Kendall County per diem audit process slowly moving forward
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org September 7, 2013 3:28PM
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:08AM
YORKVILLE — It is beginning to sound like a broken record.
At almost every Kendall County Board meeting, a board member or citizen asks about the status of a forensic audit and investigation being done on board members’ per diems — the money they get for attending county meetings.
And at almost every board meeting the answer is the same: no comment.
A few days ago, the question came from County Board member Amy Cesich, who noted that the auditing firm of Dennis Czurylo & Assoc. LLC of Palos Heights had submitted another bill for payment, this one for about $1,000, bringing the amount the auditor has billed so far for the investigation to about $16,000.
Cesich wondered if the board could get an idea of what the investigation is finding.
“Just to have something,” she said. “We are stewards to the taxpayers. This isn’t unlimited, open-ended.”
But Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis, who hired Czurylo after several complaints filed with his office involving the per diems, said he cannot comment on a pending investigation.
“I cannot legally do it, and ethically I will not do it,” he said.
He said board members can decide not to pay a bill submitted. But he said the bill was submitted as part of an investigation that Weis’ office was asked to conduct. Cesich eventually was the lone board member to vote against approval of the bills.
The study going on is of all per diems submitted by all 10 board members during a 3½-year stretch ending in about the middle of 2012. It is technically being done of the previous board, not the new one elected in 2012.
But some of those older board members still are on the board.
Weis recommended the audit in the face of a complaint filed against County Board member Dan Koukol related to the possibility he took $85 per diems for about 50 meetings he attended, but should not have charged the county for.
Koukol has said he attended the meetings in relation to his chairmanship of the County Board Economic Development Committee, and that he cleared taking the per diems for them with Board Chairman John Purcell. Many of the meetings were for economic development-related issues in other parts of the county, and even out of the county.