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SA to discuss per diem investigation findings : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
SA to discuss per diem investigation findings
Weis will also make recommendations to county board committee

by Matt Schury


Kendall County Board members should begin to get an idea today, Thursday, of what changes they should make when it comes to collecting payment for attending board meetings.

The County Board's Per Diem Ad Hoc Committee is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. in Yorkville and will hear for the first time from Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis regarding an ongoing forensic audit investigation into County Board members' per diem payments and mileage reimbursement.

Weis said that he will make recommendations to the board members and suggestions on how they can avoid violating policies in the future. He has told the board that he will not be naming board members in the investigation who have violated policies.

Current board members included in the audit and investigation are John Purcell, Elizabeth Flowers, Jeff Wehrli, Dan Koukol, and Chairman John Shaw. Former board members included are Anne Vickery, Bob Davidson, Pam Parr, Jesse Hafenritcher, Suzanne Petrella and Nancy Martin.

The 11 County Board members included in the audit investigation by the County State's Attorney's office and recently mentioned in a subpoena by a Kendall County grand jury collectively earned $642,779 between 2008 and 2012.

That figure is according to information the County Treasurer's office turned over to an accounting firm hired by Weis last year.

Additionally, according to information from the County Treasurer's Office, those board members received $17,700 in mileage reimbursement. (see related story)

Board members on the Per Diem Ad Hoc Committee include committee chairman Amy Cesich, Scott Gryder, Matthew Prochaska, Lynn Cullick and Judy Gilmour.

Last week the board voted 8-0 to authorize Weis' office to present the audit's preliminary findings to the committee in lieu of the full board. The board also voted 8-1 to authorize the Per Diem Ad Hoc Committee to make all settlement and civil litigation decisions on the county's behalf related to the audit findings.

The audit and investigation that began in 2012 have looked into how board members collected compensation for attending meetings and mileage reimbursement. It involved a forensic audit provided by a private auditing firm as well as an investigation by Weis' office. It was learned this fall that a Kendall County Grand Jury also subpoenaed records and minutes from boards and commissions county members sit on.

Kendall County Sheriff's Deputies also interviewed some board members about how they collect per diems.

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