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October 4, 2022

Lincoln-Way School District 210 – Did the former Superintendent and Board of Education violate the law?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On January 5, 2016

Will Co. (ECWd) –

Our laws were designed as a set of rules to follow, and more often than not, when followed they protect the taxpayers.

Not the Case with Lincoln-Way District 210

According to information in the lawsuit filed against District 210 by the local grass roots organization, LincolnWayarea taxpayersUNITE, District 210 spent in excess of $44,000.00  to build the “Super Dog” training facility with taxpayer funds.  We exposed those wrongdoings in this article

The Illinois School Code, states in part: Sec. 10-20.21. Contracts. “(a) To award all contracts for purchase of supplies and materials or work involving an expenditure in excess of $25,000 or a lower amount as required by board policy to the lowest responsible bidder”.

With the law in mind, and knowing they spent over $44,000.00 on this work, I filed a FOIA and asked for some very basic information.

  • Copy of all expenditures with receipts and invoices for the construction of the dog training facility.
  • Copy of the RFP used for the building of the dog training facility.
  • Copy of all responses to the RFP and or request for bids for the building of the dog training facility.
  • Copy of the minutes approving the construction of a dog training facility.

The response for three of those requests is the very reason the citizens of District 210 should demand the resignation of any board member who was serving during the construction of that facility, as well as a demand for prosecution of official misconduct for recklessly failing to perform their mandated duties.

District 210 Response

  • This data is archived, so we would again request additional time to collect the archived data.
  • The District did not issue an RFP for this work, so there are no documents that meet your request.
  • Please see the response to #9. (No RFP so no Bids received)
  • There are no minutes that specifically approve the construction of the facility.

So there was no RFP issued for the work, thus no responses to the RFP, and no minutes reflecting any board approval.

Note however the slick wording of the last item.  “There are no minutes that specifically approve the construction of the facility.

There is only one type of an approval in board minutes, specific!

The insinuation in the response given is that there was some type of approval but nothing specific.  Sorry!  Our laws do not work that way!

It appears to be very clear that former Superintendent Wyllie and the Board of Trustees at that time have clearly violated state law as it relates to work being performed for the district.

They MUST be held accountable and exposed for their actions!

Wyllie

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6 Comments
  • Eileen
    Posted at 12:52h, 05 January

    Business as usual

  • Bobster
    Posted at 13:58h, 05 January

    A few years ago the General Assembly, in it’s “wisdom”, increased the limit for no-bid contracts in construction and maintenance work from $25,000 to $50,000. There are no requirements that amount of the contract be fair and reasonable for the work. In other words, a board and administration in cahoots to get tax dollars to a crony can enter into a contract for their buddy to do $10,000 of work for a $49,999 fee. “Services” are also exempt from bidding, so if a district wants to hire a buddy of theirs as a “consultant”, regardless of qualifications, they can do it with no accountability. This is a real cash cow for early retired admins who already are getting fat six figure early pensions on the backs of taxpayers. I’ve seen this happen time after time.

    I know a curriculum specialist, a very good one, who retired from CPS. They replaced her with a grossly incompetent political hack who was a disaster in the job, so they hired her back as a “consultant” at $150/hr to do the political hack’s job so that she could keep on the gravy train.

    I knew one maintenance manager, a very competent guy, who retired and got an early pension on Friday and was back on the same job, with a raise, the following Monday. How did he do it? He became a “consultant” working for a CPS contractor as a loaned servant. His cost and benefits were $110,000 per year when working at CPS. To get him as a consultant, he was paid about $120,000 per year, but the politically connected consultant firm was paid a multiplier of 2.75 on his salary, so he cost the taxpayers $330,000 per year to do a job that cost $110,000 a day before. Add about a $60,000 per year pension and health care to cost, and you can see why CPS, and Illinois, is broke.

    The corruption isn’t just in Chicago, my friends. I remember over a decade ago in Palos 118 they forced a $22 million construction program on the taxpayers, funded by working cash bonds for which the public had no opportunity to vote. The tacpayers automatically had to pay the bond repayment through increase to their real estate taxes, without even having an opportunity to vote on it. Welcome to the gimmicks in Illinois school funding! A well connected K-5 principal, who had NO background in construction management, was made the Assistant superintendent for Maintenance and Curriculum, along with a raise from $104K to $180K. The former Maintenance manager made about $75K, and the hack they replaced him with had no competence to oversee the work. The district already had a six figure Curriculum director. To boot, the district hired a construction management firm to do the job he was paid to do. They eliminated the position once his pension was sufficiently padded, and he retired to South Carolina. He wasn’t done gouging the taxpayers in 118, however. The hired him after retirement as a “project engineer” contract employee at $80/hr. They didn’t require him to sign in or out on a time sheet during his work day. He just put hours on a calendar and they paid him without question. I foiaed the school sign in sheets from the schools and admin center from the days he said he was working since the district has a strict safety and security policy that ALL contractors must sign in and out from each school, giving arrival and leaving times. He didn’t sign the in or out times even ONCE when he claimed hours for pay.

    The board and Super were just fine with that.

    I really couldn’t figure out why they even needed him for this task, having great experience myself in construction management.

    I tell you these stories so that you know the kind of abuse you can check for when looking to end the cheating that all too often goes on in public Illinois schools, and to give you starting point at where to look for corruption.

    Good hunting!

    • Arthur Andersen
      Posted at 23:31h, 07 January

      Happy New Year, Bobster, Looks like you have found an audience of kindred souls here on this page. Good for you. I’ll lets the folks at our place know you are at peace.

      • Bobster
        Posted at 09:02h, 08 January

        Arthur, occasionally I might drop by and post at capitol fax when the lies and distortions by the government payrollers and political hacks gets too extreme. About 10% of the comments (like those by RNUG) actually have anything in them worth learning. Facts and reality won’t do much to change the minds of those feeding at the government trough there, and there’s only about one or two posters who actually want to find solutions that benefit the taxpayers and the Illinois community, and they’re usually insulted and badgered off pretty quickly. It’s all about shafting the taxpayers to keep the incumbents in power and the bureaucracy thriving. Rich makes about $75K per year from government paid premium subscribers, so he isn’t going to rock their boat. Glad to see you’re looking for other POVs. BTW, I’m not “at peace” yet. If I was, I wouldn’t care about informing people of the truth and helping them fight corruption and graft. When I’m “at peace”, I’ll just disappear.

  • Lee
    Posted at 14:03h, 05 January

    Does the person running the dog obedience school give any money back to the district for rent or a share of revenues?

  • MG
    Posted at 21:49h, 05 January

    Mr. Sawin’s reported cost statement (of $44,000) does not sound like it was clearly defined when given like the FOIA’s are expected to be; both Lincoln-Way North & Lincoln-Way West had the same construction plans, with separate buildings on site for storage and could be why “there are no minutes or RFPs specifically for the dog training facility” as both sites have these buildings.

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