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.