another $5,000.00 for the county.
Now the statute does outline willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine or imprisonment, however I by no means am insinuating there was a willful false filing but it’s pretty clear, considering the person is receiving money from the county regularly outside his elected capacity, it is willfully incomplete.
If we were to enforce the law we could potentially now place a total of $28,415.00 in the county funds based on part 1 and 2 of this multi-part story, assuming the state doesn’t take any of it.
Stay Tuned for Part 3 of Revenue Generation in Edgar County!
By Kirk Allen