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Weis release details on per diem payments : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Weis release details on per diem payments
Audit shows 11 current, former officials incorrectly charged county

by Matt Schury

6/12/2014

Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis' Office released more information this week regarding an audit of 11 current and former Kendall County Board members' per diem payments and mileage reimbursements.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Ledger-Sentinel, Weis' office provided a detailed analysis Monday of vouchers and itemized list of the board members' per diems and mileage reimbursements.

Within the FOIA response are details of which meetings board members are being asked to reimburse the county for, the date of the meeting, how much they collected, as well as why they are being asked to pay back the per diems or mileage they claimed.

Weis has said this is just a fraction of the roughly 7,000 to 10,000 pages of records his office is scanning from the audit. Weis said his office intends to release the audit on multiple CDs once all the information is processed and scanned in a PDF format.

The information in the audit explains the amount each board member is said to owe the county in the request letters sent last month.

County Board members identified in the Weis' investigation and audit who received letters include former chairman Anne Vickery, Bob Davidson, Jessie Hafenrichter, Nancy Martin, Pam Parr and Suzanne Petrella as well as current board members Dan Koukol, former chairman John Purcell, current Chairman John Shaw, Jeff Wehrli and Elizabeth Flowers.



Anne Vickery

Vickery's request letter said she owes the county $14,572. Information in the audit suggests that she payback 111 individual per diems totaling $9,520 and $5,052 in incorrectly claimed mileage reimbursements.

The per diem payments in the audit summary and for which the committee is seeking reimbursement fall into multiple categories.

In Vickery's case there were 50 instances which the audit says she, as the board chairman at the time, could not claim a per diem for.

The County Board's Rules of Order state the board chairman can only collect a per diem for attending the bi-monthly County Board meeting, Forest Preserve District meeting and County Board's committee of the whole meeting.

For instance the audit also shows 27 Animal Control meetings Vickery attended where she was not authorized to collect a per diem because she was chairman of the board at the time.

For two of those 27 meetings, the auditor could find no record of the meeting taking place. The audit lists 18 instances between 2009 and 2010 where she attended a United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI)/Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust (ICRMT) meeting and collected a per diem which she shouldn't have since she was the chairman at the time.

There are 10 instances listed in the report of Vickery claiming a per diem when there is no record of the meeting having occurred. The audit shows seven instances where she was not authorized for re-imbursement because she was the chairman at the time; six times Vickery was not authorized for reimbursement; five times where there is no record of attendance.

There are two instances where there is no record of the meeting or attendance at the meeting; one time where no meeting occurred but she collected a voucher; one time when she was paid on a previous voucher for a meeting and billed the county twice; three instances where she was paid for attending a second meeting in the same day; two meetings where she was not a member of the organization and was chairman at the time, one meeting where there is no record of attendance and no evidence that a meeting occurred.

The audit lists three times Vickery attended a meeting where there was no record of attendance and she was not allowed to claim a per diem for the meeting because she was chairman. The audit also shows one time when she claimed the same meeting per diem on the same voucher. The report also says she claimed a per diem when no meeting was held and she was not needed to fill a quorum.

The audit also breaks out some of Vickery's mileage. It shows Vickery being reimbursed for a myriad of reasons including committee meetings, meetings with county staff members and elected officials.

In one instance the audit says that Vickery claimed $27.20 in mileage reimbursements to "pick up donuts for Courthouse-Morris to Yorkville." It says Vickery also claimed mileage for an "Illinois Toll Meeting" in Downers Grove for $44 and another for $39. She is being asked to repay mileage for meeting with Congressman Bill Foster in Batavia for $44. Vickery was also reimbursed $20 for an "unknown meeting-Morris" in 2009. She sought mileage for a "luncheon at Emerson Creek-Latreese, Mimi, Linda" for $30.80. In 2009 Vickery claimed $15.40 in mileage for traveling to "Speaker Hastert's Office," the audit says.

Traveling to a meeting in Chicago with Gov. Pat Quinn Vickery charged the county $66 for mileage in 2009. It is not clear from the information provided by auditors whether the mileage was for a round trip or one way.

There are also a couple of instances of Vickery claiming mileage for signing papers, according to the audit report. She also requested and got mileage reimbursement for "Oswego lunch ladies." She charged the county $37 in mileage to a meeting with a "Mark Pollash" at a restaurant in LaGrange, Ill. in 2010, according to the audit.



Pam Parr

Former board member Pam Parr was asked to repay the second highest amount of per diems and mileage after Vickery, the audit shows. Parr was asked to pay back $4,491.

A breakdown of what the audit suggests Parr incorrectly collected includes 46 per diems. This included 18 times when it says she was not authorized to be reimbursed for a meeting; eight instances where she was not a member of the group meeting and not needed to fill a quorum; eight times where there is no record of a meeting taking place, seven times when she was not a member of the group she is claiming a per diem for, and five times when there is no record of a meeting taking place and she is not a member of the group.

Parr was asked to repay $181 in mileage, for which the audit says she was not authorized for reimbursement 15 times between 2009 and 2010.



Dan Koukol

The audit shows Board member Dan Koukol collected $3,910 in per diem payments and $487 in mileage for a total of $4,397 that he is asked to repay.

The categories these per diems break down into include 17 times when he was not a member of a group meeting and not needed for a quorum; 12 instances where the audit says he was not authorized to be reimbursed for attending a meeting; six times Koukol collected a per diem when he was paid on a previous voucher; four instances where he was not a member of a committee or meeting he attended but claimed a per diem; three times where no meeting occurred and there was no record of attendance; three instances where he collected more than one per diem in a day; and one instance where there is no record of attendance.

Other mileage incorrectly claimed by Koukol not associated with per diems, totaled $20 for two meetings. In these two instances Koukol was not authorized to be reimbursed for mileage, according to the audit.



Suzanne Petrella

The per diem ad hoc committee requested that Petrella pay the county back for $4,232 in incorrectly collected per diems and mileage reimbursements. Of that amount, the audit says Petrella owes the county $3,570 in incorrectly claimed per diems and $662 in corresponding mileage.

The per diems break down with 11 not authorized for reimbursement; seven no record of attendance; seven for no meeting, no record of attendance; eight where there was no record of a meeting; five for not being a member of the committee meeting she went to; two meetings where she was not a member of the group and not needed to fill a quorum; and two meetings that she claimed a per diem for on the same day.

According to the audit, Petrella's mileage reimbursement to pay back totals $234. From 2009 to 2012 the audit says she was either not authorized for reimbursement or a non-member of the committee. Five times in 2011, the audit says Petrella submitted mileage reimbursements on two different vouchers.



Jessie Hafenritcher

Former Board member Jessie Hafenrticher's letter requests she pay back $3,827 to the county in per diems and mileage. That includes $3,315 in per diems and $512 in mileage, according to the audit.

The audit says Hafenritcher incorrectly claimed a per diem 16 times where there is no record of a meeting; eight instances where there is no record of attendance; seven times when she was not allowed to receive compensation per statute; four times when there was no meeting, no record of attendance; one time she was not authorized for reimbursement and once when she was double billed for the same meeting.



Jeff Wehrli

Jeff Wehrli is said to owe the county $3,415 in per diems and mileage he collected incorrectly, the audit says.

In 16 instances Wehrli claimed a per diem for attending the Historic Preservation Commission for a total of $1,360. The audit claims he was not authorized by county ordinance to collect a per diem for attending those meetings.

Whehrli's portion of the audit also says there were 10 times when he turned in a per diem and there is no record of meeting; four times he was not authorized for reimbursement; four times there is no record of his attendance; and once when no meeting took place but he claimed a per diem.

Wehrli collected $1,615 relating to the above per diems, the audit says, and incorrectly logged $238 in corresponding mileage. Wehrli claimed $202 in mileage not linked to a per diem. The audit says that 13 times he was not authorized for reimbursement of mileage and once he was a non-member of the plan commission in 2010.



John Purcell

Board member John Purcell received a request letter last month from the per diem ad hoc committee that says he owes the county $2,648.

Of that amount, the audit says Purcell owes $2,380 in per diems and about $268 in mileage.

Purcell's 28 per diem payments owed include 11 instances where there is no record of attendance; 10 meetings where he was not authorized to claim a per diem because he was chairman of the board; three instances where there is no record of attendance; two times he was not a member of the committee or group and not needed for a quorum; one instance where he was not authorized to be reimbursed; and one other time when there was no record of his attendance at a meeting.

The audit also lists four instances where he was not authorized to be reimbursed for mileage.



Bob Davidson

Former board member Bob Davidson is said to owe the county $2,635 in per diem payments. Davidson does not owe any reimbursement for mileage. He has said that he does not submit mileage traveled for reimbursement.

Of the 31 per diems in the audit, 10 were for no record of a meeting; six were for claiming two meetings on the same day; five had no meeting, no record of attendance; four times when he was not a member of the committee and not needed to attend to fill a quorum; three instances he claimed a per diem when there was no record of his attendance and an additional three times the meeting was not authorized for reimbursement. An example of the last instance involved Davidson attending a Grundy/Kendall County joint highway committee meeting.



John Shaw

The audit says owes the county $2,925 for 27 per diem payments including 14 where he was a non-member of the committee meeting he attended; six for no record of the meeting; four for no record of his attendance; two where he was not authorized for re-imbursement; one time where he claimed more than one meeting in the same day; and one where he was not appointed to the committee.



Nancy Martin

Former board member Nancy Martin is said to owe the county $1,785. The audit cites 21 incorrectly claimed per diems. Of those, 17 times she was given a per diem when there is no record of a meeting taking place; twice for no meeting, no record of attendance; once for no record of attendance; and once for two meetings on the same day.

Martin's audit doesn't show any mileage reimbursement claimed.



Elizabeth Flowers

Kendall County Board member Elizabeth Flowers has been asked by the per diem ad hoc committee to pay back $1,700 in incorrectly claimed per diems.

Flowers' audit lists 20 claims for per diems: nine for no record of attendance; five for no meeting, no record of attendance; five for no record of a meeting held; and one where she was not a member of the committee.

She did not owe the county any reimbursement for mileage claimed, according to the audit.




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