Re-cycling a campaign theme developed by Daily Herald columnist Amy Mack (who, by the way, does not seem to have a column any more) out of a complaint made by then McHenry County GOP Chairman Bill LeFew, who vigorously opposed the reelection of LouiBianchi for State’s Attorney, Democratic Party opponent Tom Cynor has issued the following press release.
What Cynor does not point out is that the Illinois Attorney General’s Office investigated. Lisa Madigan’s Office’s report lead to this headline in Pioneer Press:
CYNOR RENEWS CALL FOR STATE’S ATTORNEY REIMBURSEMENT OF $17,000 IN PERSONAL EXPENSES
WOODSTOCK IL. – Early this week county official revealed that revenue for the upcoming fiscal year would miss budgeted estimates by approximately 2.5 million dollars. County board members were quick to consider budget cuts to make up for the lost revenue. Suggestions included hiring freezes and salary reductions for county employees.
Candidate for McHenry County State’s Attorney, Thomas J. Cynor, has suggested, “that county board members first consider recouping some $17,000.00 from the sitting State’s Attorney, Louis Bianchi and limiting other wasteful spending by his office before considering reducing county employee wages.”
Louis Bianchi has had taxpayers pay for about $17,000 worth of candy, cookies, chocolate, cakes, ice cream, soda pop, doughnuts, bagels, coffee and meals since taking office. McHenry County Auditor, Pam Palmer called the expenses, “excessive” and mentioned she was “dismayed and shocked” when she learned of Lou Bianchi’s reimbursed expenditures first hand.
In addition to criticism from various county officials, last fall Cynor spoke before the county board on this very issue. “I went before the county board and asked that they consider withholding any further funding of the State’s Attorney’s Office until Lou Bianchi personally reimbursed the county for his personal expenses,” Cynor said. “They failed to act, and now they are considering reducing county employee wages because of revenue shortfalls. Try telling some county employee making under $25,000 a year they have to take a pay cut because the county’s priority is paying for Mr. Bianchi’s Dilly Bars at Dairy Queen.”
Many of the reimbursed expenses at issue were for meals at various local and out of county restaurants. “I found some of the more offensive expenditures for reimbursed meals,” Cynor said. In one instance at a local eatery, Lou Bianchi wined and dined representatives of one of his largest political contributors, Prime Commercial, on the tax payer dime, at a time when Prime Commercial had just completed a remodel of the State’s Attorney’s Office. “Tax payers paid for the lavish remodel and the appreciation lunch and Lou got to pocket the political donation.”
Cynor added that “it is time to stop the nonsense.” “The position of State’s Attorney pays almost $170,000 a year. At that salary I would hope Lou could afford to buy his own bagel and coffee in the morning and return the people’s $17,000.”
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Post article publication feedback from McHenry County Blog friends:
People who were at the county board meeting where Tom Cynor made the comments he refers to above tell me it was a daytime meeting. Cynor, of course, is a county employee, so more than one wondered if he had prior approval to take time off
This reply was received from Tom Cynor:
“Prior to the meeting, I requested and was granted time off from work to attend the daytime meeting. You may confirm with Chief Judge Sullivan (815) 334-4385. This, of course, highlights the need to move the second CB Meeting to the evening, so as to allow concerned citizens the opportunity to address the CB. Approximately 2/3rds of all employed residents of the county now work outside the county. Accordingly moving the meeting to the early evening would facilitate greater transparency in county government.”