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Kendall committee to study board member pay

Updated: January 9, 2014 6:33AM

YORKVILLE — The first meeting of a Kendall County Board committee charged with looking at how board members are paid will be later this month.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Per Diems will meet at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17 in the County Board Room, 111 W. Fox St. in Yorkville.

The committee will begin looking at the per diems — which are $85 payments board members receive for each official meeting they attend — and at how board members should be paid in the future.

The County Board created the committee recently, and County Board Chairman John Shaw appointed five members to it.

The chairman is board member Amy Cesich, and Lynn Cullick is vice chairman. Other members of the committee are Scott Gryder, Judy Gilmour and Matt Prochaska.

Those are the five board members who were elected in 2012 and are not part of a current investigation into per diems taken over a 3 1/2-year period between 2009 and the middle of 2012.

The other five board members — Shaw, John Purcell, Elizabeth Flowers, Jeff Wehrli and Dan Koukol — are part of that investigation, which has gone to a Kendall County grand jury.

The investigation started when Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis received a complaint against Koukol for per diems he might have taken he should not have. In hiring a forensic auditor to do the investigation, Weis widened the probe to include all board members and all per diems they took during that three-year period.

At some point, the investigation went to the grand jury. That was only discovered when the grand jury began subpoenaing ancillary governmental agencies for their records of meeting attendance by Kendall County Board members.

Five former board members — Anne Vickery, Jesse Hafenrichter, Nancy Martin, Robert Davidson and Suzanne Petrella — are also included in the investigation.

The investigation is looking at whether board members were entitled to the per diems they took. According to board rules, board members are supposed to take per diems for attending full board meetings, including Committee of the Whole, and for attending only committees they are assigned to.

Cesich has said the new committee will definitely look at tightening per diem rules.

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