Will Co. (ECWd) –
Our work of exposing local government malfeasance has many facets. While any particular article may be focused on a specific unit of government, one facet commonly overlooked is the exposure of one local problem opens the door for other local governments and citizens to look for the same thing in their operations.
Plainfield Township appears to have identified some time card issues similar to those we identified in the articles here, here, and here.
We have confirmed former Plainfield Township employee Christy Woolley was terminated for matters tied to time card manipulation.
We need to note the differences between Plainfield Township and Algonquin Township as to how such matters are dealt with. In Algonquin, it appears no one cares about the time card manipulation that has resulted in thousands of extra dollars into the pocket of former employees. In Plainfield, they have taken a proactive approach and are actually performing an audit of the matter and have plans of forwarding their findings to the Will County State’s Attorney to pursue all remedies available.
We point this out so people can understand why some reporting is more detailed with one unit of government versus another. When the public officials take appropriate action to address the malfeasance, our work is minimized and there is no need to continue digging and exposing. However, when public bodies go to extremes to avoid transparency and ignore requests for records like Algonquin Township has done, it requires far more public exposure to ensure the public can see how their officials are failing them.
We recently met with the Plainfield Township Supervisor, Tony Fremarek, and provided him a substantial pile of additional documents for their auditor to look at. Thanks to whistleblowers we were able to provide what appeared to be massive improper personal purchases to include thousands of dollars in gift cards purchased that the Township had no records of.
These documents were tied directly to the past administrator Andi French, who was apparently involved in self-dealing exposed in these articles. The records provided are additional personal purchases on the Township credit card which appears to have been a practice for years.
We look forward to sharing the results of the forensic audit being performed so that other townships can learn from those who take appropriate steps to identify and correct malfeasance in their operations. It should be noted that Algonquin Township has refused to allow a forensic audit of the Road District even though the duly elected highway commissioner has demanded one be performed.
You can download the communications between Plainfield Township and the Illinois Unemployment office, who has denied Woolley unemployment benefits based on the misconduct described at this link, or view below.
[documentcloud url=”http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5740035-Plainfield-Unemployment-Letter.html” responsive=true]
TimPosted at 12:53h, 15 February
And you continue to carry water for the township supervisor who signed off on ALL these credit card purchases.
The supervisor has the duty of the office to be at least slightly aware of what is going on. That these credit card bills were signed off on each and every time by not just the supervisor you are now praising but the full board shows that they either weren’t doing their jobs, or were aware of what was taking place.
The way this article is written, makes it seem like the township leadership isn’t implicated in this behavior. Those are the supervisors authorizations on the payments to the credit cards, are they not?
It’s disappointing to see a group that was once interested in removing bad actors from having access to the public purse, to now actually backing the same officials who were participating in the activity – either by incompetence or deliberately.
Congrats ECW – you’ve gone from a protector to an enabler.
JanusPosted at 15:53h, 15 February
It’s funny, when the plainfield township supervisor fails to do his duties, you praise them as being proactive after they are caught red-handed.
When DuPage township officials fail to do their job, that’s what you title the story as;
“DuPage Township Clerk ignored her duties”
When did Illinois Leaks become so obviously partisan?
Vicky PolitoPosted at 16:51h, 15 February
1. Swell to toot your and PT Supervisor Tony Fremarek’s horn once you finished doing his job for him, as well as taking up the slack for trustees who also were not doing a good job for the people of the township for years. It’s irrelevant how “responsive” Tony Fremarek is when faced with publicity from the thieving that he let occur for years, obviously of multiple types and levels. He’s responsible, and not only for his “response” to getting caught being stupid and lazy in his work.
2. Resources are limited. Got it. But, ECW omits details inexplicably where they’ve already committed resources. Specifically, I disagreed a few weeks ago with ECW repeatedly referring to the Administrator at PT and her husband by name, but only at times referring to the “township supervisor”, without tagging that person by name, within the same article. No extra resources are needed for proper identification of the players, every time, in your reporting. Unequal treatment of parties looks like favoritism.
If you’re reporting corruption news, you’re not supposed to be in the business of deciding if the offender deserves a biscuit and a pat on the head, to treat them according to your idea of appropriate response or how “nice” they are about the whole thing. You can report that they are taking steps, of any kind. But how you view those steps–your feelings about them–is largely irrelevant. Because at the same time you’re heaping left-handed praise on Fremarek, he’ busy dismissing and dodging the rest of the township and media at every turn. He’s avoiding being “transparent” across the board, on all township matters.
ArtPosted at 12:35h, 05 March
Seeing this and thinking nothing has changed in the past year. Supervisor doesn’t even bother to show up for meetings anymore. Based on the published minutes he phoned in November, December, January meetings – and I’m assuming February was the same – but will have to wait for minutes to be published to know for sure.
Kirk AllenPosted at 11:32h, 16 February
Tim, Janus, its OK to just use one name when commenting from the same IP.
CindyPosted at 13:19h, 16 February
The critics in here seem to be protesting too much. I see absolutely nothing wrong with how this website presents any of their pieces. It seems that presenting factual information somehow triggers the uninformed. Get your own website you fools. Then you will see how many morons come in and attack you over nothing.