Independent audit of per diems needed : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Independent audit of per diems needed
Kendall County Board members have been squabbling over their per diem payments for the past several months.
Board members receive $85 in per diem payments for each county government meeting they attend. But some board members have accused their colleagues of claiming per diems for meetings that they contend did not qualify for the payments.
The per diems can add up quickly for board members. For example, we reported in April that between Dec. 2010 and this past March, county board member Anne Vickery claimed $16,660 in per diem payments, while board member Dan Koukol claimed $16,150. That's not bad money for a part-time job.
As we reported last week, County State's Attorney Eric Weis has recommended the board hire an independent accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit of the per diem payments to clear the air over the disputed payments. Weis acknowledged some board members would prefer to have the payments reviewed in-house, but said he believes it would be best to have an independent audit completed because it would remove "any appearance of any impropriety" by the board.
We absolutely agree with Weis. County taxpayers deserve to know that a fully independent auditor has reviewed the county's per diem policies and the record of past per diem payments. The board should accept Weis' recommendation and have the independent audit completed as soon as possible.