“There’s a doctrine in law called respondeat superior (Latin), which means, you know, the boss is responsible.” --Milton Township Supervisor Chris Heidorn, 7/10/12 Board Meeting(video here)
In our first report, What’s The Matter With Milton Township?, we proved that the Top Ten Employees make $1 Million in total compensation and for 8 years the Supervisor had virtually no formal employee management system - no job activity reports, time cards or job descriptions.
With laissez faire management, how did employees perform?
In our second report, What’s The Matter With Milton Township? Ralph Hinkle, (photo right) we showed thousands in taxpayer money spent on: travel junkets; fine dining; and undocumented gas purchases; township cell phone and email used for political purposes; and incurred large taxpayer liabilities for implementation of secret surveillance systems and was aware of drinking/driving of township van. Read Daily Heraldstory HERE.
As quoted above, Township Supervisor Chris Heidorn (photo right) says the buck stops with him. In this report, we begin to analyze the performance of his job duties…
Two serious allegations are explored in this report: 1. Did Supervisor Heidorn falsify the official township budget ordinances and knowingly vote to approve falsification of certified minutes from the Special Meeting of the Budget on March 27, 2012?, and 2. Did Supervisor Heidorn pressure Trustees to sign a pre-written response to township auditors regarding “Fraud Risk Inquiry”?
I. Did Supervisor Heidorn falsify the Township Budget Ordinances?
On March 27, 2012 Township Supervisor Chris Heidorn presented the Milton Township annual Town Fund budget and Road Budget and both were approved that night by trustees. Two days later, the Township’s official budget ordinances were filed with DuPage County - with a different set of spending numbers.
- 3/27: Trustee approved spending: Town Fund $2,663,709; Road Fund $1,909,016.
- 3/29: Official numbers filed with DuPage County: Town Fund $2,320,383; Road Fund $1,917,484.
Both Supervisor Chris Heidorn and Township Clerk Gail Hinkle (wife of Ralph Hinkle) were aware of the gross discrepancy:
Gail Hinkle in a 3/28/12 email: Chris, I’m trying to write the minutes from last night so that I can get them out today along with the April 3 Agenda. I do not have the final numbers for Road District & Town Fund Budgets? All I have are line item transfer for 2012-2012. You gave the2011 Budget numbers for the Township Budget last night. Why am I so confused? If you have the numbers at hand, please email them to me. (emphasis added)
Chris Heidorn email response on 3/28/12: I may have grabbed the wrong book last night and may have misspoken – the numbers are the tentative budget numbers. Sorry.
Was there collusion between the Supervisor Chris Heidorn and the Clerk Gail Hinkle to falsify the Budget Ordinance and Certified Minutes? Here’s the evidence, you decide:
3. Both Supervisor Heidorn and Clerk Hinkle were aware of the mistake. Read emails here.
4. An amendatory process exists to correct mistakes. Months later, the process isn’t even started (50 ILSC 330/3 and Trustees’ Operations Manual, page 36).
The Supervisor can’t handle the important, yet simple and straightforward process of an annual budget? By law, only approved budget numbers can be certified by ordinance.
From the video and transcript, Milton Township Clerk Gail Hinkle’s minutes don’t reflect the actual meeting. With prior knowledge, Heidorn was silent as the Milton Trustees voted to approve Hinkle’s minutes at the next meeting.
Supervisor Chris Heidorn’s pattern of behavior is troubling at best…
II. Supervisor Chris Heidorn fills out All Trustee Responses in Auditor’s Fraud-Risk Inquiry:
Miriani & Associates: Are you aware of any allegations of fraud or suspected fraud affecting the entity?
Heidorn answer: No
Miriani & Associates, Ltd. is the auditor hired for the annual financial report. Following protocol, the auditors asked the Milton Trustees to fill out a “Fraud Risk Inquiry” Statement. Supervisor Chris Heidorn filled out the report for each Trustee and elected official and pressured them to sign the statement. Review pre-written Fraud-Risk Inquiry here.
From Chris Heidorn’s email: “I have attached a completed form for your signature. Please print it, sign it and return it to me at your soonest convenience so I may pass it on to Mirianni & Associates. Thank you.”Review Heidorn email here
When a boss pre-writes the auditor’s Fraud Risk Inquiry Statement, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the inquiry?
Next week, we will continue to explore the performance of Milton Supervisor Chris Heidorn in our next installment of “What’s the Matter with Milton Township?”