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Department heads are stealing from taxpayers by granting bonuses

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 8:22 a.m. CDT

To The Editor:

Just recently, there was a theft that occurred at a local family-owned business. It seems that a shift supervisor for the company had gone to the owner on several occasions to plead the case for two employees that the supervisor felt were going above and beyond in performing their duties.

The owner turned down the request to provide these employees with any further compensation.

So, one day, when the owner was not around, the shift supervisor opened the safe and the cash drawer and gave all the monies in there to the two employees.

The employees were thrilled with their supervisor and the supervisor felt gratified. It was easy giving away someone else’s money.

When the owner found out about this, the supervisor was fired, arrested for theft, and taken to jail. The two employees were also let go because they showed their loyalty to the shift supervisor and not the owner by accepting the money that had not been approved.

OK, so this story is not true. What is true is that the taxpayers of Grundy County have been stolen from under the same scenario.

Thank you to the current county board and the Morris Daily Herald for making us all aware of this.

Apparently, this theft has gone on in numerous departments over several years time. This is unacceptable and must never happen again.

It is understandable that all expenses and potential expenses must be budgeted for. It would appear that the issue arises with the monies budgeted for potential expenses, especially potential additions to staff.

There must be a better way to manage these funds. A separate contingency fund or an escrow account perhaps? These funds must not be readily available to the department heads. It appears that the temptation is too great.

We have seen this before at all levels of government. Officials, elected or not, who have control over public funds have used them for their own gains. They use them to buy loyalty, influence, votes or campaign contributions.

We can see that in the shortfall of over $98 billion here in the state of Illinois and the federal debt of over $16 trillion and rising.

At the very least, let’s hope that our county board gets this current issue corrected. After all, we have got to start somewhere.

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