Candidate, DuPage County Board, District 1
630-865-5744, [email protected]
Date: Oct. 30, 2016
For Release: IMMEDIATE
HYPOCRISY OR FLIP FLOP? DUPAGE COUNTY BOARD CHAIRMAN DAN CRONIN
AND MEMBER DONALD PUCHALSKI AGREED WITH COUNTY BOARD CANDIDATE ROLLY WALLER
THAT ONE PUBLIC OFFICE WAS ENOUGH…FOUR YEARS AGO
Dan Cronin, Nov. 7, 2012: “The message is loud and clear. We don’t want people in two offices out here.”
BENSENVILLE, IL – DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and Member Donald Puchalski were in agreement with County Board District 1 Candidate Rolly Waller that an individual should only hold one public office at a time…four years ago. At that time, two mayors and then-perceived adversaries of Cronin — Pete DiCianni of Elmhurst and Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge — were running for county board and announcing to maintain both positions.
On June 26, 2012, the DuPage County Board voted unanimously to place the advisory question on the ballot countywide: Should Illinois law permit an individual to hold two or more public elected offices simultaneously?
That same day, DuPage County issued a statement by Cronin in a press release entitled, “DuPage County Voters Will Weigh in on “Double-Dipping”: We face serious and time-consuming challenges here at the county that demands the undivided focus and commitment of each County Board member, Cronin said. Holding two elected offices at the same time simply does not allow for the level of attention needed to fully and impartially serve taxpayers of DuPage County. I believe our voters will send a clear message that one elected office per person is enough.
On Aug. 1, 2012, just 36 days after voting in favor of the advisory question, Puchalski quietly accepted a state appointment for a second public office — the office of DuPage County Public Guardian — without stepping down from his county board position. He continues to hold three public offices — DuPage County Board Member, DuPage Public Guardian and DuPage Public Administrator. Puchalski also currently collects a government pension from his former job with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.
Waller says that this is a clear violation of Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act which states “no member of a county board, during the term of office for which he or she is elected, may be appointed to, accept, or hold any office”. He filed a complaint on Sept. 29, 2016 with the Office of Executive Inspector General (OEIG) which has jurisdiction over The Governor’s Office of Executive Appointments.
“The Act sees no difference between elected or appointed when it comes to additional positions a county board member shall hold. Both are illegal,” Waller says. “In fact, the advisory question on the ballot in 2012 was redundant because the Act was already in place.”
The sentiment of DuPage County officials seems to have changed in the past four years, at least when it comes to Puchalski’s trio of offices. There have been no remarks from the county board chairman, no request from the board for an opinion, and no county press releases addressing it. Regardless of the board’s opinions and silence, the law is already there and should be enforced, according to Waller.
Fifty-six-year DuPage resident and property tax payer Waller made public comment before the County Board on Oct. 25, 2016 on the matter and was immediately denounced; Cronin even allowed an unprecedented “rebuttal” by Puchalski during the public comment segment.
“In 2012, there was a consensus in the DuPage County board room that a county board member should only hold one public office at a time,” Waller says. “The advisory question back then was a hypothetical. But Puchalski’s holding of three public offices is here and has been going on for four years. No one there wants to talk about it, let alone enforce the law.”
DuPage voters agreed overwhelmingly in 2012 that an individual shouldn’t hold two public offices at once with a vote of 335,532 to 36,956.
The Chicago Tribune article published on Nov. 7, 2012, “Voters to Politicians: Hold One Office at a Time,” quoted Cronin: The message is loud and clear, We don’t want people in two offices out here.
“When I became aware of my opponent holding three public offices, I believed this was another example of cronyism and triple dipping,” stated Waller. “I also saw this as a conflict of interest, as he, as a County Board member, votes on the funding of the Court Clerk’s office and the Circuit Court, which oversees cases and determines payments to be made to the Public Guardian and Administrator.”
Waller continued, “The more I learned and the more I researched, I realized that this was more than an ethical issue. It is a legal issue. In fact, it is illegal according to the Act. This matter goes beyond the political arena.”
The OEIG investigates state executive complaints, then decides the appropriate agency for review. Waller expects a response soon.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Rolly Waller, 630-865-5744, [email protected] See below for link for DuPage County press release, Tribune article, a copy of Waller’s 10/25/16 public comment, and video attachment of Tuesday’s DuPage County Board meeting. Additional supporting documentation available upon request.
June 26, 2012 DuPage County Board Press Release
Nov. 7, 2012 Chicago Tribune article, “Voters to Politicians: Hold One Office at a Time”
Rolly Waller Public Comment to DuPage County Board 10/25/16
Good morning. My name is Rolly Waller. I am a candidate for DuPage County Board, as are the majority of the people before me.
You’ve probably all heard by now that I filed a complaint with the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General regarding the State appointments of Don Puchalski as DuPage Public Guardian and Public Administrator.
The Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act bans county board members from holding other elected and appointed positions.
Teams of esteemed lawyers are now scrutinizing the complexity of this statement: No member of a county board, during the term of office for which he or she is elected, may be appointed to, accept, or hold any office.
This isn’t complicated. This is crystal clear.
At first I considered it a conflict of interest for Mr. Puchalski to serve on the County Board, as he votes for funding for the Circuit Court, which in turn, determines his estate fees.
Today I’m here to talk about yet another conflict of interest.
Mr. Puchalski stated: “The public guardian is not an employee of the county. I receive no salary, and my office is not, in any way, funded by the County or managed by the County Board.”
Then why is the State’s Attorney’s office defending Mr. Puchalski and his law firm associate in an ongoing probate case in the Circuit Court?
Furthermore, our State’s Attorney’s office is keenly aware that Mr. Puchalski votes to approve funding for the law enforcer’s office. If any agency should be aware of the Prohibited Activities Act, it should be this office.
I urge the County Board to review this conflict of interest and misuse of tax dollars, and to take appropriate action.
RichPosted at 10:02h, 03 November
Thank you, Edgar County Watchdogs. The mainstream media isn’t covering this important story.
The Daily Herald editors said this matter has nothing to do with Puchalski’s position on the County Board.
??? It has EVERYTHING to do with his position on the County Board. According to the Act, his position on the County Board became vacant the moment he accepted the guardianship appointment.
Rob JohnsonPosted at 15:11h, 03 November
Of course the Daily Herald won’t cover the story, Dan Cronin owns the Herald. He (his staff) writes all the articles that appear in the Daily Herald. The Herald never challenges or questions Chairman Cronin’s actions. The paper is hardly impartial, given Chairman’s Cronin’s control over the content. it is the citizens who are being deceived.
D. RossPosted at 11:19h, 03 November
“We face serious and time-consuming challenges here at the county that demands the undivided focus and commitment of each County Board member, Cronin said.”
No problemo, apparently.
JohnPosted at 11:53h, 03 November
IS THIS A FELONY?
D. RossPosted at 07:37h, 04 November
Well, John, this is not A felony. There are MULTIPLE alleged felonies here.
Each time an appointment was accepted without stepping down as a county board member is a felony. There were THREE appointments since 2012. Then when he was re-elected in 2012 as a county board member, he should have stepped down as a public guardian. So that’s an alleged felony, too. It’s also a felony to not make full disclosures on state and county Statements of Economic Interest. So every time one of these statements was signed and submitted with incomplete information, it was a felony. Then the application filled out and signed in 2013 stated that his spouse had never worked for the government, yet she had been a Chicago public school teacher at the time. Not sure if lying is considered a felony…
On top of all this, it was obvious that he was trying to keep this all low profile because he never mentioned being the public guardian on his official County Board bio nor his campaign website. Not sure if this is against the law or if it reinforces all the above.
BUT…DuPage SA Bob Berlin never seriously investigates or prosecutes his cronies within the power structure, so don’t expect the law to ever be enforced if it’s left up to that office. DP is currently a double client of of Berlin’s office, so…
AnthonyPosted at 12:02h, 03 November
..Bye, Bye, pension..
Commit a felony, lose your pension.
Rob JohnsonPosted at 15:10h, 03 November
The residents of DuPage County hopefully are finally starting to get a firsthand look at Dan Cronin’s power run amok, that the rules are rigged in favor of his friends and those that can increase his political power.
The above referenced “Puchalski Conflict” and Chairman’s Cronin’s continues interference in the Naperville Township Board’s business, are the ultimate example of political power run amok, far exceeding the most egregious of political abuses.
It is time for the rest of us to stand up to Chairman Cronin and say, No More! We aren’t letting you continue to take a wrecking ball to our lives and our community. If we do not stand up soon, it will be harder and harder to do so, as Chairman Cronin gains more an more power over our lives.
RichPosted at 08:07h, 04 November
ROB JOHNSON –
I heard from a reliable source that Puchalski was an enemy of Cronin’s prior to his sweet appointment as public guardian. Cronin needed him on his side, so he greased the wheels to make sure he got the appointment. Suddenly, Puchalski and Cronin were pals.
A public guardian in a big county like DuPage makes a lot of money. No wonder Puchalski wanted that appointment.
RichPosted at 13:43h, 06 November
Has anyone noticed how much the well-paid PR staff at DuPage County promote Dan Cronin and all the Republican County Board members – especially the Republican candidates – on their Facebook page?
They hardly ever post anything on the Democratic board members who are ALWAYS out there working for their constituents…are provided.
This Facebook page belongs to the people!
And Cronin has the audacity to say that it’s a shame *politics* are brought into the County during public comment where a citizen is allowed to talk about any subject? Gimme a break!
JanetPosted at 08:32h, 07 November
I don’t understand why the County Board – half of whom are attorneys – didn’t do something about this sooner?
How could FOUR YEARS go by without anyone of them telling Puchalski (also an attorney)that he needed to step down?
Why does it take a non-attorney and a private citizen to take action?
The County Board, especially the attorneys INCLUDING Dan Cronin, are EQUALLY TO BLAME for this and should ALL be held accountable!
richPosted at 11:24h, 07 November
The mainstream media needs to take some blame here, too. Where are they on this story?
Will they finally get around to reporting on it when someone is being frog-marched out?
Rob JohnsonPosted at 08:43h, 07 November
Does anyone know why over the last 2 weeks the DuPage County snow plow trucks have been driving around the county with 2 man crews and the snow plows on? The constant parade of snow plow trucks circling the streets of DuPage, defies logic. How much of the taxpayer’s hard earned money is being spent on this wasteful practice? And why? Chairman Cronin’s fingerprints are all over the City of Naperville’s double-dealing attempt to take over the township highway department. Given the practices Chairman Cronin is employing here in DuPage, it is clear the people will once again be the losers! Just as a footnote: McHenry County just last year tired to dissolve townships just as Chairman Cronin wants to do in DuPage. Now the State of Illinois due to the total mismanagement of the state, needs McHenry County to snow plow miles and miles of state roads. Because McHenry County cannot handle most of the state roads, McHenry County is hiring the Townships to plow the majority of the state roads they were contracted to plow. Just last year McHenry County they wanted to get rid of Townships now they want their help. These Counties do not know what they are doing but they want to go off and consolidate Townships without even knowing if they can preform the Township duties. Obviously they cannot efficiently complete the work or be as cost effective as the Townships. But they do not care they just want campaign sound bites, they do not care it will cost the taxpayers more of their hard earned money. Enough Taxes and Overreach in Illinois!!!!!
richPosted at 11:49h, 07 November
ROB JOHNSON –
The power structure has their hands full picking up and hauling away all the yard signs belonging to opposing candidates. They’ve probably called out the snow plows for assistance.
About five or six years ago, a Democrat in DuPage was allegedly caught stealing a yard sign. There was no proof, of course. In fact, she noticed someone else stealing it and tossing it behind his pickup. Months later…months…a squad car arrived to the Democrat’s house. She was arrested and hauled to the sheriff’s office for stealing the yard sign – based only on hearsay.
She was given the full orange-jumpsuit treatment and placed into custody. She was brought before a judge several times and was told to pay a fine to be released. She flatly refused, stating that she had done nothing wrong, and stayed in jail.
After several days, they got the message that she was serious and quietly set her free.
THAT’S the DuPage Way!
richPosted at 09:47h, 09 November
How that Puchalski won his County Board seat, DuPage County, under law, now has openings for Public Guardian and Public Administrator. Replacements should be in place before he takes the oath of office in three weeks.
These appointments are quite lucrative in a major county, such as DuPage and pay far more than being a County Board member.
For your convenience, here is the link to apply online: