SHELBYVILLE, IL. -(ECWd) -
We rarely see a situation like this, aside from Lerna, IL., where an elected official decides to work for the public body that he is elected to govern. Doing so is a felony in this state.
Trustee Walden has been pulling in $7,638.00 each year for as long as he has been performing this extra work for the township, and has been violating the Public Officer and Employee Prohibited Activities Act each and every time he has received payment.
He hired himself and used taxpayer money to pay himself.
When asked why Trustee Walden's pay was three times higher than the other trustees, the Township Attorney stated that "Mr. Walden is the janitor for the township building and he also man's the office three days a week."
The difference between Shelbyville Township and the Village of Lerna in this situation, is that Lerna's attorney resigned when she knew their Mayor was going to continue committing felonies by continuing to work for the village, and the Shelbyville Township Attorney should have long ago informed Trustee Walden and the other trustees that working for the township is a violation of law.
It is illegal.
50 ILCS 105/3) (from Ch. 102, par. 3)
Sec. 3. Prohibited interest in contracts.
(a) No person holding any office, either by election or appointment under the laws or Constitution of this State, may be in any manner financially interested directly in his own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract or the performance of any work in the making or letting of which such officer may be called upon to act or vote. No such officer may represent, either as agent or otherwise, any person, association, trust, or corporation, with respect to any application or bid for any contract or work in regard to which such officer may be called upon to vote.
(50 ILCS 105/4)
(from Ch. 102, par. 4)
Any alderman, member of a board of trustees, supervisor or county commissioner, or other person holding any office, either by election or appointment under the laws or constitution of this state, who violates any provision of the preceding sections, is guilty of a Class 4 felony and in addition thereto, any office or official position held by any person so convicted shall become vacant, and shall be so declared as part of the judgment of court.
(Source: P.A. 77-2721.)
We suspect someone could file a false claims suit against the trustees to recover all of those illegally paid funds, and would most likely win the case. The other legal venue is for the State's Attorney to do their job and file criminal charges against Trustee Walden for his actions and possibly the other trustees for approval of those payments.
This is taxpayer money, and it cannot be spent to wrongly enrich fellow elected trustees no matter how nice this bunch of guys are.
This is but one example of the outright disregard for the law that this group has been engaged in for years - and you wonder why your property taxes are so high..?