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May 29, 2024

Lincoln-Way D210 – Rent rate exposed – Mistake or deception?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 2, 2016

Will Co. (ECWd) –

“I will fully acknowledge that I identified the wrong commingled deposit on my earlier response” Quote from Ron Sawin FOIA response

Let’s start first with the fact he acknowledges a line entry for deposits as being “commingled”.  Data entry for basic 101 accounting teaches that you do not “commingle” deposit entries.

The information provided in the previous FOIA and written about in this article was the reason behind the new request and his claim a line entry deposit was for both a rent payment from Dave Ernst ($500.00) and a rent payment from the College Board ($500.00) that totaled $1,000.00 for the deposit.  (See last page of spread sheet for Sawin note on the rent deposit)

Considering I had asked for copies of the rent payments and he only provided a spread sheet of deposits, I knew something was not right.  Between the commingled deposit entry claim and the fact his spread sheet showed only 4 rent payments from Ernst it was clear I was not provided all the records.  That in itself is yet another FOIA violation by the so called Business Manager of D210.

Two specific items I asked for:

  • “Copy of College Board Refund payment dated 11-20-15. I am seeking an actual copy of the payment, not a spread sheet showing the payment. The payment was entered into the kids activity fund and such deposit made would be with a bank the school is in fact contracted with. If you are not in possession of this specific record you are required to obtain the record from the bank.”
  • Copy of the bank deposit slip reflecting the deposit of the College Board refund.”

I wanted the actual payment and deposit to see if it was really a $500 payment received and deposited as claimed.  Turns out my suspicions were correct.  The so called “commingled” payment was not commingled.  The deposit was in fact for $1,000.00 and his claim that December rent was part of that payment was either a serious screw up or an outright lie as Ernst did not pay any rent in December of 2015.

I also asked for the actual copy of the rent payments as the spread sheet is NOT a copy of the rent payments.  Today’s documents provided by Sawin should put the Richter scale off the charts.

Reviewing the documents found below you will notice that signatures have all been redacted with a black box over them.  I, Kirk Allen, am responsible for those redactions of people’s signatures as none of the records Sawin provided had any signature redactions, meaning I could see each and every signature on each check provided to D210.  That in itself shows how irresponsible the FOIA officer is.

Rent Payments by Dave Ernst in order by date:

  • 7/15/2014 – $500.00
  • 8/20/2014 – $500.00
  • No September payment!
  • 10/15/2014 – $500.00
  • No November Payment!
  • No December Payment!
  • No January Payment!
  • 02/15/2015 -$500.00
  • No March Payment!
  • 04/04/2015 – $500.00
  • 05/04/2015 – $500.00
  • 06/02/2015 – $500.00
  • No July Payment!
  • 08/25/2015 – $500.00
  • No September Payment!
  • 10/01/2015 – $500.00
  • 11/13/2015 – $500.00
  • No December Payment!
  • 01/04/2016 – $500.00
  • No February Payment!

We must assume, Ernst has been renting this home for twenty months based on the information provided by D210 that reflects the first rent payment was in July of 2014.  We have no way of knowing when he actually moved in so we will work with that date as the start date.  In 20 months D210 has collected $5,500.00 in rent from Dave Ernst.

That equates to a rent of $275.00 a month! 

Yes, $275.00 a month!

Did we mention this home also has a Basement?

Electric payments made by the taxpayers on behalf of the renter during this same period – $2,061.25 (Click here for copies of electric bills) Note that many payments were past due, thus the taxpayers paid late fees.

Gas payments made by the taxpayers on behalf of the renter during this same period – $857.97  (Click here for copies of gas bills)

  • Lawn Care service paid for by the taxpayers  $$$???
  • Snow removal service paid for by the taxpayers $$$???
  • Water bills possibly paid for by the taxpayers  $$$???
  • Property Tax obligation paid for by the taxpayers $3,695.12

At a minimum, Lincoln-Way District 210 taxpayers are paying $1,114.34 to let a person live in the home on their property.  Simply take the rent received, $5,500.00 and subtract the total expenses being paid by the taxpayers, $6,614.34, and we find they are taking a loss of $1,114.34 over this 20 month period.

Who in their right mind takes a $1,114.34 loss for the purpose of letting someone live at this property?  The fact of the matter is the real loss is even higher as the taxpayers are paying for lawn service, snow removal, and possibly water.

This is yet another example of why certain people need to be FIRED from this district and board members replaced at the next election!

Again we urge each and every taxpayer to stand up and demand accountability from their local officials.  What is exposed here is a perfect example of what happens when you put your trust in your elected officials and never verify their actions.

PS: Zillow shows this property should rent for $1,450.00 a month!

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  • Concerned
    Posted at 22:36h, 02 March Reply

    I will repost this here because I feel my response got lost in the last article.

    I stated simple facts. Test scores are down. Class offerings are down. Clubs and sports have been cut. Violence is up (those gun issues and bomb treats made national news, with FBI attention). Inappropriate Staff/Student relationships are up. All this is fact and can easily be verified. Not all of it has made the news, but it’s there.
    The schools are falling apart. Even West and North have many standard maintanence issues that have not been taken care of. Preventative maintanence has been cut, it’s all reactive repairs (which are expensive, and outsourced because they cut their maintanence staff). My kids come home telling me their rooms are freezing because the heats been broke for weeks. Emails to administrators about this are ignored.
    This new “Skyward” they spent thousands on (look up the contract on the website) is a joke. Either that or no one knows how to use it. My kids grades are always messed up. Attendance is wrong. And I can see other students grade reports. Real secure LW.
    Staff morale is an all time low. Young teachers are jumping ship. Old teachers are counting down the days til their pensions. The only reason Sawin is still there is because his buddies on the board know he only has a few years left. Support staff turnover is a rocket high. The low wages and high stress are not worth it. Plus there is no job security anymore, with all the waste, their jobs are the first to get cut.
    I do live in the district. My children go there. Look at other public schools in the area. Much nicer, more offerings, better test scores. If I could, I would move in a heartbeat.
    District 230 is financially sound, has many more offerings, and is giving their entire district laptops for the students to take home. That’s how good their doing! Have you talked to your kids about technology at LW? It’s a joke. Years behind other nearby districts. 230 faces the same state financial issues that LW does, and they’re budgets are actually balanced and have real surpluses.
    It all comes down to money. LW had tons of money, and mismanaged it all. If they invested all this waste into items for the studnets, we would be a great district. But we are not there, and if you think we are, you’re living in a bubble.
    Open your eyes! I am not sitting on the sidelines,I’m joining the fight! We are pointing out the issues, gaining media attention, and because of that LW is slowly fixing issues. Amazing how as soon as a news story breaks, LW magically starts to do the right thing. The dog program is now lying back money. The day care is “looking into” going out for bid. It’s a shame that they have to wait to be thrown under the bus before they actually fix their mistakes. If they were proactive, it never would of come to this.
    I will continue to fight. I will continue to show up at board meetings and keep the pressure on. This board and administration has no trust, and they don’t deserve it. Until they prove otherwise, they will be kept under the microscope.
    Sadly, I know first hand that this is not the end. There are many more stories of corruption and waste that will be coming out over the next few weeks. It will only get much worse. The only way to end this is for Tingley, Sawin, and any meme we of the board for longer then two years to resign. Maybe then we will get a fresh start and can put this all behind us.

    • Holla
      Posted at 14:48h, 04 March Reply

      I will repost as well because I’m trying to understand the motivation for your post- seems trollish. Apologize if I am wrong, still waiting on your specifics.

      Not sure which school your kid is attending? Heat is working just fine at my kids school, she and her friends can’t think of anyone complaining of clubs or sports being eliminated and as far as I can see the scores have stayed the same or improved (not to mention how well the band/cheer/ other athletic programs are doing). I remember a teacher or two in district 230 being let go for similar innappropriate relationships several years ago. District 230 also has many other issues, not to bash them but the grass always seems greener elsewhere. There are problems and crappy people everywhere. It doesn’t make it right but unfortunately all you hear and choose to focus on is the bad stuff. Please provide information and specifics of the claims you are making (cut clubs, cut sports, cold school, low test scores? and the number of people this has actually impacted). I’ll believe it when I see it but I read a lot and I have not come across any of that information. Not defending the gross financial mismanagement of this district, I just refuse to allow myself or my family to be victimized by it.

    • Holla
      Posted at 08:32h, 07 March Reply


      Still waiting for “all this” to be “easily verified”. You are grossly exaggerating things that are somewhat true and completely making up other things.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 08:34h, 07 March Reply

        Check back – verification on the way.

  • Mike
    Posted at 09:21h, 03 March Reply

    What is the school district’s explanation of the missing rent payments from Mr. Ernst to Lincoln Way CHSD 210?

    The records indicate only 55% (11 of 20) of rent payments were made by Mr. Ernst to Lincoln Way CHSD 210.

    Maybe Mr. Ernst paid with cash some months, or someone paid on his behalf some months?

  • Mike
    Posted at 09:30h, 03 March Reply

    Are any more specifics know about the College Board refund check of $500?

    Who exactly is the College Board?

    Is it ACT, ICCB, a local community college board?

    And what was the purpose of the $500 refund check from the College Board to Lincoln Way CHSD 210?

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 00:29h, 04 March Reply

      the college board payment was NOT $500! it was $1,000.00 just as the spread sheet reflected. Sawin lied about that payment and we caught him in it?

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