The following letter from bond analyst Steve Willson, was published originally in the Northwest Herald. It is re-published below with permission from the author:
Many years ago it was common for investment banks to contribute to local elections and receive hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars in underwriting business in return.
Sometimes there was an explicit quid quo pro; other times, a wink and a nod was enough.
The situation was so obviously corrupt and so pervasive that the SEC passed a rule prohibiting investment banks from doing any business in municipalities where the bankers made political contributions.
Unfortunately the SEC doesn’t regulate architects.
Engberg Anderson, the architectural firm hired by the City of Crystal Lake for the Library, a firm that stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars if the library referendum passed, made a huge contribution to the “Library YES” committee, a contribution equal to a third of the Committee’s budget.
This fact was known before the election but not reported by the Northwest Herald.
When I told the City Council that if Engberg Anderson received more contracts from the City, this would be as just like the corruption prohibited by the SEC, the Mayor launched a blistering personal attack on me from the podium.
This story also was not reported by the Northwest Herald.
I recommend that the citizens of Crystal Lake be on the lookout for the name Engberg Anderson on any future City payouts.
Chairman, McHenry County Good Government Association
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You can find McHenry County Blog’s pre-election article about the $8,000 contribution here.