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Streit Calls for Forensic Audit of Fall on the Green

Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) characterizes Streit's allegations against him as a "pathetic political stunt."

Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) upped the political ante of by calling for a forensic audit of last year’s Fall on the Green festival after allegations of questionable practices were made against another Oak Lawn trustee.

Streit was appointed the new chair of the special events committee that oversees the annual fall festival, replacing Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6), who held the position for the past seven years.

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At the May 22 village board meeting, Mayor Dave Heilmann said that complaints about Phelan influenced some of his decisions

Heilmann accused Phelan of “personally negotiating” vendor contracts and handing out passes to the VIP tent based on favoritism and excluding some elected officials.

“He apparently used the sponsor’s passes to reward political allies and to bully his opponents, including any trustees that questioned his actions,” Streit said in a press release. “I am shocked by the number of issues raised and questionable practices alleged and I believe the board has a duty to act to determine the validity of these actions.”

Phelan has maintained that his involvement in vendor contract negotiations at Fall on the Green were limited to streamlining costs of bands that performed at the fest. His signature never appeared on a vendor's contract.

According to Streit, Phelan allowed some liquor sales to “deviate from the normal purchase, sale and accounting procedures.” Tickets are typically required for beer and liquor purchases, but Phelan allowed some sales locations to take cash, Streit alleged.

Streit also alluded that Phelan ordered 2,000 free food vouchers to be printed by an outside printer, when village staff indicated that only 365 food vouchers were needed for adults and youths who volunteered at the fest. In the past four years, Streit said reimbursement of the vouchers has “quadrupled.”

“Trustee Phelan then personally handled the vouchers for free food,” Streit said, in his release. “More than 1,500 vouchers were turned in by food vents and had to be reimbursed with public funds.”

Streit calimed that village records indicated vendors were reimbursed $5,274, “yet at least 1,263 free food vouchers distributed by Trustee Phelan are unaccounted for at the village” he said. “You have to ask if someone was giving away vouchers paid for with public funds.”

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Phelan is also said to have distributed 130 free lunch vouchers intended for volunteers and 780 beer vouchers to Trustee Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2), according to reports provided to Streit.

“Tom Phelan has a history of accusing everyone else of wrongdoing but the truth is that he has micromanaged the fest for years,” Streit said in his release. “We need to review all contracts and all of the activities of that fest in order to make sure that the Village of Oak Lawn received everything it was supposed to receive and to make sure that all village funds are accounted for properly.”

Phelan characterized Streit’s call for a forensic audit a “pathetic political stunt” because Streit wanted more than 12 free passes he was granted to the VIP tent for each day of the three-day fest.

“I told him that it was way over-the-top,” Phelan said in an email. “Especially since he hadn't volunteered for any of the 100+ spots for the festival. He got very angry at that and apparently never forgot it, until today obviously.”

Phelan said that 2,000 food vouchers were printed because the special events committee was never sure how many would be needed for sponsor participation. According to Phelan,1,426 food vouchers were turned back to the village, “which is about 120 less than we doled out.”

The vouchers were also used to replenish food inside the VIP tent, an admitted political football, when food ran out, Phelan said.

He explained Streit’s beer allegation of cash being accepted instead of tickets  at some locations due to an arrangement the village made with a long-time volunteer who had proposed selling Mai Tais at Fall on the Green.

Phelan said that the village business director thought it would be more cost effective to have the volunteer pay a fee to the village and assume responsibility for liquor and staffing. Volunteers were not permitted to sell drinks. The volunteer kept the proceeds from the Mai Tai sales.

Olejniczak never asked for food vouchers for his supporters, Phelan said. Instead, two vouchers were given to each home around the green and on 53rd Street where the July 4th parade is staged, as an expression of appreciation by the village to neighbors inconvenienced by village events.

An email dated Feb. 1, 2012 from a village staff member provided by Phelan explains that vendors were reimbursed $3.50 per each of the 1,423 turned into the village.

Phelan said that village staff members and records would clear him of Streit’s allegations.

“This is just another pathetic political stunt by a guy who is working with the mayor to cause distractions in advance of the Phelan said via email. “Plain and simple.”

Streit said that he plans to ask the village board to approve the initiation of a forensic audit at the June 12 meeting.

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millie omalley June 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Theresa's point is her head
millie omalley June 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
go back to bed jane, i mean theresa
Dave W. June 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM
You complain OakLawnGuy is anonymous, yet you go by 'wake up'...you HAVE to realize that is totally hypocritical. Theresa may SEEM to have a point, but she does not. These boards are here for people to talk about the issues of the town and express our satiasfaction or lack thereof. It is quite consistent that the people who don't really have anything substantive to add to the conversation always make attacks personal, either to other posters or the trustees or elected officials. Interesting also that you know how often I'm on, so YOU are on here often enough, YET you created your profile JUST to comment on me. My biggest complaint is one shared by many, whether YOU, or Theresa R.. like it or not...that there isn't enough transparency by our elected town officials. We seem to find out far too many things in the rearview mirror, so to speak. Patch and other newspapers at all the meetings, yet we don't see the officials talking about new office buildings or buying property with town money until the wheels are in motion or the first steps are already taken. I haven't accused Mr. Streit of any wrongdoing. I haven't even accused Mr. Phelan of any, and this thread seems bent on doing that. I have only asked that we better kept informed. I have no idea why you are taking it all so personally; unless you and/or Theresa ARE some of the elected officials under fake names. Why are you SO AGAINST accountability? Answer that...how do MORE answers hurt us?
QC June 05, 2012 at 05:24 PM
QC?? LMAO!!
Third District Voter June 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Are you kidding me? the southtown printed rubbish throughout that time and continues to do so. It wasn't a federal mandate! It was in the documents for the types of bonds that were going to be used on the project. When you use those types of bonds, you have to read the fine print because it states that LOW INCOME HOUSING is a component. Some old biased southtown trash will not change that fact. Pull the records from the village instead of pulling news stories. The southtown is as reliable as you (maybe even a little less so)
QC June 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Dave W. These politicians wouldn't be able to lie, cheat or receive any "perks" if there was Transparency or Accountability in this or any government entity. Since they aren't paid that well for these little jobs, why do you think they become cutthroat? It certainly isn't because of Civic Duty.
QC June 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
More importatly QC??, Do you STILL like Bob? LOL Look who's talking about hiding behind a name, attacking someone and being a Bully...Tom.
OakLawnGuy June 05, 2012 at 06:38 PM
OK, you're the man. There's more to it than these village papers you refer to, you can think what you want. It's all over with now. All hail Bob Streit, you lead the cheers.
Jay Kirkland June 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I heard that another one of Phelans buddies son received a schlorship from his church.The money came from his Sportsnight that he uses his leverage from Village Vendors to strongarm. It all goes in one circle (Village, District 218, Township, Madigan, Fall on the Green, church, Phelan ... ).
REO Rocks June 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
LOL! Man. First off, It's NOT "Tom's Sports Night". In fact, he wasn't even involved with it this year. But, he was one of the key people who developed the processes for it. The processes that work so well, that they have been copied by other parishes. So if you would like to accuse several parishes in Oak Lawn for "strong arming" people for donations for good causes...like a small scholarship for students who win an essay contest (Tom's not a judge of the contest), an elevator for kids at the school who can't get up the stairs, financial aid for families who have lost a parent, the school's sports programs, new technologies for the school, etc....that's up to you. But be aware that you are attacking one of the finest organizations in this community....St. Catherine's and the families that live there. That doesn't seem very productive, does it?
Dave W. June 06, 2012 at 07:40 PM
More is the pity, QC.
QC June 07, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Calm down Tom/ REO....LOL
QC June 07, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Dave W Agreed. (no pun intended)
Jensen June 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Dave W May2nd favorite idiotic narcissistic quote: "J. Quinlan would not win and she knows it...why would she want to give up a paying job to be mayor? The only reason would be power since everyone seems convinced she is already doing Oak Lawn such a service that she will get the next statue (she can sit with Kolb on the bench). If it is power, is that REALLY who we want for the next mayor? Heilmann is not terrible (sorry Andy), nor is he great. We voted for mediocrity, we elected mediocrity. It is sort of funny (not the 'haha' kind) that Andy, OLG and I all live in the same area, because Streit is NEVER going anywhere, and we wouold probably all do better than half the trustees (or more), just on level of engagement alone. (Sure, I'd get elected on my rollicking sense of humor, since I have a face for radio, but still.) Phelan's apparently famous for visiting places he embarrass himself in, Trautsch has barely warmed up her seat and she wants to get rid of people making announcements to the public in meetings because they take too long. Nobody even seems to know who Duhig IS...Carol Quinlan gets confused by the public with the Clerk, and Streit has been around forever and almost lost because nobody bothered to vote. We ELECTED these people (minus Trautsch), people." Funny stuff from a very small minded defensive weirdo himself.
Dave W's Ego June 07, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Now that is funny. Who does Dave W. think he is? I like how he trashes everyone but is sure that he could do better than half the trustees even though he's never served the community except on this comment section where he shares his deep thoughts. It is really easy to say you would do better when you've never served.
Jensen June 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Dave W's thoughts are deep in deed "she can sit with Kolb on the bench". Real nice, real nice & deep.
QC June 07, 2012 at 04:18 PM
REO You wish Tommy boy! Wow! You have NO SHAME. LOL LOL LOL
QC June 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM
REO And you,Tom, are familiar with "Political Stunts"!
QC June 07, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Jensen & Dave W's ego You know what's really funny??? Tom's getting "caught with his hand in the cookie jar" BBBBAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW
QC?? June 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Dave stop blogging and get back to work or whatever you do. Maybe trying on costumes for the next play...
Dave W. June 07, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Jensen, Dave W.'s Ego: First of all, IF I had an ego (clearly you don't know me), it would be very flattered to have an imposter, created JUST to post this. Keep it up, I might get an ego after all. You obviously don't know what the defintion of 'narcissistic' is, which is sort of amazing considering that you knew how to spell it. Also, glad you have a 'favorite' of mine; are you a fan or stalker? You do not know what I have served in my life; BUT, even if I HAD never served, it isn't hard to not want to cut short a meeting to get home early, especially for a job that was GIVEN to me. It isn't hard to keep insisting on transparency in government. Are the other trustees going to stuff me in a locker or flatten my tires if I say it outloud at a meeting? They are called ethics, maybe you two should find some. I am amazed by the people that DEFEND secrecy. Are you FOR kicking puppies and taking candy from children also? When I said Trustee Streit almost lost, I never said I DIDN'T vote for him, only that general voter apathy almost undid him. Regarding ME running for anything; it is called satire. Don't let the self-deprecation hit you in the brain stem too hard or anything...yeesh! Small-minded? Again, you CLEARLY don't know me. Defensive? Well, when attacked by you both with nothing substantive, just personal slurs because you don't like what I (and many others) have to say; maybe. Nice, new profiles for your hit jobs, too! Idiotic? Weirdo? Okay, you might have something.
oooh la la June 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I agree with Dave on transparency 100%. I don't think anyone on here defends secrecy or even hinted at it here. What secret is dasve W so worked up about? Is there some big conspiracy only he knows about? What isn't transparent? Why pick on people on here? Stick to the issues.
oooh la la June 08, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Forgive my ignorane on this. Dave w are you saying this board violated the Illinois open mtgs act? Or dave w do you just not agree with the law? If the latter, stop picking on the clerk and trustees.
runninscared???????!!!!!!!!! June 08, 2012 at 02:27 AM
ooh la la - Close the box o wine and your eyes. You are verrry sleepy and Im sure dave w has forgiven your ignorane. : )
runninscared???????!!!!!!!!! June 08, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Still bullying huh Phelan? The shoes on the other foot now. Hows it feel?
runninscared???????!!!!!!!!! June 08, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Tommy Tommy Tommy -- tsk tsk tsk why do you and your other heads insist on demeaning and insulting the residents-taxpayers of Oak Lawn?
Tim Farano June 08, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Heard Phelan is such a coward that he hired a lawyer to help fend off Heilmann's simple observations/facts. Boy, at least Jerry Hurckes could take the heat like a man, and didn't need to hide behind a lawyers letter. Even Bob Streit could hold his own.
anthony June 12, 2012 at 03:11 AM
possible candidates would be wise to sit and watch
bs rolls June 14, 2012 at 08:33 PM
quiet phelan, you'll hopefully end up getting a kick in the arse. well deserved i might add.
REO Rocks June 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Hey "bs rolls"...I'm not Tom. Do I have to post it up here 5 more times for you? But if it makes you feel better, you can keep thinking that. While you have your one brain working on that, maybe you can have the other one working on something intelligent to post on this forum.

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