Grand jury may be looking into Kendall Board per diems
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org September 24, 2013 5:33PM
Updated: October 26, 2013 6:35AM
YORKVILLE — It appears a grand jury is investigating per diems taken by Kendall County Board members.
Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said he legally can’t confirm the existence of the grand jury. However, it appears to exist because it issued a subpoena to the River Valley Workforce Investment Board, of which Kendall County is a member, for records pertaining to a per diem investigation.
The State’s Attorney’s Office has been investigating all per diems submitted by all 10 Kendall County 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. They include Chairman John Shaw, John Purcell, Elizabeth Flowers, Jeff Wehrli and Dan Koukol.
Weis recommended an audit in the face of a complaint filed against 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.
The audit and investigation has taken much longer, and cost much more, than originally anticipated. In recent months, when asked about it, Weis has said he cannot comment on it because it is an open investigation.
On Aug. 28, the grand jury issued a subpoena to the River Valley Workforce Investment Board, a 40-member board with representatives from Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties which helps unemployed workers receive scholarships for retraining that will place them in high-demand careers.
The subpoena requests attendance records, logs, memoranda and recordings reflecting attendance, including sign-in sheets or rosters. It also asks for monies paid, including reimbursements, payments, stipends, honoraria or gifts for attendance or mileage expenses.
It asks for the expenses for the current board members who were on the board before, and also for former board members Bob Davidson, Suzanne Petrella, Jesse Haffenrichter, Nancy Martin, Pam Parr and Anne Vickery.
The subpoena was apparently sent because attendance records for the investment board are not kept by the Kendall County Clerk’s office. Most of the information on meetings attended is in the County Clerk’s office.