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May 29, 2024

Atlanta Public Library – Bank loans in violation of law – Time for Illinois Comptroller to act!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On August 28, 2017

Logan Co. (ECWd) –

The Atlanta Public Library took out multiple bank loans and all indications are those loans are not allowed by law.

75 ILCS 16/40-5– Sec. 40-5. Buildings and equipment.

(a) Whenever the board determines or resolves to erect a building to be used as a library, purchase a site for erecting such a building, purchase a building, repair, remodel, or improve an existing library building, build an addition to an existing library building, furnish necessary equipment for a library building, or acquire library materials (such as books, periodicals, films, and recordings) and electronic data storage and retrieval facilities in connection with either the purchase or construction of a new library building or the expansion of an existing library building, the trustees shall proceed as follows:

(1) If a new building is to be erected or purchased or an existing library building is to be purchased, remodeled, repaired, improved, or an addition to an existing library building is to be erected, or necessary equipment is to be furnished, the board of trustees shall prepare a plan and an estimate of the cost. If a site or a building is to be purchased, the trustees shall make an estimate of the cost of the site or building.

(2) The trustees may then determine the funds that will be available from accumulations and the amount to be raised from a bond issue, by annual certification or by a mortgage.

Note that the law does not provide for the Library to take out a bank loan for construction and remodeling. That being the case, the taking out of a bank loan was done in direct violation of the law in our opinion.

These are the same loans that were kept secret from the public by not placing them on the agenda as well as from the Illinois Comptroller by failing to report them for two years.  We covered that issue in this article.

It’s high time law enforcement step up and investigate the numerous violations of law and hold these people accountable. With others downstate being charged with felonies for filing false information with the Comptroller we can only wonder why no such charges have been filed in this case.

In the above-referenced downstate case, “Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she hoped the charges would serve as a reminder that the comptroller’s office is vigilant against fraud.”

“These charges should send a strong message that this office takes very seriously our responsibility to be an independent truth-telling fiscal watchdog, striving for greater transparency and accountability in Illinois government,” she said.

So where is she in this case?



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1 Comment
  • Donna Bishop
    Posted at 21:47h, 30 August Reply

    Disheartening that it doesn’t appear that anyone is doing their job in this situation. Isn’t it the job of the IL Comptroller’s Office to be reviewing the reports being filed by the Atlanta Library on a yearly basis? I’m assuming that the Comptroller’s Office has been notified of their gross negligence in this case.

    Thanks for all the diligence and hard work of the Edgar County Watchdogs & for those concerned citizens in Atlanta who are pulling this information together! It’s awesome to see those willing to stand up against these injustices!!!

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