Will Co. (ECWd) -
I think it is pretty safe to say the general population has had enough from government corruption and insider dealings, such as creating jobs for their friends and family. In most cases that local sausage-making takes place behind closed doors and the details rarely get exposed. Much was the case in Joliet Township. Keywords, was the case!
Due to an OMA violation by the Board, we gained access to the closed session recording. While the recording is almost two hours, this 53 seconds of discussion is one we are confident the Joliet Police are going to be interested in as well as the State's Attorney's office who we understand has called for the criminal investigation of matters we have exposed to date.
The discussion uncovered deals with the Joliet Township Supervisor Dan Vera asserting control over matters to include demanding the resignation from a former elected Road District Highway Commissioner, James Maffeo. Vera basically pressures the person to resign and even offers what some may consider a bribe in exchange for that resignation. He offers to create a position in the Road District, Deputy Highway Commissioner, and make him an employee, a power of which he does not have as Supervisor. Only the Road District Highway Commissioner can establishment employment positions in a Road District. This is yet another indicator that Vera believes he is in charge of the Road District. He then states he offered to make him a Sexton for the cemetery at $12,000.00 a year, the same wage the trustees earn for their whopping two meetings a month.
I wrote in this article: "We recieved a credible tip regarding two past Joliet Township board members, Robert Wisniewski and Jeffery Wallace. We were told a plan was discussed to convince them to not run again by appointing Wisniewski to be the Road District Attorney and Wallace to be a senior Laison. To date, Supervisor Vera has refused to respond to our inquiries on this matter so we have been unable to verify the claim, however, he has not denied it. Regardless, what we have been able to verify is very troubling."
Looks like the tip was accurate and now it appears we have verbal confirmation directly connected to the tip and others being "helped" out by the Supervisor.
"Bob, Marilyn, Jeff and others" were helped to transition out as Vera puts it, and he confirms the board is well aware of it. The paper trail we have gathered is putting the puzzle together.
We believe the "Bob" he makes reference to is Robert Wisniewski, a former trustee. The "Jeff" appears to be Jeff Wallace, a former trustee, and we are now working on identifying who "Marilyn" is and how she was "helped" in transitioning out. Vera claims this was all about doing what's right.
Robert Wisniewski - We confirmed he did not run again and did, in fact, get a nice illegal agreement to be the attorney for the Road District. We covered it in this article and referenced the action as Ghost Contracting.
Jeff Wallace - We confirmed he did not run again and sure enough, he got a contract with the Township. We have not written about this yet, but his contracts are found here 2017, 2018, and 2019. According to the contracts he is getting paid $15,960.00 a year, (all payments made), and is required to provide monthly written reports to the board. I asked for his work product and all that was produced was reports from 2019. Since there are no reports provided as requested we can assume there are none. If that is the case then this appears to be another trustee with a ghost contract for at least two years in exchange for not running again.
Jim Maffeo was the former Highway Commissioner that Vera was trying to force out of office through promises of employment, one which Vera could never legally provide. Maffeo has not accepted any such employment as it appears there is much more to this story that ties directly back to the very first story we shared with CBS, and they ran in this News story.
We will continue to publish portions of the audio in future articles and at some time will make the entire audio available.