Forensic Accountant to Audit County Board Pay
Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis announced he's hiring a Palos Heights-based firm.
Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis is hiring a Palos Heights-based forensic accountant to review county board members’ meeting pay since December 2008.
Dennis Czurylo and his firm will review meeting minutes, board rules and related state statutes, payroll information and pay vouchers, which are documents board members submit requesting pay for individual meetings. Weis discussed the audit with county board members Tuesday morning and announced he would seek the special review without a board vote.
Prosecutors commonly rely on forensic audits for cases involving allegations of financial crimes, but generally an outside entity has paid for and completed the audit before prosecutors are involved, Weis said.
“This is a board matter,” Weis said. “I wanted to make sure the board had an opportunity to make their comments and understand that there would be an expense.”
The pay issue arose after the March primary when long-time county board member Anne Vickery claimed fellow board member Dan Koukol had improperly sought – and received – payment for about 50 meetings since he was seated in December 2010. Vickery did not receive a Republican nomination for re-election in the primary election.
Since then, County Board Chairman John Purcell found Koukol was improperly paid for three meetings since June 2011. Unlike Vickery, Purcell believes Koukol was justified in seeking payment for meetings related to his chairmanship of the county board’s Economic Development Committee, such as meetings with other local economic development organizations.
The forensic accountant will review payments surrounding all 10 county board members from December 2008 to June 1. Weis had suggested an audit of the past three years, which he estimated would cost between $2,000 and $5,000, but some county board members pushed for a longer audit.
Koukol suggested going back eight years, while board member Bob Davidson suggested going back four. Board member Jessie Hafenrichter thought that was too long.
“This is getting a little out of hand,” Hafenrichter said. “I’d just about (prefer) we’d all chip in and pay back whatever anyone thinks is owed.”
Czurylo’s firm had estimated a three-year audit would take three months after the firm received the relevant paperwork. The auditor’s findings will be reported to Weis, who would use them in connection with any investigation.
Recent Kendall County Board candidate Todd Milliron had filed a complaint with Weis’ office, seeking a criminal investigation of Koukol's pay, and of Purcell for allegedly conspiring with Koukol.