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Forest Preserve Employees Accused of Misusing Funds

The results of an external investigation will be turned over to the DuPage County State's Attorney Office.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County announced Friday in a statement on the district's website that two administrative employees were suspended without pay for a possible misuse of taxpayer funds and/or resources.

The suspensions came after the district hired an external expert who examined the situation, according to the statement.

One of the employees resigned Nov. 7. The other was terminated on Nov. 15. The district is not identifying them at this time.

Based on the external expert's findings, the statement said, the matter is being referred to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for further review. District officials said they will have no further comment while the matter is reviewed by law enforcement.

George P November 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Story fails to mention that the Forest Preserve Board hired PR-Crisis Mgmt-media spin control on Nov 15 in another no-bid contract (no-bid, no qualifications, no-hourly rates,...) for $48,000 so they can lie to the public and reverse spin the story and create political cover for the board. Want to know who they hired? Here's the Nov 15, 2011 agenda: http://www.dupageforest.com/AboutUs/Commission/Meetings/Agendas/2011_Meeting_Agendas.html And here's a link to an excellent blog full of background on the "game changer" consultant hired by the Forest Preserve. Notice the political campaign work, the work for various gov't agencies and then the work for the Paris businessman... by the time you finish reading the entire blog, you will be convinced that the depth of corruption at the FP is much deeper than this press release. Why hire this guy? Its a big read flag. http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/
Johner November 19, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Interesting how they don't release the names like they do for DUI's and everything else!
Bill Angel November 20, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Good stuff. Sounds like there is real boys club mentality. You wanna play, then pay.
CountyLeaks November 20, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Wow. Just checked to see where a surge of hits was coming from today to http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/ . To my horror, I see that Reverse Spin has received yet another government contract. These political operatives employ techniques used in the political arena to the public arena. No wonder they were ushered in under the radar! They already have a $3,000 monthly contract with the DuPage County Election Commission. Now they'll be making another $4,000 per month of tax dollars from DuPage citizens. Ironically, the proprietors of Reverse Spin promote small government and low taxes. As long as it doesn't include them, right? The firm's Twitter site defines Reverse Spin as: an Illinois political and public affairs company that helps rid the planet of corruption, faulty logic and misguided philosophy. Their slogan sums it all up: Reverse Spin, Control the News.
jagtwlve November 21, 2011 at 10:16 AM
It's time for the voters to show their displeasure with shady dealings in DuPage County government, including even now the forest preserves feeling the need to hire a shadowy pr company that also works for person's of interest in the Rhoades murders from Paris, Illinois. What's going on at the forest preserve that they need this type of damage control? See ya at the next board meeting to ask some hard questions of the board members. +
Jones James November 21, 2011 at 09:14 PM
I went to that website mentioned above. It is anonymous. Why should I listen to someone harping about transparency when they aren't transparent themselves?
Bill November 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM
It's not about who the blogger is, it is about the content of the public records posted on the blog. One doesn't need to be distracted with who the writer is - all the proof is posted online. Did you read the blog? If you don't belive the content, FOIA for the documents yourself. Just like one doesn't need to know the names of the administrators involved in mis-use of funds at the Forest Preserve ... it doesn't really matter who they are. What matters is why this happened and who to hold accountable. The Board. The Board is a rubber-stamp, complacent board and has no policies in place for competitive bids/proposals, no checks/balances, no ethics ordinaces or oversight board. Any why did the Board hire a PR/Crisis management firm with such a questionsable background/experience without discussion or disclosure?
Jones James November 21, 2011 at 10:33 PM
The website is anonymous for a reason. If the information was meaningful, the author would stand behind it. As it is, it is a bunch of documents with a muddled explanation for what they mean. To be more blunt, the point the anonymous author makes doesn't make any sense, if there is a point at all. No wonder they don't want to take "credit" for it. No name, no point=weak smear.
Maria November 21, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Why would the Forest Preserve Board vote to spend thousands of dollars to hire aPR/media spin control? Doesn't the FP have a whole department devoted to Public Affairs? They have a detailed website, Facebook, Twitter, issue their own press releases... Why do DuPage citizens have to pay to be lied to?
Bill November 22, 2011 at 02:49 PM
When you can't attack the message, attack the messenger!! There are a lot of good reasons for a person to remain anonymous - especially on the internet. After reading the blog (it is well written and the point is very clear) and the sensitive nature of the material - political corruption at top state levels comingled with organized crime - I could guess that one might want to remain anonymous for security/safety reasons. Sometimes bloggers remain anonymous to keep some separation from their employer. Other times, bloggers use a fake name - the practice of using a fake name on the internet has grown so much that there are entire websites that generate names (example http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/) "Jones" - aren't you also using a "fake name"??
Gary Kleppe November 22, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Because every two years we keep electing the same bunch of crooks and liars back into office.
Gary Kleppe November 22, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Whoever runs that website is presumably not a government official and not paid with public funds. The same isn't true of the Forest Preserve board or their paid propagandists.
chaz November 22, 2011 at 05:25 PM
what a surprise , time to look into the architecture firm the district uses for all projects , time to look into why the district can build what ever they want in any forest preserve . would you be surprised to learn of a 50 foot high metal truck repair building is being built in blackwell forest preserve ? nobody can deface the district land except the district . things smell very bad and it is not compost . chaz
Hilary Denk November 22, 2011 at 07:45 PM
There were tens of thousands of dollars spent right before the last election for an outside PR firm on a no-bid contract, another waste of tax payer dollars, but free campaign dollars for the incumbents, and approved by them You can already hear the Commissioners say it was just a few bad eggs and they have been removed from the organization - don't let them get away with that rationalization. Voters, wake up and turn the tide with the 2012. election.
Debbie November 22, 2011 at 08:29 PM
DPCFPD has been corrupt for as long as I can remember. The sad part is that typically DPCFPD been able to fly under the radar of the big news media because they are always so busy watching Cook County. I was the president of CHASE... Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment back in the 80's/90's. We were eventually successfull in shutting down the landfills on FPD (public land). The things we uncovered then were mind boggling but most people don't want to believe it about their government. Well, believe it DuPage County citizens because every word and some is true!!!
Jane November 22, 2011 at 08:38 PM
The Forest Preserve District of Dupage hired an outside advertising group to "promote" the Forest Preserve to DuPage Citizens (i.e voters) at a cost of $60,000 of your tax dollars right before the last election. Why, in this economy, would a board vote for such fiscally irresponsible spending? The FP has 7 full time people on staff in their Public Relations group to handle PR. Its bad enough, taxpayers are paying a huge staff for PR, but outside firms for "promotion" and "crisis mgmt/spin control"?! This board is RINO (republican in name only) - they act like a bunch of corrupt, tax and spend politicians.
Jane November 22, 2011 at 09:04 PM
A bit more background info on the PR - Spin Control firm (self described "political operatives") just last week hired by the Commissioners of the DuPage Forest Preserve...see link. http://secureandprosperous.com/obamablago.shtml
Hilary Denk November 22, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Holy Cow Jane, thanks for posting.
Jane November 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM
There's more!! Lot's more!!! Keep reading.... http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-5214-public-relations-gone-awry.html http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/2011/05/political-campaigns-of-bianchi-and.html http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/2011/09/targeting-david-protess-six-years-ardc.html http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=3896645n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox
Tim Wyman November 23, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Maybe "Fix News" should hire them. They could change their name to "No Reverse Spin Zone".
CountyLeaks November 23, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Why does the Forest Preserve need game changers? Why should tax payers fund game changers? http://countyleaks.blogspot.com/2011/05/illinois-office-of-state-attorneys.html
Jane December 02, 2011 at 06:42 AM
More recent news on the Forest Preserves new PR-Spin-Crisis mgmt firm... http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2011/12/more-on-the-isp-settlement-and-reverse-spin/
J April 29, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I'll bet if you call Mr. Pierotti for an update, you'll have another birthday before your call gets answered.
Ramona April 29, 2012 at 03:41 PM
They must be lining their pockets with something, since they are not taking care of horses they own at Danada either. There have been inquiries about that as well, and some of the wistle blowers have been told to leave.
Lisle Watchdog April 29, 2012 at 04:56 PM
You predicted the Election Commission blow-up, Jane, and wow, did heads roll. The Forest Preserve has alot more money, alot more contracts, hundreds of millions in bonds... When can we expect the lid to blow off the top of the Forest Preserve? After the Forest Preserve, is Village of Lisle next in corruption-busting?!
chaz April 30, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Chaz The FP district is the most arrogant stone walling government unit I have ever encountered . Will they ever disclose who these administrative people were ? I thought public employees that abused their positions were made public as a warning to our other government employees. Oh, I forgot the FP district of Du Page is exempt from all laws that the rest of us have to live by . Time to vote out all the incumbents in November . They have fattened enough at the public trough .
Rob Nementhe August 29, 2012 at 06:50 PM
We need more eyes and ears checking these politicians running a very important agency in DuPage County. Note the states Attorney never fully investigation the alleged illegal contract s so the FBI stepped in. all the while the Commissioners are silent and President Pierotti goes crazy and tries to intimidate a citizen that is asking questions about it: go to youtube dot com and type in Pierotti appeal to catch the big show he put on two weeks ago.
chaz August 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
The sad fact about the forest preserve and other public entities is that very few people attend these meetings and even fewer ask questions . Therefore they feel that they can hire their friends , steal taxpayer funds and abuse the taxpayers . Why does the fp need a publicity firm , the trees should speak for themselves . If the fp is not able to buy any more land in du page ( that is worthwhile for use as forest preserve lands) should not the fp pay off the bonds and return any money left to the taxpayers ? Oh, sorry i forgot that once any government unit has your money it automatically becomes public ( government) money and is never returned no matter what . While the middle class is being decimated the government class is eating first class and enjoying a rich life style and retirement at age 55 at our expense . sad but true , the pigs are enjoying your efforts... chaz
Carol OLeary August 30, 2012 at 01:40 PM
To Chaz's points it is simple one political party in control equals abuse. Like in Cook County where it is controlled by the Dems the DuPage County problems are caused by one political party in total control. The Republican control of the Forest Preserve District with the 6 weak Commissioners (really 5 since Commissioner Joe Cantore District 2 rarely attends) is a lot like the Cook County Board when Todd Stroger was in control! Sad but true. Since the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County was separated from the DuPage County Board they have allowed these questionable practices: $ Annual salaries of more than $53,000 with a taxpayer subsidized pension and full time benefits for a part time job. $ Hiring of family members for well paying jobs. $ Award of millions of our tax dollars in non-competitive contracts. $ Accepted unlimited campaign donations from companies doing business with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. We need a better Forest Preserve District in DuPage County! Please tell any like minded voter you know in DuPage County about these abuses! It can change with new Commissioners elected on 11/6/12
We Deserve Better in DuPage September 09, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Pierotti talks a big game but his actions should be a big shame! Thank you to Adam Morgan of Chicagoland Outdoors http://www.chicagonow.com/chicagoland-outdoors/2012/09/trouble-in-the-forest-fbi-looks-into-dupage-preserve-scandal-district-president-goes-on-angry-tirade/#comment-5 for taking the time to cover this important story. The FBI's investigation of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the closed door meeting the President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County had with the Chairman of DuPage County and the big bonuses paid to the former Executive Director are excellent reasons why we should ask questions. If we (concerned citizens) don't ask questions no one will because the Commissioners have not asked one. Let President Pierotti yell, make false accusations and insult the concerned citizens but at the very least please answer our questions. Please pass this along!

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