Illinois (ECWd) –
The Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County has released the investigation report regarding the $495,000.00 contract awarded to Hey G Consulting owned by Geriann Wiesbrook. The report, which can be downloaded at this link or viewed below is approximately 21 pages.
Clearly, the people who were on the Executive Committee of the Commission have no business ever holding another public position with an entity which spends taxpayer money.
Below are key statements from the report which basically confirm everything we wrote about and more during the last several months.
- The investigation found that the services provided did not conform to the Memo of Understanding (“MOU”) between Hey G and the VACWC.
- According to the MOU, $425, 000.00 out of the entire $495,000.00 was to be paid to third-party vendors for graphics creation, advertising, and video creation. However, there is little evidence that these vendors were paid anything and no evidence that they were paid the amounts specified in the MOU.
- To date, there is no evidence that any steps have been taken in order to recover the apparent unspent funds.
- The investigation found that former superintendent McNichol exercised no oversight over the funds that were appropriated by the Will County Board for the marketing campaign.
- After the marketing campaign began, the services provided by Hey G did not conform to the MOU, yet McNichol never raised this issue with Wiesbrook, nor did she bring any concerns about the marketing campaign to the VACWC Executive Board.
- The investigation also found that the VACWC Executive Board did not exercise oversight over its superintendent in accordance with its bylaws and the Military Veterans Assistance Act.
- As a result, the VACWC never reviewed and approved the MOU or the contract.
- The Services that Hey G Provided were not Performed in Accordance with Either the Memo of Understanding or the Contract.
- There are no invoices or receipts showing payment by Wiesbrook to any third-party vendors named in the MOU. Instead, invoices show that media outlets such as Farmers Weekly Review and Alpha Media were paid amounts that were a small fraction of those quoted in the MOU.
- There are expenses including salaries and office expenses that are not provided for in either the MOU or the contract.
- Still, there is nothing in the materials to show anyone associated with the VACWC agreed that the terms of either the MOU or the underlying contract should be altered.
- Perhaps most importantly, according to the spreadsheet, 2020-2021 expenses totaled $230,413.00 with projected expenses of $274,587.00. This would appear to be in clear violation of the contract that expired on December 31, 2021. Despite the fact that out of the $495,000.00 that was originally agreed upon, almost $275,000 remains outstanding and unaccounted for, Wiesbrook considers her obligation to the VACWC to be fulfilled.
- Former VACWC Superintendent McNichol Exercised No Oversight Over the Appropriations Made for Marketing and Advertising.
- The VACWC received no invoices or receipts that show that the third-party vendors named in the MOU were ever paid the specified amounts. Emails, texts, and phone records that we reviewed show no evidence of any contact with these vendors whatsoever.
- Once the marketing campaign was funded, McNichol showed little concern about how the money was actually being spent.
- McNichol made sure that Wiesbrook was paid the money up front before services were rendered even after she knew that the money was not coming from CARES Act funds and was likely not subject to its spending deadlines. She did not request receipts from Hey G, and there is no evidence that she had much of an idea on how the money was being spent.
- As a result, the investigation found that McNichol exercised no oversight over the money appropriated by the Will County Board for the strategic marketing campaign, contrary to her responsibility under the Military Veterans Assistance Act.
- The VACWC Executive Board Exercised No Oversight of its Superintendent
- Most importantly, nothing was ever put up to a vote by the full VACWC.
- The VACWC Must Recover All Unspent Funds from Hey G Marketing and Geriann Wiesbrook.
- We therefore urge the VACWC to take all necessary measures to recover all the funds that are unaccounted for.
- The VACWC Must Exercise Greater Supervision over its Superintendent.
Considering the report confirms government funds were misspent, would that not constitute theft of services? Should this be a criminal investigation? Were these federal funds?Report of Investigation 2023-Hey G Marketing
DavePosted at 19:35h, 25 January
Wow….. yes pay it back, every penny
CindyPosted at 21:36h, 25 January
What a waste! Unbelievable how this kind of theft goes on unnoticed.
Droopy: Master SergeantPosted at 17:16h, 26 January
It only goes unnoticed because there is no action in Illinois against those who do such things. AG Kuame Raoul has not prosecuted one public corruption case since taking office. Theft of funds have been exposed everywhere and the judicial branch has failed!