Lies, backbiting and grandstanding impact DuPage Township Board, watchdog group claims
Lying and political backbiting are near epidemic proportions on the DuPage Township Board.
That’s the take from recent reports published by the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) on the sorry state of affairs in DuPage.
In the articles, Kirk Allen and John Kraft of ECW recount their assessments of two recent DuPage Township Board meetings.
After a meeting on Sept. 25, ECW questioned the roles Trustees Ken Burgess and Maripat Oliver played in what were revealed to be exaggerated charges that fellow board member, Alyssia Benford, used a non-profit for campaign purposes.
Benford is running as a Republican for the state House in the 98th District.
Then at a meeting on Oct. 9, ECW questioned Supervisor William Mayer about his role in financial irregularities in the township, and came away dissatisfied with the answers – when they got answers.
ECW published a timeline of what it describes as “inaccurate statements, grandstanding, and flat-out lies” at the October meeting.
In one instance, Mayer, in a discussion about a former attorney for the township, claims he never received a response from the former attorney, “when the truth is he did receive a response – he even read the email in response to his email to the attorney,” Kraft wrote.
Mayer then complained about the attorney billing for time spent talking to or responding to township trustees. Kraft wrote: “He starts lying about Trustee Benford’s communications with the attorney, by saying Benford emailed every day or ‘almost’ every single day.' ”
In another instance, Mayer talked about money given to the Lions Club for a dinner, but failed to answer who actually received the approximately 50 tickets purchased by the township. “I asked again were the tickets purchased because Mayer is a member of that Lions Club?” he wrote.
Toward the end of the meeting Allen requested that Mayer resign over unanswered questions about improper use of township funds.
'Faked outrage' about a parade
At the Sept. 25 meeting, Trustee Burgess and Oliver attacked Benford for appearing in a parade with children who were part of a non-profit community service program.
“After the faked outrage about the parade, and promises of cutting funding, sources have informed us that both Trustee Oliver and Supervisor Mayer attempted to ‘force’ the Executive Director of the HEART Program [the community non-profit] into signing an affidavit that was patently false,” Kraft wrote on October 2.
“This, in my opinion, was another attempt at discrediting a political candidate using the threat of reduced funding, while also using their elected positions as township officials as cover.”
“The affidavit was authored three days after the public meeting in which the issue was discussed by disgruntled Trustee Ken Burgess and failed 2010 Candidate for State Representative (and current Trustee) Maripat Oliver,” Kraft added
Finally, Burgess, later joined by Mayer, said that they had photographs of Kraft standing with a political candidate, holding a donation check.
Kraft wrote that Allen submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of all photographs of any candidate giving a check to the Edgar County Watchdogs, Kirk Allen, or John Kraft.
“ Of course, we already knew there were no photographs because it never happened,” he wrote. “They lied.”