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Village Treasurer Demands Public Apology from Streit

Trustee Bob Streit accuses village treasurer of a "conflict of interest" concerning his call for a forensic audit of 2011 Fall On the Green because of treasurer's friendship with trustee targeted in audit.

Oak Lawn Village Treasurer Jim McGovern is demanding a public apology from Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) for remarks he made during the July 10

The remarks were made during a discussion . Streit has called for a forensic audit after claiming to have discovered $5,274 worth of missing food and beer vouchers allegedly distributed by Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) to neighborhood residents and volunteers.

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Streit was in May, replacing Phelan who has held the position since being first elected in 2005.

At the July 10 meeting, Phelan asked that the motion to hire a forensic auditor be expanded to include all special events’ spending in 2010 and 2011. Oak Lawn trustees voted down the measure, 4-1, agreeing to keep the scope of the audit narrowed to 2011 Fall On the Green spending.

“I raised this issue more than a year ago in an email,” Phelan said, speaking of the village’s annual donation to Park Lawn from Fall On the Green proceeds. “I believe it’s time to get an auditor’s opinion on giving away taxpayers’ money without really knowing the formula is.”

Phelan said that an ongoing legal investigation also determined “deficiencies in our financial reporting department.”

Phelan added.

Streit said he needed to clarify rules and processes before the next Fall On the Green in September. He called Phelan’s attempt to change the scope of the forensic audit "interfence."

“Several weeks ago literally after the that were created that we all received, we received right after that an offer by our village treasurer to perform the audit,” Streit said.

Calling the treasurer’s offer a “conflict of interest” because of his friendship with Phelan, Streit said, “In my years of experience this is often referred to as a white wash for many reasons … [McGovern] was told as much and was never asked to perform any work to audit Fall On the Green because of his obvious conflict.”

McGovern, who did not attend the July 10 meeting but viewed a tape of it, said he had no idea to which alleged conflict of interest Streit was referring.

“I am [Tom Phelan’s] friend. I’ve never hidden that fact. We live in the same parish, belong in the same men’s club and have been friends for 10 years,” McGovern said. “I can only surmise [Streit] is referring to that or something else.”

In an email to village board members and officials—including Deetjen and Oak Lawn finance director, Brian Hanigan—McGovern said that  “while I do my best to stay out of the political mud, I cannot simply stand by while an elected official publicly makes false statements and attempts to smear my reputation.”

“I asked Bob when I first heard of the allegations to provide me with any information and he has steadfastly refused to talk to me,” McGovern told Patch. “He has not provided an iota of documentation for his allegations.”

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McGovern said that since Streit’s insinuations during the village board meeting, he has identified a few areas where the village may want to institute some tighter internal controls and strengthen some policies.”

“[Streit] said I never did that before,” McGovern continued. “Is he saying that because of my ‘conflict of interest’ I was somewhat deficient in my duties in the past and that I shouldn’t be part of the process of reviewing the allegations?”

The village treasurer added that Phelan is supportive of an audit or review “but it’s for different reasons than what Streit's seem to be.”

McGovern said that he’s made it known to village trustees and the mayor that he thinks spending up to $20,000 of taxpayers’ dollars on a forensic audit of Fall On the Green is “a waste of money.”

“This is a guy who is standing shoulder to shoulder pitching business to our neighboring villages like Evergreen Park and Chicago Ridge with a business partner who just got indicted by the feds.” Oak Lawn Trustee Tom Phelan, on fellow board member Bob Streit's past relationship with ex-Cook County Commissioner accused of bribery.

The village treasurer said he has found no evidence of someone stealing beer tickets and food vouchers intended for residents living along the July 4th parade route.

“It’s hundreds of dollars, not thousands,” McGovern said, himself a forensic auditor.

McGovern said that an accountant friend of Streit’s, Joe Murray has been asking staff at village hall to provide records concerning Streit’s allegations.

“I’m rather incredulous that he would have his buddy do the same thing without any authorization,” McGovern said.

Mayor Dave Heilmann appointed McGovern the village treasurer after the Unity Party slate was swept into office in 2005, at Phelan’s recommendation. As village treasurer, McGovern earns an annual stipend of $2,800 per year, and sits on the police and fire pension board and attends village board finance committee meetings.

Asked if he thought Streit’s friend was after his job as village treasurer, McGovern replied: “The thought has crossed my mind.”

McGovern said that Streit has “mislead the public by misstating facts” concerning any review of the Fall On the Green allegations.

In an email to Patch, Phelan called Streit’s challenging anyone’s character and integrity “laughable.”

Referring to Streit’s and attorney friend Dennis Brennan’s electrical aggregation venture which until recently, , whose been accused of bribery on an unrelated matter, Phelan added:

“This is a guy who is standing shoulder to shoulder pitching business to our neighboring villages like Evergreen Park and Chicago Ridge with a business partner who just got indicted by the feds.”

Do you think a forensic audit of Fall On the Green is necessary? Tell us in the comments.

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Simon Bling July 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I am fine with that as long as he pays for it and it doesn't cost me anything.
Simon Bling July 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Let's do this , Get a real auditor not a pol, and if they don't find enough to cover the audit Bob picks up the tab.
Bill N O'Brien July 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Mcgovern is a good guy. Not trying to cause any bad feeling toward him. Bit you have got to question the guys motives and integrity when he hangs around with a guy like Phelan. The bad language, unkind words (about everybody), racist remarks etc. McGovern is smart enough to know that it effects his reputation and his business (and family).
J. J. Zurek July 24, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Ms. Bury & Grunty: No one is ever allowed to investigate anything they might have been remotely involved in, and for good reason. I don't know Mr. Mc Govern and could not pick him out of a line up, however I am certain their are some questionable expenses that could come out of the audit, plus there might be some very good answers to the questions too, but it would look a little funny if the Federal Government allowed Bernie Madoff to audit his own books. Someone who has no ties to anyone should be brought in, so when it is over, everyone can sign a confidential agreement so no one knows what the audit showed, or who got what, or who gave who what and all of the children can start to play nice again. However Lorraine Swanson never did explain why she made the remarks regarding Joseph Mario Moreno, I heard she ran into John Wayne Gacy once at a super market and never once disclosed it to anyone and if in fact that is true, how can we believe her written word after all John Wayne Gacy was a Sexual Preditor and a Serial Killer. That remark makes as much sense as her shoddy attempt to either smear Bob Strait by knowing Joseph Mario Moreno, or throwing more dirt on Joseph Mario Moreno by knowing Bob Strait. I asked for an explination once and never did get a response. I am sure that 75 to 80 % of the elected officials know each other or they know of each other and attended the same functions together, does that mean so conspiracy exists, I never did understand that tacky remark
Dave W. July 24, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I have to agree with both of you, OLG, and Reo Rocks...nepotism and patronage are a sad part of the deal. Most of the time it seems like the best a town can hope for is to be run be a benevolent oligarchy.
Dave W. July 24, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I might be inclined to agree with you, Simon Bling...except that if the audit DOES find something (and THAT definition alone could be enough to skew the whole shebang...), then what? Who pays for THAT? Does Truestee Phelan have to cover whatever is found out of his own pocket? I understand you wanting to prevent a politcal witch hunt at our expense, but we cannot be ruled by that alone...I just wish it wasn't so much darn money...
Simon Bling July 24, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Dave W. if they were serious about an audit they would not have Joe Murray . This is all a smoke screen, and the Fall on the Green is paying for it. http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeDetailCandidates.aspx?id=4497
Sandra Bury July 24, 2012 at 05:03 AM
District 666 (Dave) Resident: McGovern never offered to conduct the audit. This is a fact. McGovern’s review occurred before the Board authorized the audit and the scope of the audit. Trustee Streit is accusing him of obstructing an audit that would not be even approved until a future date! It makes no sense. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. McGovern proceeded with his review of facts with the full knowledge and approval of Village Manager Deetjen, as referenced in an email dated June 8th. In Oak Lawn, per municipal code, the Village Manager is the administrative head of the government and is authorized to exercise control of all departments and divisions, not the Mayor. McGovern’s boss is the Village Manager, not Mayor Heilmann. Also, since McGovern never asked to perform the audit, your points about potential conflicts of interests are irrelevant as well. Lastly, am I uncomfortable with you asking me over and over if I am running for Mayor? Not a bit. :)
OakLawnGuy July 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM
REO, I got nothin'.
Dist. 2 Curious July 24, 2012 at 05:31 PM
This whole audit thing has taken on a perverse life of its own. It all started with the suggestion that there were irregularities regarding beverage and food tickets, which we know were distributed by the special events commission (with input from Trustee Olejniczak) to residents on Oak Street, Raymond and 52nd Avenue who are impacted for 4-5 days by Fall on the Green, and to residents on 51st Avenue who get blocked in for a day by the July 4th parade. The total value of all those tickets was around $2,400. And for that amount, the board is willing to spend somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000 for an audit. Will somebody please check to see if thesse people need mental help?
District 666 Resident July 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Sandra You didn't answer the question and instead said you weren't uncomfortable with being asked the mayoral question. You aren't comfortable with answering a simple question yet you are comfortable with propelling yourself into every issue in and outside the village. You seem very comfortable when demanding transparency for others but not so much for yourself. We expect more from leaders. Maybe you aren't cut out to be Mayor. Maybe others are right when they say you should set your sights lower and quit blocking Al.
QC?? July 24, 2012 at 08:39 PM
It's all political, When Dave was being investigated, The village is wasting money.. Now that his enemy is being investigated.. lets spend $10,000 to $ 20,000 on a fishing expedition!! Can you spell hypocrisy?? Throw out all the bums and start fresh!!!
Simon Bling July 24, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Who is Bob Strait?
QC July 24, 2012 at 09:27 PM
It's all political, When Dave was being investigated, The village is going to get Millions back!! Let's see, how much time and $$ was Spent on that Political Witch Hunt? Now that his enemy is being investigated.. we're "WASTING" $10,000 to $ 20,000 on a fishing expedition!! Can you spell hypocrisy?? Throw out all the bums and start fresh!!! You First, Tommy Boy.
Paul Novus July 25, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Jim McGovern, great idea following Tommy Boy's advice. Now reach around and give yourself a big Pat on the back for not getting involved with politics. Remember, your such a great guy!
Sandra Bury July 25, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Once again, with no facts to cling to, a fresh squall of personal attacks blows in. Dave, it’s very frustrating to have the truth about people hidden, isn’t it? You can be confident that the truth will be revealed.
andy skoundrianos July 25, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Sandy you don't think Dave uses fake names to blog on here do you???????????????????????????
District 666 Resident July 25, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Dist 2 Curious and QC?? I think the audit "thing" was bigger than Alex mailing out food and beer vouchers. Alex sent it out not some committee. I also think you're using fuzzy math when you claim that is the only money wasted. As for you QC??, I don't think Dave was ever being investigated. They were investigatiing the old law firm, remember? The bums will go in this election.
QC July 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM
QC?? What is it with you and your other personalities accusing everyone, that tells the truth, that they have “mental problems” or “need meds”? 1. calling you out: people who dislike or disagree with you shoudln't be lumped into some category can you say psychitzophrenic? 2. and: when he admits to who he is as a local realtor? who does that? crazy people3. 3. QC??: QC You need some lithium or at least history lessons 4. QC??: QC you need some meds Maybe you didn't get enough love as a child. 5. Whaa Dave??? is this just a 1-person paranoid conspiracy theorist 6. QC??:QC Are you off your meds again?? 7. and: You really have that Napoleon syndrome, you must have been picked on a lot in school right?? 8. Jensen: favorite idiotic narcissistic quote: Funny stuff from a very small minded defensive weirdo himself. 9. oooh la la: some big conspiracy only he knows about? Why pick on people on here? 10. Wish One: you think its brave to post under your real name. it's stupidity. 11. bc: Take your prozac QC 12. QC??: You have more wacky conspiracy theories than Jesse Ventura.I 13. ol1: pathetic lawsuit on behalf of your husbands cause? Get a life and get some meds woman! 14. Quincy Cullen: Please take your meds. They are right next to the bottle By the way, mental case You can now continue drinking and posting. “QC when bullies don't have facts they scream and shout and name call” Look in the mirror Tommy Boy. LMAO!!!
Proper Perspective July 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Don't live in Oak Lawn, but this is nonsense the way you all run this village.
Proper Perspective July 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM
At least half these pro Streit comments are Bob himself.
Christine Golden July 27, 2012 at 01:38 AM
McGovern received a salary, pay for being in a band in Oak Lawn, is on the St Catherines mens board with Phelan. What CPA would put himself in such a ridiculous position. Don't mean to disparage McGovern, but you do have to question his intelligence.
QC?? July 27, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Sorry QC What meds do you take?? Maybe i should start using them By the way I'm not Quincy Cullen, I'm his cousin Quentin Cullen..
QC?? July 27, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Hey weren't you in Fleetwood Mac??
john Crivellone July 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Joe Murray world be an excellent choice to do an audit. What are we waiting for.
Simon Bling July 31, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Maybe in BobsKat Goldstreit world.
Simon Bling July 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I think your intelligence should be questioned.
anthony August 01, 2012 at 07:55 PM
http://www.bettergov.org/
Simon Bling August 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Moreno, Medrano tell judge they can’t afford to pay for their legal defense . I think Bob should help his good friend and partner out.
District 666 Resident August 03, 2012 at 04:05 PM
If you don't live in Oak Lawn, why do you care?

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