There was no shortage of reading material on Oak Lawn Patch in 2012, which was the recipient of numerous leaked pdf documents from various local elected officials and political candidates. Color-coded or just plain black and white, we were happy to provide the back-story to the ongoing, continuing-to-unfold drama on the Oak Lawn political scene.
Do you have a pdf or a dime to drop on someone? Want to put it on Patch? We don’t discriminate. Send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the top five documents leaked to Patch in 2012:
- Fall On the Green Audit -- After much buildup by Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3), the forensic audit of the 2011 Fall On the Green under the watch of Streit’s former village board ally Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) paid for by the Oak Lawn taxpayers. According to Streit, Phelan distributed thousands of unaccounted for beer tickets and food vouchers to his friends and political cronies at the exclusion of other village board members from the 2011 Fall On the Green VIP tent. An outside auditing firm identified a “small variance” based on the village’s own accounting system, amounting to a difference of $1,522. Streit racked it up to a “learning experience.”
- “The Package” – Not to go unanswered, lame duck Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6), the former special events committee liaison, provided to Streit’s claims that thousands of taxpayer dollars from the 2011 Fall On the Green were unaccounted for. As it turned out, these were the only records kept on the end-of-summer bash and were the basis of much of the outside auditing firm’s final report, which recommended that the village adopt better record keeping for future special events. Some leftover booze from the 2011 Fall On the Green VIP tent also mysteriously disappeared.
- "Speeders Fight Back" -- Sometimes even we couldn't keep up with the flood of pdfs that came floating over the virtual transom. Oak Lawn mayoral candidate Sandra Bury provided village documents obtained through the freedom of information act concerning the forgettable "Speeders Fight Back" TruTV program. Mayor Dave Heilmann, a practicing attorney and professional actor, was personally paid up to $33,000 to don judge's robes and listen to speeders' bizarre defenses and alibis, Bury alleged in her Dec. 10 blog post. Village taxpayers also footed the bill for $4,000 in weekend overtime costs for village employees involved in the production to accommodate "Judge Dave's busy schedule." Bury claims the mayor never consulted the village manager or trustees when arranging for village resources to be used in the production. It was also learned through the “Speeders” pdfs that Heilmann wears a regular size 40 suit coat and 15 ½ shirt size with a 32-inch sleeve. You read it here on Patch.
- The Godfrey and Kahn Report -- detailed findings of the second investigation into the former village attorney now known as Tressler LLP. The report was a re-investigation of an investigation conducted by attorney Burt Odelson after it was alleged that the village's former village counsel, now known as Tressler LLP, overbilled the village as well as mishandled some cases between 2005-2009. The final Godfrey and Kahn report came with with the village. The report was eventually released after Tressler decided not to fight freedom of information act requests the report’s public release and released itself of future financial legal obligations.
- The Heilmann Response -- Mayor Dave Heilmann which cast the mayor in an unflattering light for his role in the hiring of the former village attorney, Tressler LLP. Heilmann deemed the report as "biased" because the lead attorney from Godgrey and Kahn was a former fraternity brother of Trustee Tom Phelan's. The report omitted mention of the federal criminal subpoena that the village received in the summer of 2011 relating to the hiring of the law firm that replaced Tressler, in exchange for jobs for a village trustee's family members, according to the mayor. This is the second federal criminal subpeona the village has received in the past year, the most recent investigating a possibly rigged roofing bid last month.
With the upcoming April election there will no doubt be more pdfs coming our way, as well as the Patch editor's butt taking on the shape of a booth at Huck Finn Donuts attempting to make sense of this convoluted crap.