Dan Vera

Joliet Township – Supervisor Vera’s problems just got worse. Part XI

Will Co. (ECWd) –

We encourage everyone to first read this article so that you can grasp the magnitude of malfeasance and what appears to be straight-up lies being told by Joliet Township Supervisor Danial Vera as it relates to two specific projects.

November 7, 2017 minutes – He added, the project was not split deliberately.

Not split deliberately?

We believe the paper trail says otherwise.

From the same November 7th minutes above:

“He followed up on the invoice(s) for Cosgrove Construction for approximately $27,000. He reported that he went through the Painters Union for recommendations for contractors to paint and sandblast the outside stairs. He choose the low quote from Cosgrove. At about the same time, he decided to have the stone windowsills power washed, caulked and the steel lintels painted.

At about the same time? 

Most would say two proposals dated the same date is not “about the same time” but rather are the same time.  How he can he take the position the two projects were not split deliberately?  The proposals for the two projects were dated on the same date and Vera signs the acceptance of the proposal on the same date.

September 12, 2017 minutes “He has received 1 quote for $9,800 for the sandblasting and painting of the outside back staircase. He will be obtaining a second quote and hopes to have this done prior to winter.”

Really?  He recieved a quote for $9,800.00? 

How does one report to the board on September 12th, 2017, that you recieved recieved a quote for $9,800.00 when the actual proposal is dated September 15, 2017?  Never mind the fact the proposal was not for $9,800.00 as claimed but rather almost double that figure, $18,750.00Note that the total is just under the $20,000.00 threshold for bidding obligations.

It does not appear that there was any intent on getting any other quotes as the proposal was approved 8 days after the September 12th, 2017, meeting but not by the Board.

September 26, 2017“The Supervisor reported the work to sandblast and paint the back outside staircase started today”

How can the project start when the contract was not approved by the Township?  The Supervisor does not have the power to execute a contract without board approval for such a project. Power to contract is given to the Township, not the Supervisor in his capacity as CEO of the Township. Vera signed the acceptance of the proposals without board approval on September 20, 2017.

(60 ILCS 1/85-10)
    Sec. 85-10. Township corporate powers.
    (a) Every township has the corporate capacity to exercise the powers granted to it, or necessarily implied and no others. Every township has the powers specified in this Section.
(d) A township may make all contracts necessary in the exercise of the township’s powers.

As if all of these problems above are not bad enough, the prevailing wage documents tell a very confusing story. All records provided point to Cosgrove Construction being the contractor doing the work.  They are the ones that provided the proposals and even invoiced for the work.  However, the prevailing wage documents point to Cosgrove as the Sub Contractor on these jobs, not the Contractor.

Why is the Township paying a subcontractor and not the contractor?  Who is Sherri Funes? Prevailing Wage documents reflect her title to be “Office Manager” and her online information points to that being a position with Cosgrove Construction.  That being the case, why do the documents name Cosgrove Construction as the Subcontractor rather than the Contractor?

The $18,750.00 project paid out $9,915.72 in wages.

The $8,875.00 project paid out $4,899.27 in wages.

None of the Prevailing wage documents reflect a project or contract number.  Reading everything together, it appears Vera steered these two projects to a single entity at the same time.  Clearly this should have been a combined project and bid out.

Can it get any worse? 

Invoices are date-stamped as being recieved on October 23, 2017, and stamped as paid the next day, October 24, 2017.   The invoices reflect what appears to be the same check number, 16134.  So why is that an issue?  The claim that the projects were not split intentionally is taking the position that the projects were in fact split. If they were split, intentionally or otherwise, why were the invoice payments not split? If they truly were two separate projects as claimed then they should have been paid separately.

Additionally, the first mention of these invoices is during the November 7th, 2017 meeting.  It appears they were paid before board approval.  Did Vera pay these invoices in advance of board approval?  A request for a copy of the canceled check has been sent and will be most telling.

It is crystal clear that Vera misrepresented information to the board.  To report to the board that one project is going to cost $9,800.00 when you had not even gotten the quote yet is most telling.  Especially since the wages paid are almost that exact figure.  Is it possible that the vendor told Vera he would have about $9,800.00 in labor in advance of actually putting pen to paper for the project in an official proposal?  We suspect so since Vera claimed to have gotten that quote from Cosgrove.

What is clear, Supervisor Vera has a lot of explaining to do on this matter as it appears this is a classic case of contract steering and project splitting to avoid bidding.

Stay tuned as there is plenty more to come!

And yes, once again we demand Supervisor Vera resign from office immediately.

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2 replies »

  1. Usually when people do illegal stringing, they break up the purchasing to avoid sending projects to bid over a period of a couple of weeks or months if they are smart to avoid getting caught, not on the same day. If this guy is not gone (resign now to spend more time with your before the annual township meeting in April, the people of Joliet Township should take that opportunity to meet, take their government back, and remove him from office at that meeting. The annual township meeting is probably the only cool thing about government in Illinois–it is the only day of the year when the people get the opportunity to take their government back directly.

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