Originally posted at CountyLeaks...
"We don't stop anyone from supplementing their employment, as long as it isn't a conflict." - Laura Capizzano, Director of HR at Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Four months prior to the start of the information technology (IT) "internal investigation" leading to 317 felony indictments so far, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County hired Troy Clampit, owner of Genesis One Designs, a Villa Park-based firm which had supplied nearly $1 million in political campaign support for DuPage Republicans for a decade, including current District President D. "Dewey" Pierotti and District Commissioners Mike Formento, Marsha Murphy and Linda Painter.
Clampit was hired first as a "seasonal employee working part-time hours" in the District's IT department in March 2011 according to Daily Herald's Elisabeth Mistretta in February's "DuPage Forest Preserve Critics Say New Hires Post Conflict of Interest." Mistretta reported that District Human Resources Director Laura Capizzano said that a full-time position became available "partially because the IT department had openings, due to the firing and resignation of two employees."
Since Clampit began working for the Forest Preserve last year, his firm Genesis One Designs has been paid close to $130,000 in political campaign work for DuPage Republicans including Citizens for Dan Cronin, the DuPage County Republican Central Committee, the Addison Township Republican Central Committee, the Naperville Township Republican Organization, the Milton Township Republican Central Committee, Citizens to Elect Patrick O'Shea and Citizens for Dennis M. Reboletti.
The District's Transparency Portal shows that Clampit receives $51,297.09 as a project analyst and his benefits are $26,213.70. His firm's billings while he's worked for the Forest Preserve are two and a half times his annual salary.
"We don't stop anyone from supplementing their employment, as long as it isn't a conflict," Capizzano was quoted.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Genesis One Designs has been paid for ad books, telephone polling, printings, mailings, fundraiser invitations and extensive robo calling and website work over the past 18 months when Clampit's government employment began. (Scroll down to read the entire list of Genesis One Design's $1 million in billings.)
Clampit is currently listed as the both the administrative and technical contacts for the website domain for the Forest Preserve and DuPage Forest Giving through 2013. Simultaneously, he is listed as the registrant and administrator for dupagegop dot net, electcronin dot com, dupagechairman dot com, addisontwpgop dot org, napervillerepublicans dot net, dennisreboletti dot com, -- the website domains for the DuPage County Republican Central Committee, Citizens for Dan Cronin, DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin's personal website, Addison Township Republican Central Committee, Naperville Township Republican Organization and Citizens for Dennis M. Reboletti respectively.
Citizens for Bob Berlin, the campaign for DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin, whose office is prosecuting the IT investigation, transferred campaign funds supporting four of the organizations which paid Genesis One Designs while Clampit was working for the District -- $4,200 to the DuPage County Republican Central Committee, $675 to the Addison Township Republican Central Committee, $450 to the Naperville Township Republican Organization, and $310 to the Milton Township Republican Central Committee.
On Sept. 5th, Paul Biasco reported in the Daily Herald's, "DuPage Forest Preserve Employees Charged in Fraud Scheme," that the former director of information technology department, Mark McDonald, and the department manager, David Tepper, were accused of "stealing more than $100,000 from the district over a six-year period". The article continued that a third man, Arif Mahmood, who worked for Alamach Technology, Inc., an IT vendor for the district, was charged with "being involved in one of the schemes".
The men were handed down 317 felony charges collectively on Oct. 31st; to date, Susan Carlman of Sun-Times Media - West Division apparently is the only mainstream journalist to have reported on the charges.
McDonald is scheduled to appear for his first court appearance tomorrow since being indicted.
CountyLeaks was first to report on the numerous political ties between the Forest Preserve and the DuPage County State's Attorney's office. Doubts have been raised on the fairness and justice of the prosecutions due to allegations of cronyism.
Within an eight-month period before, during and after the IT "internal investigation", the Forest Preserve surrounded itself with politically-and-family connected employees and vendors -- Clampit was hired by the IT department in March 2011; JRM Consulting, Inc., with the assistance of Vince Durante was contracted to begin the "investigation" of the IT Department four months later; 24/7 political strategists Reverse Spin, LLC were contracted last November to handle the "crisis communications" associated with the IT scandal; and roughly the same time, Jack Hogan was hired as the interim finance director, later to become permanent. (Read Parts 1-4 in the CountyLeaks series for details.)
Local citizen watchdogs question the timing of Clampit's "seasonal" hiring despite a reported lack of available funding four months prior to the "internal IT investigation", and his full-time position following slots left by the two former IT employees. Watchdogs also wonder how this employee can moonlight such a high amount of campaign activity without infringing on his full-time District hours.
Above all, they ask: why is he at the Forest Preserve?
According to a voucher log approved by the Forest Preserve Commissioners on Aug. 7, 2012, a $3,000 tuition reimbursement check was issued by the District to Clampit for "project management/ astronomy".
Click HERE for a Chicago Tribune photo of Clampit teaming up on former State Senator Dan Cronin's campaign for DuPage County Board Chairman.
Is it legal for an unlicensed firm, ie: JRM Consulting, Inc., to conduct a secret "internal investigation" without first providing "notice" to the employees?
Did anyone at the Forest Preserve believe that Clampit was qualified for the job?
Were Dewey Pierotti and the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners conflicted when they voted to approve a 3% six-month raise for Clampit in July 2012?
Were the elected officials at the Forest Preserve looking out the for best interests of the taxpayers or their individual best interests?
How many applicants lined up for Clampit's part-time and full-time positions and what were their qualifications in comparison?
How many government employees are reading CountyLeaks during work hours?