Shelby Co. (ECWd) -
Myth – A clean audit proves nothing was done wrong as it relates to the management and use of public funds.
Fact - Only a forensic audit will tell you if money is being handled in accordance with the law. We have uncovered millions of dollars of fraud in one county, yet they had clean audits by their auditor every year. One forensic audit in just one segment of the Health Department in Iroquois County proved those so-called clean audits to be dead wrong and validated all of our reporting on the improper use of public funds. The video in this article is worth the 14 minutes!
If the citizens of Shelbyville are being fed the line “clean audits prove there is nothing wrong”, please pay attention.
Rita Crudwell was the comptroller and treasure of Dixon, Illinois and they had clean audits for over 20 years yet she was found guilty of the largest government embezzlement in US History, totaling over $54 Million Dollars. The CPA firm who did their “clean” audits was forced to pay millions in restitution!
As the use of public funds relates to Shelbyville, we already addressed the spending of taxpayer funds as gifts, donations, etc., and although they have taken the position those expenditures are legal, we respectfully disagree but do so based on a very lengthy history of research on such expenses. We will update with more info on that issue shortly. In the meantime, we challenge them to provide a written legal opinion as to why it is legal to give tax money away for gifts and sports teams without any criteria other than them asking for it.
Let’s review just one area where we saw a red flag in Shelbyville Township and their use of taxpayer money. This particular matter was missed by the auditor, and until we brought it to the attention of the Township, they had no idea of the error.
General Assistance funds are a tax that is levied specifically for the purpose of Public Aid (helping those in need) and has restrictions placed on its use and transferability. Any use of those funds for any other purpose falls into what is called Administrative Malfeasance.
I found a laundry list of alleged illegal actions as it relates to General Assistance and as we understand it, $35,000.00 has been returned, which is $20,000.00 shy of what was wrongly taken from that account. I am willing to bet, that fact has not been shared with many outside the Township office.
The fact that $35,000.00 has been put back after I raised the issue confirms that they know their actions were wrong and we were right. We once again thank them for the partial correction. Not placing all of it back should raise concerns!
There were three resolutions in which funds were transferred from General Assistance into the Building and Equipment fund and Audit fund, of which neither are covered under the Public Aid Act which outlines the legal spending of such funds.
Of additional concern in the transfer resolutions are missing mandatory items. The very first mandated item is:
- ( 60 ILCS 1/245-5b) “specify the estimated amount of the proper and necessary charges and expenses of the township against the fund or funds until the time of the receipt of revenue after the next annual township meeting and the particular amount of surplus of the township fund or funds to be paid over”
Looking at each of the resolutions, not a single one specifies the estimated amount of the proper and necessary charges and expense against that fund. How is it that resolutions to transfer funds are missing the very first mandated information? Is anyone reading the law?
I have been told these transfers are not the fault of the Township Officials as these were done by the electors at the Annual Meeting, which is true. Everyone at those meetings is an elector, not board members.
Who were the electors at these Annual Township meeting? Oh, wait, I covered that missing information in this article.
When I asked who the electors were that voted on this I was told: “I have no clue who the electors were that voted on the annual transfers.”
So we have $55,000.00 of public aid money being transferred in direct violation of law and they can’t tell me who the electors were that voted for it?
Let’s keep this simple. The records for 2015 clearly reflect on page 2 that every Township Board member voted for the fund transfer resolution in their capacity as an elector, except Kingston. So we can say, the Township Board, excluding Kingston, are in fact the people who voted for the Transfer of Public Aid funds in 2015. Yes, it was in their capacity as an elector, but that does not make it any less serious. One could argue, of all people, the elected officials should have known better. Those who voted on the transfer were Steve Shoaff, Butch Walden, Stanley Spesard, and Melvin Rodman.
In the 2014 and 2016 analysis, we can identify some of those present as they are named in the minutes in some fashion. Both of those years, every current Township Official was present as well as the Attorney, who moderated the meetings. We know the resolutions passed, however, the only record to the vote is the person making the motion and seconding the motion. At a minimum, it is safe to say those two people were yes votes. With that in mind, Steve Shoaff and Melvin Rodman in 2014 and Steve Shoaff and Homer Walden in 2016 , are the ones who voted to transfer public aid funds. However, with at least 7 electors present, there should be another two names voting in favor as it takes a majority to pass. I suspect the Township Supervisor knows who else voted for the resolution.
What constitutes Administrative Malfeasance?
“Any person who shall misappropriate, misuse or unlawfully withhold or convert to his own use or to the use of another, any public funds made available for public aid purposes under this Code is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A-6”
Based on the fact pattern, the electors voted to transfer (converted) General Assistance funds from that designated fund to another. That fund receiving it ends up being used by the Township Officials (use of another)(misappropriated).
For those interested in seeing accountability, it may be worth clicking this link and filing a formal complaint as we have confirmed only $35,000.00 has been returned, thus $20,000.00 improperly converted.