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Mayor Asks: 'Transparency or Hypocrisy?'

Mayor Dave Heilmann hits back at charges that he is not transparent.

By DAVE HEILMANN

Editor's Note: All local candidates are invited to post opinions, blogs, events and announcements on Oak Lawn Patch. For more information, contact local editor Lorraine Swanson.

Throughout political campaigns residents hear a lot of back and forth and you don't know who to believe.

At the debate the other night I heard multiple references to "transparency." Unfortunately the person making the remarks may not even know that the people she has associated herself with have been the exact opposite of transparent. But don't accept my conclusion. I wanted to give Patch readers one example and the back-up information--including an audio clip and phone records--from which they could make their own judgment.
 

Dec. 15, 2009 - Executive Session

This was the meeting where in Executive Session there was the first board discussion of hiring of “independent counsel” to investigate the overbilling and legal malpractice issues. Trustee Tom Phelan said that whoever it is we hire, whoever does this investigation, it has to somebody “completely independent” and someone not connected to any board member.

Village Manager Larry Deetjen then announced that he had chosen the law firm of Odelson and Sterk and specifically Burt Odelson to do the investigation.

At that time Burt Odelson was the attorney for Community High School Dist. 218 where Mike Stillman had been Board President. Stillman was the lawyer hired to replace our former attorneys. Stillman is now Odelson's partner. Trustee Phelan had two family members receive jobs at Dist. 218.

I objected to Odelson because I did not believe he was independent at all.
What was not disclosed is that Phelan had been speaking to Odelson multiple times in the days leading up to this meeting. In fact, on that day, the day of the Board meeting, phone records confirm that Phelan spoke three times to Odelson.

On the day of the Board Meeting, December 15th, Phelan and Odelson spoke at 9:39 a.m., at 3:30 p.m., and then a third time at 5:04 p.m., just two hours before the board meeting. None of these calls were disclosed.

Immediately after Phelan hung up with Odelson he called three trustees and then the clerk.  (Slcik on the attached phone records)

Listen to the reaction of Trustee Phelan to when I objected to Odelson's hiring. (Listen to attached audio by clicking on the video on the right. Warning graphic langauge)

He wanted someone 'independent of my bias and bullshit", yet never disclosed that he was on the phone with that person three times that very day.

I want to be clear why I would send this in. Because these records and this audio are not my opinions or interpretation. It is evidence, information, verification, call it what you like, of what actually happened. I am very tired of hearing people lie.

The records further revealed Odelson had more than 85 calls with Phelan over the next five months including at 10 p.m. after a board meeting.

Odelson billed the Village for his time through the end of January 2010. Many of Phelan's calls were not included on that bill. He then worked on this for another year and for some reason didn't submit a bill. If he had submitted a bill we then may have seen all of those calls with Tom Phelan.

You can draw your own conclusions from this.

Transparent?


andy skoundrianos April 07, 2013 at 05:31 PM
What's Dave's plan? More of the same? No thanks
law abiding citize April 07, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Andy do you have any life at all? When did they put a Greek on the payroll? All you do on here is bitch and moan. Dave is current and future mayor because he is liked. Get over it! Take bury and phelan for a run you all need it. Why do u live here if you hate oak lawn? No one likes phelan he is so stupid and needs feds to investigate him and bury for their activity.
Dana Pyzik April 07, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Let's not pick on Andy. Right or Wrong, Crazy or Sane, Agree or Disagree, the man has passion for what he believes. I just wish all people would have a little of his passion for politics and actually get to the polls on Tuesday and VOTE!!!
Honestly IPO April 07, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Anybody running a write in campaign? Target and Home Depot no taxes?? HMMM Lies about Christ paying water bill?? Can't be on the turn off list if you have never paid a bill in the first place. Bill has to be in your name!! How many aunts, uncles sons and daughters not to mention wives have "public service jobs"??? Public Safety?? How about closing trauma better yet move it!! So called problematic people are there ALL THE TIME 24/7. How about no more closed door meetings EVER! I am voting for the lesser of 2 evils and the one connected to Madigan, Lapinski, Daley and Phelan is not my choice.
andy skoundrianos April 08, 2013 at 01:23 AM
As a proud first generation Greek-American I'm actually happy to say I love Oak Lawn I love my Greek heritage I love that my mother and father taught not to take a back seat to bigots like yourself you coward Ellas!!!

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