Will Co. (ECWd) -
After exposing a vast array of self-dealing by the former Plainfield Township Administrator Andi French, she took the path of resigning prior to being terminated for her actions. We covered it in this article. The self-dealing ranged from the storage of private property in the township building to invoice payments to her husband. Numerous articles on questionable spending can be viewed at this link.
Following our exposure of matters, the Township Supervisor hired Wermer, Rogers, Doran, and Ruzon, Certified Public Accountants, for the purpose of "reporting" to the Township the findings of their review.
Initially we were told there would be a forensic audit related to the inappropriate expenditures, however, no such audit took place. According to Supervisor Fremareck, "This approach was recommend by the accounting firm. A true forensic audit would be extremely costly, and perhaps not show results that would warrant the cost. The approach was to perform this audit first, then based on the results move to a full forensic audit if the board wanted to do so. Based on these results I do not believe we will be moving forward with a full forensic audit. Also, the SA did not seem to be willing to move forward with anything based upon our initial discussions with the sheriff's department and the SA."
The report points to numerous concerns regarding how things were being managed to include identifiying spending done in direct violation of the law.
- We noted the Township did not have written procedures for Payroll Processing
- We noted 24 of the 40 payments made totaling $1,269.55 were for the benefit of one individual who appeared to be eligible for Social Security benefits and therefore ineligible for General Assistance.
- One payment recorded in the general ledger included a resident’s share of their mortgage payment.
- WRDR noted the Emergency/General Assistance case files were poorly organized
- Of the 17 employee personnel files chosen for testing, 3 files did not contain W-4 forms and 11 files did not have information related to the employees’ current approved wages.
- We noted that although the hourly individual appeared to be a 30 hour per week employee, each paid day off (vacation, holiday,
sick etc.) was recorded at 8 hours rather than 6 hours.
- Our recalculation of the paychecks of 6 employees which included one of the recent former employees for the pay period 9/17/2018 to 9/30/2018 based on time cards revealed that employees were paid 8 hours of overtime for September 18, 2018, which was “Plainfield Township Day”. The payment of overtime to these 6 employees resulted in an additional $799.50 in wages and $104.08 of related benefits expense for a combined total of $903.58 compared to what the employees were entitled to, based on actual hours worked. The Township should only pay employees for actual hours worked at approved rates.
- For all time cards we viewed that were dated prior to December 2018, we noted employee time cards did not have evidence of a review or approval such as having a supervisor’s initials on the time cards.
- We noted 10 separate gift cards, 3 for Walmart and 7 for Meijer, each valued at $25.00, for a total of $250.00. We did not note evidence of any gift card purchases, sales or distributions during the current fiscal year.
Of interest was the response from the Supervisor regarding credit card spending. The receipts we reviewed made it clear there was purchases made with those credit cards that had nothing to do with Township government, a position agreed with by Supervisor Fremareck. According to Fremareck, even if the credit card expenditures were fraudulent, "the SA has not appeared to be willing to move forward with any items."
While we are not privy to the discussion the Township had with the Sheriff and State's Attorney's office, we can only wonder what it takes in Illinois for corruption to be taken seriously and prosecuted. The report confirms payments for work not performed, payment of a person's mortgage as well as other inappropriate expenditures, but it appears those responsible will not be held accountable.
A copy of the report can be viewed below or downloaded at this link.
Plainfield Township Agreed-Upon Procedures report from WRDR April 2019
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