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August 10, 2022

Shelby County State’s Attorney Doesn’t “Think” Anyone Is Following The Statute

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 12, 2021

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

Once again, the comments from the State’s Attorney regarding state law are perplexing. Illinois law requires an audit of all funds and accounts under the management or control of a county official as soon as possible after the official leaves office.

55 ILCS 5/6-31005 – Funds managed by county officials in addition to any other audit required by this Division, the County Board shall cause an audit to be made of all funds and accounts under the management or control of a county official as soon as possible after such official leaves office for any reason. The audit shall be filed with the county board no later than 180 days after the official leaves office. The audit shall be performed and the audit report shall be prepared and filed with the Chairman of the County Board by an auditor.

As used in this Section, “county official” means any elected county officer or any officer appointed by the county board who is charged with the management or control of any county funds; and “audit” means a post facto examination of books, documents, records, and other evidence relating to the obligation, receipt, expenditure or use of public funds of the county, including governmental operations relating to such obligations, receipt, expenditure or use.

Nichole Kroncke’s first comment about this law is about there not being any cases on the statute because she does not think anyone is following the statute.  Could it be that the reason there are no cases on it is that the plain reading of the law is so clear no one would be stupid enough to ignore the law?  While we suspect there are counties who have not followed the law, our experience would point to the reason being they are not aware of it, rather than being aware and ignoring it.  This was the second time she has spoken about other counties not following it, which has nothing to do with the matter before the board.

While she does not “think” anyone is following it, it did not take long to find proof that it is being followed.  In fact, not only is it being followed, the Kane County State’s Attorney provided a memorandum to the county officials on the matter explaining the law and even includes the appropriate resolution to be adopted by the County Board.  Those records can be viewed in the Kane County audit document at this link, beginning on page 61.

The law was also being followed in McHenry County, a former place of employment for Kroncke as found in the County Auditor’s report at this link.

Kendall County also followed the law as found in their records.

The Kane and McHenry County documents outline key points regarding the required audit which could be used to educate Shelby County officials.

The audit is required for all funds and accounts under the management or control of a county official. The issue raised about what is or is not public funds is laughable when you read the plain reading of the law. The law defines “audit” and most auditors are capable of determining how to apply the definition in the law when they perform their audit.  If there are funds that are found not to be public funds then they would not be part of the required audit.  If such funds exist, the question becomes why is a public official managing private funds and if they are, where are the checks and balances to ensure those funds are being spent properly?

Rather than “thinking” no one else follows the law or concerning themselves with what is or is not public funds, why not instruct the county board to follow the law on the books and educate them on the process, much like the Kane County State’s Attorney did in his memorandum?

In my very first presentation to the Shelby County Board, I emphasized the importance of following the law rather than look to others to see how they are doing things.  That advice clearly fell on deaf ears as here we are two years later and the focus appears to be on what other counties are doing rather than what the law says they are supposed to do.

The video is of the entire meeting but is set to start at the point where the Clerk defers to the State’s Attorney.

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8 Comments
  • Darrel W. Bruck Jr. President of OUTRAGE
    Posted at 15:43h, 12 November

    None of that is being followed here in Kankakee County. In fact, the county board, the sheriff keep financial information away from the county auditor. Their excuse is they don’t have to recognize the county auditor because they have a political appointee as financial manager. The state law says the duly elected county auditor is to oversee the county financial accounts/funds but Kankakee County does not have to follow the law according to Chairman Wheeler. As a result the county auditor is not able to do his job even though he is getting paid. There must be some way for a citizen here in the county to sue the county board to make them follow Illinois law.

  • Hugh R Janus
    Posted at 17:08h, 12 November

    Is she getting paid to think? Or is she getting paid to know?

  • RIPLUMBER
    Posted at 18:03h, 12 November

    I have pointed out this requirement many times and I don’t believe it is being followed. I think most county board’s are barely scratching the surface of their statutory responsibilities.

  • Erik Public
    Posted at 18:22h, 12 November

    The worst. Every dollar HELD by a public body are public funds. Whether they be custodial or general, e v e r y $$ government collects are “public funds”.

    According to GASB, which the states attorney is clearly ignorant of, a dollar held by government are PUBLIC FUNDS. Even if they’re custodial.

    Holding a $ for a prisoner doesn’t make that public money, but the Public, as represented by the BODY, is the responsibility of the BODY. to protect.

    This is governmental accounting 101.

    Signed, Government finance officer with over 20 years of protecting public money. It sounds like the sheriff wants more cars.

    My gosh, what is going on in that county?

  • JIMBO
    Posted at 22:17h, 12 November

    Cued up by the clerk, she was.

    The psychology of “I don’t think…” predominates the Shelby County board, twenty- two members weak. How else does the board vote to farm out the employee payroll accounting to the chagrin of the treasurer; completely fail to resolve a land-use issue, all the while keeping on with the lame idea that they’re being a good neighbor? We don’t need no stinking web-site!

    Indeed, Shelby County, Illinois has a seat that insists on doing the states attorney’s thinking. And now, two years later, the clerk is suspect to each board chair change amid the county’s circumstance. Got it.

  • JIMBO
    Posted at 22:33h, 12 November

    Former Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott presenting anything to the Shelby County Board is like an intergovernmental administration attempting to scrape away bedrock with a toothbrush.

  • Justice Seeker
    Posted at 18:41h, 13 November

    Macon County wins and Shelby County loses. Corruption is corruption o matter where you are! McHenry County, search it!

  • Cindy
    Posted at 11:59h, 15 November

    Duh!

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