WHEELING, IL. (ECWd) -
Dean Argiris, the Mayor of Wheeling, Illinois has been asked during public meetings to explain his use of the city vehicle.
He responded that he can use it for whatever purpose he feels like using it for, including private business purposes.
The vehicle in question was a 2013 Police Interceptor SUV that should have been in use by the police department.
In the below video, he claims he can use the city vehicle for whatever reason he wants, including personal business and has no restrictions on its use. Kind of makes me wonder if he has ever read the Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1 (a) which states that public funds, property, and credit shall only be used for public purpose. The Illinois Supreme Court has already determined that this section of the constitution can be used to file criminal charges for official misconduct.
It does not matter if the item is in the budget or not, using the city police interceptor vehicle for personal business use is a violation of law. It is called official misconduct. There is absolutely no public purpose for Mayor Agriris to use the city vehicle for his private mortgage broker business and for his side job working at the funeral home.
Using this vehicle is also considered "compensation" and the city claims it is not compensation - we will have to see what the IRS thinks, because this is going to them for a decision.
The city manager, city trustees, and city attorneys are well aware of how he uses this vehicle and have condoned it either thru knowing participation or thru their silence. They cannot give the OK for violations of law, even thru an ordinance, so no matter what any future ordinance or policy might say, it can never legally grant personal and private business use of a city vehicle.
This bankrupt Mayor, who allegedly doesn't have a vehicle anymore except for his wife's and daughter's vehicles, has been given full-time unrestricted use of this city vehicle, to include fuel, maintenance, and insurance (wonder if the city insurance company knows about this arrangement?) for his personal use and for him to go to his other jobs and use it to put money in his own pocket.
An interested party should file criminal complaints against Mayor Argiris and every employee, elected official, and city attorney that has let him get by with this. It sure has the hallmarks of income tax evasion, official misconduct (constitution violation), misappropriation of public property, and use of public property for personal gain.
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