Former DuPage Township Supervisor Mayer misses Board of Elections hearing
A State Board of Elections hearing into some questionable campaign transfers by former DuPage Township Supervisor William Mayer was cancelled because Mayer could not be served notice of the hearing, according to DuPage Trustee Alyssia Benford, who filed the complaint about the transfers with the board.
“I received my notice by registered letter,” Benford told the Will County Gazette. “When I called the board to verify the hearing date was Feb. 19, they said there would be no hearing on that date because Mayer did not respond to his certified letter.”
Benford said she was still waiting to hear back from a hearing officer concerning next steps the board would take.
While not commenting specifically on the Mayer case, Board spokesman Matt Dietrich wrote in an email that “the absence of a response by a committee ignoring an appeal hearing notice is incorporated by the hearing officer in his/her report to the Board.”
Dietrich added that the subject of complaint could “forfeit the opportunity to present a defense” at a future hearing.
Kirk Allen of the Edgar County Watchdogs said that the fact the board called for the hearing means that they believe there is a “foundation” for the complaint.
Per the complaint, the board is investigating a January 2017 transfer of $10,000 from the Citizens for William Mayer campaign to a sixteen-year-old female neighbor of his. Benford, a certified public accountant, said that she discovered the transfer when looking into numerous $10,000 pay advances Mayer received from the township.
Benford further said that Mayer filed an amended campaign report the same day in September 2018 that she told Trustee Maripat Oliver what she had discovered.
“It’s clear that for whatever reason Maripat turned right around and told Bill about what I had found,” Benford said.
Oliver did not respond to an earlier request for comment.
In January, Mayer told the Will County Gazette that he filed the amended report with the board as soon as he realized the error.
“The original two posts (pertaining to the account) were coded incorrectly and were ‘transferred out’ to an Alyssa Pincuspy by mistake,” Mayer wrote in an email. “However, please note that it was done as a transfer out which would mean another campaign account—clearly you can tell this was done in error.”
But Benford said that Mayer almost certainly knew of the mistake well before September 2018.
In October 2017, Benford sent Mayer and his wife, Christine, an email message telling them that the board was fining another campaign committee, Citizens to Elect DuPage Township Award Winning Slate, for the late reporting of a $10,000 transfer from Citizens for William Mayer. The money was transferred Jan. 18, 2017, but wasn’t reported until April 17, 2017.
Benford was treasurer of the Citizens campaign committee but later removed herself saying she was “no longer comfortable with sharing financial responsibilities with William Mayer.”
At the time, Mayer’s wife, Chirstine, replied to Benford saying, “It’s fine, thank you for sharing. We took care of it. I didn’t know that when we are transferring from account to account that we needed to do the A1 [form for reporting contributions of over $1,000 or more from a single source]– State Board is good.”
The January and April transfer and reporting dates were nearly identical to the transfer of $10,000 from Citizens for William Mayer to the neighbor. Benford said the transfers raise a lot of questions.
“If the payment was reported in error in 2017, then Citizens for William Mayer would have also reported and filed a Form 1099‐MISC (miscellaneous income) with the Internal Revenue Service by January 2018,” she said.
“If there was not a 1099 filed, then I have a concern with why William Mayer would want to intentionally mislead the public regarding his Citizens for William Mayer account,” she continued.
“Also, if there was an alleged payment made for $10,000 to his 16‐year old female neighbor for campaign work in January 2017 at the start of our last campaign, does that have any connection to the pay advances he has been receiving as the DuPage Township Supervisor?”
Mayer resigned as supervisor in mid-January under pressure from Benford and the Edgar County Watchdogs over numerous questionable financial transactions involving the township’s funds.