DuPage County

Tri-State Fire Protection District – Audit confirms our findings – Will there be criminal charges?

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

We see that DuPage County State’s Attorney charged a Winfield Fire Protection District person with felony forgery and official misconduct for what appears to be presenting a forged college diploma. (Daily Herald coverage here) Keeping that in mind, let’s look at what we believe may be an even worse case in DuPage County.

We wrote numerous articles on the Tri-State Fire Protection District regarding actions of the Chief and one of the Trustees.  You can review those articles at this link.

Now we have the audit that was performed and it pretty much validates everything we found and reported on as well as numerous other concerns.  For example:

“Although FSI submitted the highest initial bid to the RFP, TFPD ultimately chose FSI to provide the ambulances. FSI subsequently lowered its price (taking out of consideration the Stryker Power Loader) to a level similar to Alexis. Additionally, TFPD purchased a used ambulance from FSI (approximately $170,000) without a competitive bidding or RFP process.

Chief Mancione dealt primarily with Jeff LeBeda at FSI. However, it is known that TFPD Trustee Michael Orrico was an employee of FSI during this time period.

TFPD accepted the proposal of FSI and received a final invoice (for one ambulance) via email on November 14, 2014. Addenda to the September 29, 2014, contract were dated December 12, 2014.

On January 8, 2015, Jeff LeBeda at FSI communicated to Chief Mancione that he was speaking with Trustee Orrico regarding changes that needed to be made to one of the ambulances.

The price and specifications on the acquired ambulances changed several times during the process.  However, what did not change during this time was the fact that Trustee Orrico (an employee of FSI) filed State of Economic Interests forms with the County of DuPage that declared (from 2010-2015) that he had no conflicts of interest with his duties to TFPD. It should also be noted that Trustee Orrico appears to not have disclosed his affiliation with FSI during any TFPD board meetings in which he participated.

A review of the FSI website lists Jeff LeBeda as the Illinois sales manager and Mike Orrico as an Illinois sales representative (as of June 1, 2016)”

I outlined in great detail what appeared to be a class 4 Felony act in this article on that very topic.  I am pleased to see what we found for free has been validated by auditors that probably charged ten’s of thousands of dollars to confirm.  The question now, will DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office investigate these activities and charge anyone?  Let’s be honest, a trustee not disclosing his conflict of interest while purchasing ambulances from the very company that he is the Illinois Sales representative for appears to point direclty to self-enrichment.  Not to mention presenting an Economic Disclosure Statement that is false, making it a forgery as it misrepresents the truth.  Not much different than a forged college diploma!

“It was discovered that there was damage to the roof of the station (see A. above) and that repairs would need to be implemented in order to sell the station.

A proposal dated November 20, 2014, was presented to TFPD by MI Construction and Roofing (a company owned and operated by former Chief Jack Mancione).  This company is also associated with another Mancione run company – Werk Management (a full-service community association property manager).

MI Construction and Roofing is located in Woodridge, IL. Its website utilizes an internet address of “Mancioneinc.com”. Total Cost of the proposal was $6,710.

The company’s CEO is Lisa Luna. Ms. Luna is noted as a “maintenance supervisor” for Werk Management. She is not listed on the MI Construction and Roofing website.

A $9,000 credit was given by TFPD to HAC Holdings, LLC at the closing of the transaction.

It appears that the representative of HAC Holdings LLC (Bill Remkus) and Chief Mancione continued to communicate with regard to the roof repairs well beyond the sale date. In fact, on March 17, 2015, Bill Remkus contacted Chief Mancione with regard to meeting to talk about the roof repairs.

Chief Mancione responded to Bill Remkus that same day utilizing a TFPD email account and utilizing a signature as follows:
Field Response:
Jack L. Mancione
CEO, CPM, GC
Chief Administrative Officer”

Although the Chief fled from office after we exposed his malfeasance on multiple fronts, it does appear he may have been doing business utilizing the Fire Department resources and possibly contracting out for work on matters that he had influence over.  In the above case, it appears the Fire Department offered a large discount because of the roofing problems and considering communications took place with the Chief after the sale regarding roof repairs, this may also be a class 4 felony crime.  Again, will the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office investigate these matters and make a determination?

We spent a very brief amount of time looking into Tr-State Fire Protection District and uncovered a litany of problems.  It appears a new group of Trustees has taken the bull by the horns and is actually cleaning things up.  My only suggestion to them, request prosecutions for the crimes committed because if you don’t send the message and hold them accountable those same violators will leach off yet another public body and continue to harm the taxpayers.

You can read the whole report below.

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Investigative-Report-Tri-State.pdf”]

 

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