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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Harvey, Illinois: The Blessings of Black Rule: Rampant Corruption, Dubious Deals, and Four Years of Not Filing Legally Required Audits

 

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is Illinois’ answer to racist Pennsylvania AG Kathleen G. Kane. Simon, the daughter of late socialist Illinois Senator Paul Simon, would have run for Illinois AG, but the job was already taken by fellow Democratic hack Lisa Madigan, form another political dynasty, so Simon is running for state comptroller.
 

[Previously, at WEJB/NSU, on this beacon of black municipal strength: “The Black Wall of Silence: Harvey, IL, Police Department Conspired for at Least 14 Years to Protect Black Rapists; County Prosecutor’s Office Had to Raid Local PD, in Order to Rescue Stashed Rape Kits.”]


By Reader-Researcher AL and Nicholas Stix

Here again the spectacle of black political corruption. Harvey is overwhelmingly black and almost entirely black-run.

And corrupt as hell.

How corrupt? Even the pc Chicago Tribune has called it “the most lawless community in the region”!

Harvey 100 years ago was a big manufacturing center, and also a very big
Christian area. NOT NOW!

Latest U.S. Census Bureau data, supplemented by City Data.

• Population: 25,381
• Black alone - 75.8%
• Hispanic - 19.0%
• White alone - 3.6%
• Two or more races - 1.7%
• Asian alone - 0.9%
• American Indian and Alaska Native alone - 0.3%
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone - 0.00%
• [Population decrease since 2000: 15.4 percent
• [Household income and property values: 50 percent below the state average.]

Note how heavily censored the Progress Illinois version of the Chicago Tribune story is. It makes the Trib version sound like Stix wrote it!

 

Friday March 21st, 2014, 2:38 p.m.

Sheriff's Officers, State Officials Review Harvey's Financial Records

Progress Illinois

Officials from the offices of the Cook County Sheriff and the Illinois Comptroller are looking at the city of Harvey's financial books and working to ensure that the municipality files audits that are currently overdue.

Harvey, which is in dire financial straits, has reportedly been late in filing required audits for the past four years. Officials stepped in to review the city's records Friday morning.

"Our auditors will be reviewing city financial records and working to bring Harvey into compliance with state reporting laws. If the auditors find financial impropriety, that information will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency," State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's spokesman Brad Hahn told the Chicago Tribune.

Lt. Gov. and Democratic candidate for state comptroller Sheila Simon recently took Topinka to task over the fiscal controversies surrounding certain towns in the state, including Harvey.

According to the Tribune, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials are also probing into a city deal for a hotel development in the south suburb that was ultimately unsuccessful, yet left taxpayers holding a $10 million tab. The newspaper has also brought to light other suspicious expenses, including $88,000 that went to a company connected to the mayor's son. The company helped with the city's website and Twitter account, which had a large number of fake followers. Additionally, the amount of web work for the price tag has been called into question by experts.

Sources

  • Chicago Tribune
     

    Sheriff's deputies, auditors descend on Harvey's city hall
     
    Officials from the Cook County Sheriff's office and Illinois Comptroller's office arrive at Harvey's City Hall unannounced on March 21, 2014 to perform a review of the city's financial records.
    By Matthew Walberg and Joe Mahr
    10:07 p.m. CDT, March 21, 2014
    Chicago Tribune

    Cook County sheriff's deputies and officials from the state comptroller's office descended on Harvey's City Hall on Friday to begin auditing financial records in an effort to enforce a watchdog law long ignored by the scandal-plagued south suburb.

    The action came on the same day the Tribune reported on questionable insider deals in Harvey occurring while the city's appointed comptroller is warning that the suburb is heading toward financial ruin. The deals included $88,000 to a firm tied to the mayor's son for social media work — the quality of which experts questioned.

    That story followed a series of Tribune articles in February that documented how Harvey has become arguably the most lawless community in the region, reeling from the effects of high violent crime rates, subpar policing and shaky finances amid ineffectual or nonexistent oversight from state and federal authorities. That included the suburb failing for years to follow a law — overseen by the state comptroller — that requires cities and villages to perform yearly audits.

    Under Illinois law, if a town does not complete its audit, the state comptroller is allowed to hire auditors to do it and bill the town for the work.

    On Friday, four sheriff's vehicles arrived at the south suburb's aging City Hall, joined by an SUV and a minivan with state plates. About a dozen people from those vehicles entered City Hall and walked into the office of the city clerk, an elected official whose job includes keeping and tracking the city's records.

    One of Sheriff Tom Dart's top aides, Cara Smith, told the Tribune that the deputies were there to assist the comptroller's office in beginning the process of auditing Harvey's books.

    Brad Hahn, spokesman for state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, said representatives from their office went “to assist the city with its financial reporting.” He would not say whether the office would review any of the insider deals highlighted in the newspaper.

    He said the agency was limited in what additional details it could give, repeating what it had told the Tribune earlier — that there was an ongoing investigation by an agency he wouldn't name to which the comptroller has already forwarded some records.

    The comptroller's office declined to elaborate on the investigation, or say if it is related to an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on a failed insider development deal previously exposed by the Tribune that cost taxpayers $10 million.

    Mayor Eric Kellogg was seen going into City Hall about 15 minutes after deputies and auditors arrived. He later issued a statement through a spokeswoman that said the group had a “very productive meeting.”

    “We appreciate the assistance of the comptroller's office in assisting us as it relates to becoming current with our financial reporting requirements,” the mayor said.

    The move by Dart and Topinka comes seven years after another high-profile unannounced visit by outside authorities, that time armed with subpoenas. Then, deputies were joined by county prosecutors and state police seeking evidence that had long been ignored by Harvey police in murder and rape cases.

    But while authorities have looked inside Harvey's Police Department, none had publicly examined its finances. Dart, long critical of Harvey's policing, has been looking for a way to get a peek at the books. After the Tribune series in February, he pushed County Board members to adopt an ordinance that would allow him to act as the inspector general for suburbs that failed to file audits. But that legislation has run into opposition from suburban mayors and politicians, including County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who say it's the state's responsibility to force audits.

    It's unclear what level of access his office will be given to the records gathered by auditors. When the state comptroller's spokesman was asked if the sheriff's people would also be reviewing the records, the spokesman responded that the comptroller's office would be using its own accountants.

    “Our auditors will be reviewing city financial records and working to bring Harvey into compliance with state reporting laws. If the auditors find financial impropriety, that information will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency,” Hahn said in an email.

    Harvey is four years behind on the audits, making it difficult — if not impossible — for outsiders and residents to get a clear grasp of the city's financial health.

    Records the Tribune obtained suggest that the city is nearly insolvent — borrowing big in recent years yet still spending millions more than it took in, while starving its pension funds and stiffing Chicago on water that the suburb bought and resold. Chicago has sued Harvey. Records show Chicago is owed $18 million for unpaid water bills, about the same amount Harvey takes in from taxes and fees in an entire year.

    Kellogg has bristled at the idea of outside intervention. Last year Dart offered to act as the city's inspector general — an offer eventually made to other suburbs. The Harvey mayor declined the request, calling it “political posturing.”

    jmahr@tribune.com mwalberg@tribune.com Twitter @mattwalberg1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Comedian Tom Dreesen used to bits about growing up in Harvey and interactions with his alleged black friends:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Dreesen