DuPage Township Trustee Alyssia Benford
DuPage Township Trustee Alyssia Benford, who filed a complaint in January against former DuPage Township Supervisor William Mayer’s use of campaign funds, described the April 3 preliminary hearing by the State Board of Elections as “contentious.”
Benford offered few details of the closed-door hearing in an interview with the Will County Gazette, other than saying that Mayer’s attorney John Spina renewed accusations that Benford's complaint was politically motivated. Mayer did not attend the hearing, she said.
Benford told the Gazette that she filed the complaint not because Mayer was a “political rival,” but that as a township trustee and certified public accountant (CPA), she had a responsibility to report a connection between advanced pay that Mayer was receiving from the township and a transfer from Mayer’s campaign account, Citizens for William Mayer.
Former DuPage Township Supervisor William Mayer
“As CPAs, we are held to ethical rules outlined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,” Benford said in a statement. “We are obligated to act with moral judgment and integrity. While researching one of the unauthorized pay advances of $10,000 that the former supervisor received, I received a concern from a resident that some of those funds may have a connection to a payment made from William Mayer’s campaign account. I was duty-bound to report his matter to the appropriate authorities.
“If I were advising William Mayer,” she added, “I would recommend he turn over the bank statements for his Citizens for William Mayer account as proof that all of his disbursements were in compliance with the State Board of Election laws.”
Spina did not return a call from the Will County Gazette for comment.
Under board procedure, the examiner conducting the preliminary hearing will present the findings to the full board, which will then decide whether to conduct a public hearing about the complaint. The investigation centers around a January 2017 transfer of $10,000 from the Citizens for William Mayer campaign to a 16-year-old female neighbor of Mayer's.
For an earlier story on the transfer, Benford told the Gazette that Mayer filed an amended campaign report the same day in September 2018 that Benford had 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.
Mayer handpicked Spina as DuPage Township’s attorney last April, but in January Mayer resigned as supervisor under pressure from the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW), and the township board recently voted to hire a new attorney for the township. ECW has found numerous discrepancies in township accounts controlled by Mayer.