DePaul University Associate Professor Pens Letter Directed at County Board
Many believe that Nancy Gonsiorek and Jack Franks’ attempt at abolishing the auditor is an attempt for the Chairman to dominate other county offices by controlling the ability to pay bills and acquire services.
Former county board candidate and current Greenwood Township Trustee Kelly Liebmann spoke against abolishing the auditor during public comment at the February 20th, 2018 full county board meeting.
“I am reading this letter on behalf of someone who could not make it tonight.
This past Saturday in Woodstock there was a screening of the documentary “All the Queen’s Horses” about Rita Crundwell and the City of Dixon.”
Liebmann then read from the following letter:
To Kelly Liebman:
My name is Kelly Richmond Pope and I am an accounting professor at DePaul University in Chicago.
Additionally, I am the director and producer of the award-winning documentary ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES which chronicles the $53 million fraud committed by Rita Crundwell, former comptroller of the City of Dixon.
As you may be aware, Crundwell was a trusted employee. Excellent at her job and a long-time fiscal agent of the City of Dixon.
There are many valuable lessons that municipal governments can learn from my documentary and if you are interested, I would love to schedule a private screening to show your board the film.
In the meantime, please let me offer you some valuable information that can be gained from this case which could be applicable to your county.
In Dixon’s case, they were not fortunate enough to have anyone serve in the Office of Auditor and I do believe if your county is fortunate enough to have this position, you should maintain it.
Auditor oversight is key in fraud detection and prevention. Auditors offer a layer of perceived external oversight which is a critical component in governance.
Had Dixon had this role, perhaps the fraud could have been identified much early than it was.
I can’t stress to you enough the importance the Office of Auditor role can play and doing anything that impairs objectivity would not be a recommendation that I would make.
Elimination of the Office of Auditor or transitioning the position to more of an administrative role is not ideal.
As you can imagine, I have interacted with municipalities around the country because of screening ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES around the globe.
Many government officials use the Dixon case as a cautionary tale of what not to do.
As an Illinois taxpayer, I believe it is my duty to offer any commentary that could be of assistance to local governments as a result of my experience with the Dixon case.
If I can offer any additional information, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
Kelly Richmond Pope, Ph.D., CPA
School of Accountancy and MIS