DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
During the recent primary battles in DuPage County District 4 County Board race we exposed County Chairman Cronin regarding numerous misleading statements in a political flyer used by his hand-picked candidate, who by the way lost! (View that article at this link)
After publishing several articles pointing out concerns most taxpayers agree with regarding DuPage County and their leadership, we filed a few FOIA requests.
During a review of the Cronin e-mails in my recent FOIA, which by the way some were not provided that we know exist but more on that later, I found a particular chain of emails that once again tells us it’s time for Cronin to be put out to pasture.
In the above-referenced campaign positions, Cronin wanted to “Expand ethics laws to cover all elected officials and employees”.
Ethics Defined: moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.
I have said for years that moral principles can’t be legislated. No matter how many laws you pass, they will never change a person’s moral principals.
When a taxpayer sends in their tax bill they expect their money to be spent for a public purpose and within the confines of our laws. Specifically, Article VIII Section 1 (a) of our State Constitution which states; Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for a public purpose.
Most people with moral principals understand what that means however the pattern we have seen with elected officials and many others in public employ is one of entitlement and or disregard for the rules, as they don’t apply to those in charge………or so they think.
Cronin was a College of DuPage Foundation Board member. The COD Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit. As Chairman, his powers and duties are spelled out by statute in the county code. Note that there is no mention in the county code for the taxpayer funds or property to be used in the furtherance of Cronin’s private board participation with the College of DuPage Foundation.
One need not look very far to see numerous Auditor General reports exposing state employees doing private business on state time. Turns out, Cronin has no problem with conducting private business on county time and even had his Administrative assistant handle his private matters on government time and did so with county property.
Although I support elected officials being involved in other organizations, they are not allowed to utilize the funds and property of the public body they were elected to for the purpose of conducting private business.
In this case, the taxpayers pay the salary, benefits, and own the computers being used by Cronin and his Administrative Assistant, however, instead of doing county business they were handling Cronin’s COD Foundation matters.
From setting up COD Foundation Breakfast appointments to sending documents back and forth, it’s clear the matters were not county business but in fact private COD Foundation business.
For a Chairman that made numerous false claims during the recent campaign about the College of DuPage and their governance, is it not fair to ask what kind of governance Cronin has that allows him and a county employee to take care of his personal matters tied to the COD Foundation?
Are his actions any different than the disgraced former Lincoln-Way Superintendent using school employees to perform private matters for him. (Chicago Tribune Southtown exposed that one) (Chicago Tribune Southtown exposed that one)
Have we forgotten Jerry Stermer, Governor Quinn’s Chief of Staff who resigned over three e-mails that possibly violated state ethics law? (Media coverage of that here)
When people are in charge for too long and are never challenged they become embolden. If Cronin wants to sit on private foundation boards, that’s great, but it’s simply illegal to utilize your county paid Administrative Assistant and county computers to handle your communications with those private foundations, no matter who they are.
A review of the e-mail chain provided by DuPage County can be found below that confirm Cronin and his Administrative Assistant are in fact handling his private matters on county time and with county property, an apparent violation of Article VIII section 1(a) of our State Constitution.
It is becoming very evident that things are not quite as rosy at the county as some would have you to believe. This particular article is just the first of what will be a multi-part series exposing the tangled web that was created between COD, COD Foundation, and DuPage County of which it appears Dan Cronin is right in the middle of.
Our question to Cronin, why the need to expand ethics laws when the very laws we have are not being followed?
Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
JonPosted at 21:13h, 18 March
Come on Dan just resign. Your caught red handed. The secretary of State’s position forget it !
Rob JohnsonPosted at 14:42h, 20 March
Let’s examine the campaign of Michelle Moore a little more closely. From the filing on her quarterly report on 1/15/2016 and including the contributions contained on that report, $118,816.00 was put into her account. This is an unprecedented amount of money for a county board race. Not only here in DuPage County but anywhere in the United States.
One has to wonder just why Mr. Cronin was so obsessed with having Ms. Moore on the county board.
Mr. Cronin alone is on the D-2 for $19,826.00 and it is a reasonable conclusion that he used his influence to raise most if not all, of Ms. Moore’s funds. Including the UA Political Education contribution of $17,500.00 – all late entries on the D-2 of course. These dollar figures are staggering, especially when a super majority of the county board members are holding hands with Mr. Cronin already.
Rob JohnsonPosted at 14:44h, 20 March
Watch Dogs thank you for all this information on Mr. Cronin and more importantly for bring it into the light of day. For far too long now, information being disseminated out of the Chairman’s office has been misleading and disingenuous.
If you would be so kind as to FOIA any and all documents supporting Mr. Cronin’s bold claims that his “ACT Initiative” will save the taxpayers $100 million dollars over the next 20 years, it would be greatly appreciated. The taxpayers deserve the truth and not some pie in the sky pipe dream that Mr. Cronin is pushing to increase his own “darling” political profile. As your article so clearly pointed out, his “ACT Initiative” has been a failure which has cost taxpayers more money than if Mr. Cronin just left them alone. Of course, Mr. Cronin has touted this loss as a success, which in itself, is very disturbing.
Essentially this information will provide clear evidence for rejecting the inaccurate and erroneous information being spread by Mr. Cronin.
DanL60Posted at 07:49h, 25 March
I maintain instead of $100 million over the next 20 years, he should have said savings of $10 billion over the next 2 millenia. Bigger numbers are always more impressive.
Elizabeth SuttonPosted at 19:11h, 21 March
Given the recent press coming out of Naperville, IL regarding the city taking over the highway department’s responsibilities of the township, I have a few questions and observations. Has anyone verified the numbers the City of Naperville is proposing? Why should we take Mayor Chirico at his word? Especially when you consider, Naperville is dealing with a proposed $6.8 million dollar budget shortfall for 2016. The current red ink is a direct result of Naperville failing to meet best practice guidelines for maintaining fund balances.
I find the mayor’s argument that Naperville is subsidizing the highway department as weak and not being completely upfront with the taxpayers. This has all the aspects of a money grab. If we were to follow the mayor’s logic, then the taxpayer’s should stop paying the school taxes, park taxes, etc. As all these entities are being subsidized, again, this appears to be nothing more than a pure money grab with no regard for the taxpayers or the consequences of their actions.
Chairman Cronin’s fingerprints are all over this hijacking of funds and with the help of his mayor friend, Chirico, the taxpayers will once again be the losers, if the numbers are not carefully analyzed. Let’s just hope, if Cronin and Chirico are successful in strong arming this unaudited, unverified change through, the taxpayers don’t see a 200% increase in taxes for the same service. Just ask the taxpayers in the Fairview Fire Protection District who received a 200% increase due to Chairman Cronin’s “consolidation” pains.