Kendall prosecutor pursuing board member payment complaint
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org June 10, 2012 8:02PM
Updated: July 12, 2012 6:06AM
YORKVILLE — The investigation into the propriety of per diems claimed by a Kendall County Board member continues, according to Kendall State’s Attorney Eric Weis.
Weis said the matter “is not closed on our end,” despite words from County Board Chairman John Purcell last week hoping to end the matter.
“Obviously John has the right to his opinion, and I respect that as the chairman,” Weis said. “But that is not the end all and be all.”
Weis’ office has been looking at claims that County Board member Dan Koukol took as many as 50 per diems for attending meetings that were inappropriate. The meetings were in connection with Koukol’s chairmanship of the County Board Economic Development Committee.
Originally, Finance Committee Chairman Anne Vickery cataloged about 50 meetings for which Koukol received the $85-a-meeting per diem, and asked Weis to look at them. She has contended Koukol should pay back the more than $4,000 total, going back to meetings just after he took office in December 2010.
Vickery said according to board rules, board members are only supposed to take per diems for attending meetings of the full board or for attending meetings of committees on which they serve.
But board Chairman Purcell said last week that he reviewed the per diems with Koukol, and found only three meetings for which Koukol should not have been paid.
Koukol has agreed to pay back the money for those three meetings.
Purcell said previously that he approved the per diems for some of the meetings because they were in connection with Koukol’s work on the board.
Purcell’s comments were intended to put the per diem matter to rest, but Weis said his investigation is “independent of the board.” Weis has recommended the board hire a forensic auditor to look at the situation.
“I still anticipate bringing the information found for the forensic audit forward to the board,” Weis said.