Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
This edition is an update to Part II of the series in light of key facts exposed by the Illinois State Police Report and what appears to be an attempt to justify compensation for time not worked by Bob Zakowski.
From the ISP Interview Report of Erica Firnhaber :
“Firnhaber provided evidence of Bob Zakowski not being at work and not utilizing benefit time, from October 13-19, 2019.”
“Immediately following the interview, Trooper Schlouch and I went to the Sheriff’s Office to inquire about the time used by Bob Zakowski October 13-19. Secretary Tina Wade was unable to provide documentation of benefit time utilized but did confirm with Bob Zakowski that he did not work during that time frame. Bob Zakowski advised he had utilized a week that had been granted to him for being in a supervisory role. See that attached memorandum for further details regarding the time earned.”
They report that Zakowski advised he utilized a week that had been granted to him for being in a supervisory role and they point to a memorandum regarding the time earned. The memorandum appears to be another eye-popper of wrongdoing by the Shelby County Sheriff at the time, Don Koonce, as well as three county board members. More importantly, the document has nothing to do with the time frame in which Zakowski was paid for not working because it clearly states the practice was stopped in 2018 and it was for four Seargent deputies, not a dispatcher. We can only assume the ISP missed those important points.
With the alleged justification by Zakowski not holding water, it gets worse for him when Tina Wade was unable to provide documentation of benefit time utilized and confirmed with Zakowski that he DID NOT work during that time frame.
According to former undersheriff Rob McCall, “Zakowski compiles all timekeeping and sends it to Tina Wade, SCSO Secretary, and then Wade sends timekeeping to McCall. McCall.”
So we must ask the question the ISP failed to. If Tina Wade had no documentation to support Zakowski’s claim for pay during a week he was not present, who generated that week’s pay information showing Zakowski worked? We find no record of the ISP doing anything to get to the bottom of what appears a clear request for compensation not earned.
It would appear the evidence provided by Firnhaber was substantiated. With the AG choosing to do nothing it appears Zakowski has gotten away with getting paid for time never worked. We have little faith in the County Board or the State’s Attorney doing anything to recover those funds not earned.
In regards to the memorandum used in an attempt to justify the wrongdoing, note the highlighted points.
- The memorandum is dated May of 2020 with a claim the practice was started four years ago, which would indicate 2016 yet the document claims it started in 2015?
- The memorandum was agreed to by the union and implemented without any negotiation or approval from the County Board
- Compensation was provided outside the FOP contract without any negotiation or approval from the County Board
- The memorandum started in 2015 and stopped in 2018 (Note that Firnhaber took office in December 2018 and threw the red flag on payroll)
- The memorandum was allegedly shared with the Law Enforcement Committee, but we find no record of them ever taking this matter to the County Board
So once again, Shelby County leads the charge in doing as they please and ignoring even the most basic rules of a contract and what it takes to amend it. Couple that with a clear paper trail of evidence of compensation for time not worked and an AG that found no criminal offense we can better understand why Illinois is in fact one of the most, if not the most corrupt state in the country.Command each Shift memorandum