Will Co. (ECWd) -
The Chicago Tribune ran a very interesting story today regarding Lawrence Wyllie. It turns out that over 5 months ago, Lawrence Wyllie returned $16,000.00 to the School District in the form of a personal check for funds he directed to himself as a retirement benefit.
Reading the letter it is clear Wyllie has not only admitted to an improper payment to himself, but his justification for returning the money appears to be a lie when compared to his actual contract.
Dissecting his letter:
"Please find enclosed a personal check for $16,000 payable to Lincoln-Way High School District No. 210, which is to reimburse the District the entirety of the retirement stipend it issued me in connection with my retirement in the summer of2013, having just completed my 24"' year of service as its Superintendent."
How convenient to leave out the important part about the issuance of the stipend in the first place. He eludes to it being something issued by the District while staying silent on the fact it was he who directed such a payment to be made.
"At the time I received this benefit, I was under the honest, but mistaken, belief that I was entitled to it pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement in place at the time,"
How can he claim he was under the "honest" believe he was entitled to funds pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement when he was not a party to that agreement? Wyllie was under contract and that is the only document that controls his pay so to attempt to claim he made an honest mistake by applying an agreement that had nothing to do with him is nothing but a slap in the face to all the taxpayers in the State by yet another Public Official living off their backs. You can view his final contract at this link.
"..as well as personal observation of the District's past course of conduct in which administrators typically received similar retirement benefits as that of teachers."
Wyllie is admitting to having observed a practice where administrators typically received similar retirement benefits as that of teachers? Several questions arise from this statement. Since he was the one in charge, is he implying these administrators, under his leadership, were paid retirement benefits in excess of their employment agreement? Administrators are not part of the collective bargaining unit so just exactly what did he observe. Or is this statement nothing than masterful wordsmithing to create an excuse as to why he admittedly instructed the receipt of money he was not entitled to?
I say its an excuse as the very next sentence solidifies the misinformation he is spewing.
"I have, however, recently learned that in order to receive that amount as a one-time payment there was a technical requirement in the collective bargaining agreement I simply was not aware of which required me
to give the District further advanced notice of my intention to retire than I actually provided."
He recently learned? I smell a plea deal coming!
Can anyone show me where in his final contract any such criteria were listed so that he could collect this stipend? His statement appears to be nothing more than deflection and misinformation to justify his actions. He was not part of any collective bargaining unit so to imply any such "technical requirement" found in such an agreement has nothing to do with him. Again, another slap in the face.
"As such, I am returning the full amount of the retirement stipend I received and ask that you see that it is delivered to the correct department so it can be made available for the District's use."
How convenient Mr. Wyllie. What about the peoples interest in those funds? Must be nice to be able to use $16,000.00 of public funds for 5 years and not pay back any interest on the improper payment he directed to himself.
As if the letter is not enough to upset the community, we have been unable to locate any reference to this payment in the School Board minutes for June, the month it was recieved or May, the following month. Local citizens have not heard any reference to this payment during school board meetings so therein lies yet another problem that is the root of most public bodies problems, the Board.
An elected Board is duty bound to protect the taxpayers and provide sufficient oversite to prevent the kinds of crimes alleged in the case of Wyllie. When they fail to do their job, they need to be replaced.
For those that may not realize the actions of Wyllie, we encourage you to read the Federal Indictment against him.
You can view his letter to the School by downloading at this link or veiw below.