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It’s All Legal in Bolingbrook- Sunshine Week

Guest Commentary
by Cedra Crenshaw
March 15, 2011

The incestuous relationship between Bolingbrook elected officials and non-profit organizations was exposed by Rhonda Slaughter, candidate for Bolingbrook Village Trustee. She uncovered that over $900,000 in Village of Bolingbrook and Dupage Township tax money was funneled to local non-profits over the past 4 years.

Bolingbrook elected officials serve on one or more of five of the non-profit boards investigated. Click here to see a diagram of the relationships. source: www.thenumbercrunchers-bolingbrook.com

The Village of Bolingbrook contributed at least $773,740 to local non-profits and charities for fiscal years 2006-2010. Dupage Township contributed $168,300 to four of the same non-profits.

This came at a time when the Village of Bolingbrook had a systematic budget deficit and laid off public safety workers and village employees. Dupage Township also experienced a budget deficit during this period.

One of the non-profits under investigation, Heart Haven Outreach, “H2O”, received additional in-kind donations from the Village of Bolingbrook according to annual reports filed with the Illinois Attorney General of atleast:

• $48,091 in 2007 for its annual golf outing
• $18,000 in 2007 for office space, telephone lines and internet access
• $18,000 in 2008 for office space, telephone lines and internet access

Lindsey Claar, daughter of Mayor Roger Claar, was listed as H2O’s Executive Director since its founding in 2004 through 2008. Claar took in salary totaling $142,770 during that same period.

H2O’s website currently lists Bill Mayer, Dupage Township Supervisor, as President. Dupage Township contributed $20,000 to H2O during the period 2007-2010.

• Is it appropriate for elected officials to serve in dual roles with such an apparent conflict of interest?

• How many local governments use hard earned taxpayer money as a slush fund for their pet non-profits?

• Could the money have been better spent on necessary government services and closing budget gaps?

Misuse of taxpayer funds will only be reined in when more transparency and accountability is brought to local government spending. Help us shine a light on local government spending all over the state.

Leave a Comment

6 Responses to "It’s All Legal in Bolingbrook- Sunshine Week"

  1. Comment by Cas Koza on March 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm said:

    Nice work. Only by shining a light into the dark corners will we be able to rid ourselves of those who abuse the public trust.

  2. Comment by Bonnie Alicea on March 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm said:

    I just wish this article got more publicity in our community. People still vote these people in and don’t recall them!

  3. Comment by Rita Nemchock on March 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm said:

    It is facts like this that makes me mad. Not about the facts but about the unlawful spending. We need more information about this so we can get people out of office, who use are money for their own benefits. Thank you.

  4. Comment by Brian Pettlon on March 17, 2011 at 6:07 am said:

    This money would go a long way to repave some of the horrendous streets in the village.
    Thanks, Cedra, for the expose.

  5. Comment by Rod Logsdon on March 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

    A good housecleaning at Bolingbrook Village Hall is long past due. As Brian mentioned, all of the main thouroughfares in the village are in horrendous condition. In addition to that, the village is cutting public safety positions while Mayor Claar collects one of the highest salaries of any mayor in the area. I think it is time for him and his staff to join the ranks of the unemployed.

  6. Comment by Laura Ustryski on March 18, 2011 at 11:09 am said:

    Thank you Cedra for continuing to help us fight the corruption. We cannot give up and must “watch” our politicians relentlessly.