Illinois - (ECWd) -
When you believe a crime is being committed you have a few options, of which many will agree are of little value to fixing the problems we see on a routine basis because rarely is anyone held accountable.
When I filed a request for criminal investigations with four separate entities in July of 2013, three never responded and one basically said it was not their place, even though that agency, the Illinois State Police, are supposed to investigate crimes. (Article covering those complaints)
Reviewing closed cases from the Office of Executive Inspector General revealed yet another example of how crime pays, much like we saw here in Edgar County when a County Housing commissioner falsified mileage claims for years and our States Attorney refused to prosecute.
In the OEIG case, the time line is rather interesting and most would agree the reason the person retired was because of the ongoing investigation.
- August 1, 2013 - Anonymous complaint filed alleging that Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Bureau Chief James Long was abusing State time and travel regulations. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Mr. Long falsely claimed he was traveling from Anna, his work headquarters, to Springfield to deliver supplies, when in fact he was traveling during work time to his family home in Springfield. The complaint also alleged that Mr. Long may have claimed mileage for these trips to Springfield.
- May 2014 - Department of Human Services Southern Bureau Chief retires!
- September 8th, 2015 - Case closed
What were the findings?
- James Long abused State time by traveling to Springfield during State compensated time for the purpose of traveling home in violation of DHS policy.
- James Long falsified information on State travel vouchers in violation of DHS policy.
Consequences of these actions?
"Based upon the evidence and because James Long is no longer employed by DHS, the OEIG recommends that this report be placed in Mr. Long's DHS personnel file."
So in short, the guy was able to falsify travel vouchers, which is forgery, got paid for those falsifications, and NOTHING happens because he retired.
Was this another example of one state agency protecting members of another? I ask because of who Mr. Long was and what his duties were.
As the Southern Bureau Chief, Mr. Long was responsible for managing the Southern Bureau, supervising and directing all investigations and staff, and making sensitive policy and procedure recommendations to the Inspector General.
The report confirms "Mr. Long's actions violate DHS policy and are an unacceptable practice, especially in light of the fact that Mr. Long was a Bureau Chief within a State Inspector General's Office.
Is it any wonder the people are fed up with the system? We have agencies that investigate crimes and even when they identify clear cut crimes by top officials who are suppose to be enforcing the rules, they recommend a 'report' be placed in his personnel file.
Once again the taxpayers foot the bill and no one is held accountable. At a minimum this thug should have to pay back the fraudulently collected funds. Instead, he is drawing a state retirement.
When reading the investigative report one can only wonder what happen to the Supervisor that clearly failed in his duties and possibly tried to minimize the investigative findings by claiming this guy was "not the type of person who would abuse travel policy."
Does that mean he 'knows' what type of person would abuse such a policy?
Had they prosecuted and convicted the fraudster he would have lost his pension because it was a crime committed in relation to his employment. Prosecution would have saved the taxpayers a small bundle of money over the life of his pension payout, not to mention the message it sends to any others doing the same thing.