Sunday, August 16, 2015

Conflict of Interest DuPage County Style

Citing conflict of interest during the March 24, 2015 meeting of the DuPage County Board I was the only member to vote NO on the appointment of Nancy Wolfe as the Inspector General.
How can anyone remain impartial when making possible judgements against those that treated her so well and allowed for such a generous benefit package?
The Chicago Tribune reports the following:

Pension boost tactic sidesteps laws to cost taxpayers millions

Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune
5:31 am, August 15, 2015

Conflicts of interests?

What happened in DuPage County also highlights how those with major financial stakes in the tactic can be close to the discussion over its survival.
Records show that Thomas Downing in 2010 oversaw the state's attorney's office division responsible for crafting board opinions. The board member who pushed the 2010 proposal, John Curran, said Downing at times was assigned to help the committee that debated the ordinance.
Downing retired in 2013. The perk boosted his starting pension from about $69,000 a year to $82,000. Downing declined comment.
Nancy Wolfe oversaw Downing as the first assistant in the office. She retired earlier this year, with the timing of end-of-career payouts boosting her pension by 18 percent. Wolfe said she played no direct role in the opinion and, regardless, would never slant an opinion to benefit her personally. The current state's attorney, Robert Berlin, and former state's attorney, Joe Birkett, said Wolfe and Downing did nothing improper.
Birkett, now an appellate court judge, reviewed and signed the opinion, and he defended his office's handling of the measure. But he said he understands how it could raise questions of a potential conflict of interest. He said he would have sought an outside legal review if the county board had asked.
"I think that's a valid point. Anybody could have raised it at the time. Nobody did," he said.
Curran, the board member who pushed the reform proposal, said he felt it would have been useless because, if someone sues, the state's attorney's office decides how to handle the lawsuit.
The full article can be found here.
The Video from the March 24th DuPage County Board meeting can be here Video.

1 comment:

  1. Business as usual in DuPage County! This "rewarding your friends" has got to stop! These people have forgotten what it means to be a "public servant"!