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April 24, 2024

Income tax hike? – Cry me a river!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 7, 2017

Illinois Co. (ECWd) –

Yes, I am just as upset about the income tax hike as everyone else in this state, but I wonder, why so much anger and concern over the legalized theft of your money while silence over other matters, to include massive malfeasance and illegal activity by public officials, which is the root of why they need more of your money? Anyone recall that old saying, stop the bleeding?

Illinois Auditor General Reports-

Illinois Department of Corrections:

  • Cash prizes given to 89 individuals, ranging from $20 to $1,000. In all instances, there were no details of and acknowledgment of the recipients of these cash prizes. In addition, one prize was for $1,000 in which the Department did not issue the recipient a Form 1099- MISC as required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • $4,000, was for a donation to another Department committee, a non-charitable organization.
  • Compensatory time accrual in violation of federal law and compensatory time payments in violation of union agreement.
  • employee at Stateville was paid for 649 hours of accrued compensatory time in June 2016 ($30,498). The employee was allowed to accumulate as much as 666 hours of compensatory time at one point in Fiscal Year 2016.
  • not able to locate 709 computer items during its annual physical inventories for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016. These computers may have contained confidential information.
  • 50% employees tested did not have an annual performance evaluation completed in Fiscal Year 2015, 30% in 2016.
  • 24% employees in Fiscal Year 2015 10% employees in Fiscal Year 2016 tested did not meet the annual training requirements governed by the administrative directive.
  • 29% had used a full day of leave time at least once during the fiscal year on the same day that they had worked overtime.
  • Ten items, totaling $11,632, were unable to be located at East Moline, Logan, Menard, Stateville, and Vandalia Correctional Centers.
  • Stateville Correctional Center reported 926 missing items, totaling $765,705.

Illinois Comptroller:

  • Comptroller (Office) made payments to employees in excess of the amount authorized by its written policies, personnel rules, and State statute.
  • employees tested were able to carry forward vacation amounts in excess of the amount allowed.

Illinois State Police:

  • The Department did not have adequate controls over lost or missing property. 100% of the  items listed as lost or missing could possibly have confidential information stored on them. Items included computers and laptops.
  • Total accounts receivable balances over one year old per the Department’s records were approximately $500,000 at June 30, 2016 and 2015.

Illinois EPA Trust Fund Commission:

  • As of June 30, 2016, the Commission’s accounts receivable balance was approximately $13.176 million, of which approximately $12.646 million had been due over one year.
  • 80% accounts receivable tested, totaling $4.635 million, were over 90 days past due and had not been referred to the Comptroller’s Offset System or the Department of Revenue’s Debt Collection Bureau.
  • 76% accounts tested totaling $6.753 million were over one year old and were not referred to the Attorney General for write off.

Illinois Department of Natural Resournces:

  • Department employees were eligible to earn compensatory time for overtime worked during the examination period. Department personnel indicated overtime totaling $1,188,424 and $1,782,203 was paid out to employees during Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • 70% employees tested did not receive approval prior to working overtime.
  • 90% fuel reconciliations did not contain any evidence of supervisory review and approval
  • The accounts receivable for Fund 261 are unpaid fines and outstanding well fees dated as far back as Fiscal Year 1991 and had values at June 30, 2014 of $1.6 million and $709 thousand, respectively.
  • The Department of Natural Resources (Department) did not comply with duties mandated by State Law!

OK, by now you may be seeing a trend.  Even though we have laws that are designed to account for all of the above outlined malfeasance and illegal activity, no one is being prosecuted and very few ever lose their job, and many step up to better jobs after their wrongdoing. We litteraly have millions of dollars owed to the state, millions being squandered by state employees with manipulation of overtime, leave, and compensatory time, millions in missing property, not to mention state agencies giving money away as CASH PRIZES with no record of who too, and no one is getting held accountable.

Did I mention we only shared FIVE state agencies audit reports?  It’s a whole lot worse when you look at them all!

All of the AG reports are available online at this link for the world to see.  What we outlined above is just a TINY sample of findings from those agencies.  I suspect if we ever had any real criminal investigations we could stack up charges high enough to fill the capital and have to build a new prison just for public sector employees.

Where is the outcry for prosecutions for those responsible for this malfeasance?  Where is the outcry for accountability of such documented malfeasance?  While no one is saying a word about any of this, which is costing us a fortune, we hear the cries of the public loud and clear when it hits their own personal pocket book due to an income tax hike.

What does it take to make people understand that the reason their pocket book is getting tapped once again is becuase we sit silent on matters outlined above, which is the very reason they need more of your money.

Illinois politicians, for the most part, know no bounds when it comes to malfeasance and zero accountability. As a local government accountability watchdog, we can only do so much and maybe this sampling of problems at the state level will give you an appreciattion as to why we focus most of our efforts on local government issues.  Local citizens are far more willing to fix things in their own town. Sadly, they tend to throw up their hands and do nothing when it comes to state issues as the problem is just to big.

What can you do?  Fix your local government problems. Demand prosecutions for those that break the law. Raise a whole new generation of elected officials that will put your interests ahead of their own.  It has to start locally as it is those people that work their way up the chain to become lawmakers in Springfield.   People who hate this kind of activity are the ones we need to run for local village board seats, school boards, township boards, etc.

Crying a river about income tax hikes and yelling at your representatives on Facebook will only make you feel good for a few minutes and fix nothing.

Standing up and getting invovled by attending your local government meetings, ask questions, demanding answers, and even running for office to throw these bums out will bring satisfaction most have never realized.  Throw these bums out who have no respect for your money!

Know that it’s not easy, as such efforts rarely have the instant gratification our society has become accustom to. This will take months and years to fix but know this, it can be fixed and you can make a differance towards that goal.

Oh, did I mention that none of those reports reccomended any terminations or prosecutions?


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  • Don M.
    Posted at 15:10h, 07 July

    You have hit on a major issue that has negatively impacted Illinois” financial position for years.
    I do believe Rauner tried to address the issue but Mike Madigan was careful not to let any reforms
    take effect. Now we have a 33% tax increase and large property tax bills. People without power
    in government just don’t matter.

    • Vall
      Posted at 05:30h, 08 July

      We need to eliminate Government. Way too many employees. High salerys, cart Blanche medical, pensions, & raises each year – even when there is no money…????
      There needs to be accountability for each employee to make at least double of what they earn…..

      Where does all the – drug money, court costs, toll(s), taxes, taxes, taxes on Everything, lottery winnings – ( just to name a few ) – Go ?????

      There needs to be a ( trimming the fat & Accountability )
      Separate evaluation Entity, that not only monitors, but eliminates all the corruption & miss management that causes us too much waste……!!!!

  • Really?
    Posted at 22:35h, 07 July

    Because it will cost more to prosecute MOST of these semi piddling righteous dollar draining infractions. I would think prosecutors are concentrating on bigger things. I appreciate your efforts but for the Love of Pete pick your battles. Nothing is perfect. It seems like you are aiming for perfection. Regroup, concentrate and go after something big. And stay with it. Aren’t you exhausted going after these relatively small issues? Plus the fact that prosecutors are not prosecuting please don’t tell me that they are the bad guys now.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 09:29h, 08 July

      But they prosecute petty shoplifting without worrying about the cost…
      What dollar amount would you say is OK for a public official or employee to steal from the taxpayer before prosecution? Please let us know. I don’t see anything written in the law that says someone has to steal over xxxxxxx amount of dollars before he is prosecuted. Please let us know how much theft is too much theft for you to ignore.

      • Really?
        Posted at 12:14h, 08 July

        They prosecute petty shoplifting because it’s a crime. Most of what you describe in the article is sort of allowed, bad as those policies are. Like it or not Prosecutors constantly determine if something is worth going after. Even they set subconscious limits on what’s worth pursuing. It’s called the real world with limited resources.

        Even when you’re right policy makers go and change the law (townships delivering free wood chips, bond referendum rules) and you go after them. Why no outrage? People feel a large chunk of what you’re going after is not that big a deal and you’re wasting a lot of publicity capital on such things. Still a big fan of you guys.

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 12:49h, 08 July

          -Since when are cash prizes with public funds to employees as Christmas presents allowed under any law – especially when they do not track who gets them and do not issue the appropriate IRS forms with the larger ones?
          -When did the law allow IDOC to donate $4000 to a department charity?
          -Accruing compensatory time in violation of federal law is a crime, is it not?
          -Using leave days on the same days as logging overtime pay? When is that ever legal?
          Our mission from day one has been local governments and we rarely look at state or federal issues. If we cannot fix local governments, we will never be able to fix state and federal government.

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 23:31h, 07 July

    That’s when the revolt happens

  • Vall
    Posted at 05:09h, 08 July

    Very Grateful for you Edgar County Watchdogs !!!!

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 11:28h, 08 July

    If those relatively few gub stealers can skate, how many taxpayers would it take to challenge them and just not pay this increase? We must resist and that means a tax revolt. Grassroots has supreme power. Take down Springfield.