County Board to Consider Raising Elected Officials’ Salaies

Petitions for elections to be held in March of 2016 will begin to be passed early this fall.

But what to pay County Board members and countywide elected officials will be discussed next Thursday by the Human Resources Committee.

If you are interested, the meeting will be at the Administration Building starting at 8:15.

The salaries are already over $100,000 a year.

Rauner Announces More Appointments

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Governor Announces Appointments

B.R. Lane to lead Illinois Lottery; John Holden to continue leading Dept. of Aging

CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has made appointments to two cabinet-level positions. The appointments include the Illinois Lottery, the Illinois Department of Aging and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Name: B.R. Lane

Position: Illinois Lottery Superintendent

Governor Bruce Rauner announced he has selected B.R. Lane to become the next Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery. Lane’s experience in the gaming industry and with regulatory matters in the public and private sectors make her uniquely qualified for the position.

For nearly five years, Lane was the Manager of Regulatory Compliance at International Game Technology, a leader in computerized gaming equipment. Lane managed compliance in development and distribution of casino content and oversaw corporate gaming licenses. Lane also negotiated favorable regulatory treatment of a new gaming system in select markets, which generated $4 million in savings for the company, its affiliates and subsidiaries.

Most recently, Lane was the Interim Director of the Gary/Chicago International Airport. She oversaw the entire organization to ensure compliance in the highly regulated aviation industry. In this role she was responsible for the competition of capital projects, business and legislative affairs, stakeholder relationship management and regulatory integrity.

Prior to her work with the airport, Lane was the Chief of Staff for the City of Gary, Indiana. She oversaw all city departments from legal and finance to public safety. She negotiated a lengthy legal dispute with a casino interest, which resulted in $13 million to the city. She also developed and managed organizational key performance indicators to drive operational efficiency.

Lane is a graduate of Morgan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A from the University of Memphis.

Name: John Holton

Position: Director – Department on Aging

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Director John Holton to continue leading the Department of Aging. He has served as the agency’s director for the past three years.

Holton’s work for Illinois dates back to 2007, when he began working for the Illinois Department of Human Services. For three years, he was the Associate Director in the Division of Mental Health. Prior to that, he studied public health in Chicago’s neighborhoods when he served as a site director for Harvard University School of Public Health’s project on human development.

Holton holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in Urban Education from the University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree from Howard University.

Name: Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias

Position: Chairman – Illinois Human Rights Commission

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias to become the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission. Bombela-Tobias is the former Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She was the first Hispanic to hold the position and the first Hispanic to hold a cabinet-level position.

For more than 35 years, Bombela-Tobias has worked to improve diversity and treatment of minorities. She is currently a principal of the Global Diversity Solutions Group, which specializes in diversity consulting and multi-cultural workforce dynamics. Prior to this, she was the Director of Central States for SER – Jobs for Progress, the nation’s largest Latino direct services organization.

Before Bombela-Tobias’ work in the private sector, she served the people of Illinois for 20 years in a variety of roles. Her most notable contribution was instituting the Minority and Female Business Enterprise Program. In addition to becoming the first Hispanic to lead the Illinois Department of Human Rights, she also worked for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services and the Illinois Department of Personnel. Bombela-Tobias was also the Special Assistant to the Governor for Hispanic Affairs under Governor Jim Thompson.

Bombela-Tobias has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-El Paso. She lives in Chicago.

Name: Hamilton Chang

Position: Commissioner – Illinois Human Rights Commission

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Hamilton Chang to the Human Rights Commission. He is the Vice Chair of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s Asian-American Advisory Committee and has been recognized in the Chinese community for his contributions.

Chang has more than 25 years of experience in finance and management. He led groups specializing in risk management. He is currently the Managing Partner of Ballparks of America-Branson, which is a youth baseball facility for 10-12 year olds. He also serves as a Trustee for New Trier Township.

Chang earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

Name: Duke Alden

Position: Commissioner – Illinois Human Rights Commission

Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Duke Alden to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. His experience in business and involvement with a number of non-profit organizations make him well-suited for the position.

Alden is extremely active in the Chicago community and currently is the Chairman of the Howard Brown Health Center, which works to eliminate disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. He has also worked with Vital Bridges, an organization that helps men and women impacted by AIDS/HIV, and for CARPLS, which provides legal services to people who could otherwise not afford them.

Alden is currently the global leader of Information Governance for Aon. He oversees risk assessment and policy development to drive business efficiency, mitigate risk, and reduce spending. Prior to joining Aon, Alden was a strategy consultant for Huron Consulting Group where he assisted some of the world’s largest companies in the areas of discovery strategy, process design and cost-savings.

Alden earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and his law degree from Tulane University. He lives in Chicago.

Name: Nabi Fakroddin

Position: Commissioner – Illinois Human Rights Commission

Governor Bruce Rauner has reappointed Nabi Fakroddin to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Fakroddin has served on the commission since 2010.

Fakroddin is a licensed professional and structural Engineer. He is past president of the Illinois Engineering Council and the Illinois Association of County Engineers. He is a member of the St. Charles Zoning Board of Appeals and a former member of the Western Illinois Regional Manpower and Planning Commission.

Fakroddin is the recipient of numerous awards, including American Public Works Association’s Top Ten Public Works Leaders in the U.S. and a Distinguished Service Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Fakroddin earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana Technical College. He lives in St. Charles.

Name: Robert Cantone

Position: Commissioner – Illinois Human Rights Commission

Governor Bruce Rauner has reappointed Robert Cantone to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. He has served on the commission since 2011.

Cantone is an attorney focusing on personal injury claims on behalf of people who have been injured due to motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, product defects and medical malpractice. Additionally, he has acted as an arbitrator for the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration program since 1990. He is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

Cantone earned his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and his law degree from Lewis University College of Law He lives in Orland Park.

Arrest in Johnsburg Bank Robbery

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

VOLO, ILLINOIS WOMAN CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT WITH ATTEMPTED ROBBERY OF CHASE BANK IN JOHNSBURG

ROCKFORD — A Lake County woman was charged yesterday in federal court with attempted bank robbery. TERESA M. KNOWLES, 39, of Volo, Ill., was charged with the attempted robbery of Chase Bank located at 2911 Commerce Drive, Johnsburg, Illinois, on March 24, 2015.

According to the complaint, Knowles entered Chase Bank at about 4:36 p.m. and approached a teller window at the counter and passed a note to the teller demanding money.

The teller refused to turn over any money to the defendant and the defendant left the bank.

Thereafter, officers of the McHenry Police Department stopped Knowles in a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle used in the attempted robbery.

Knowles is scheduled to appear before U. S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnson for an initial appearance on March 31, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. in federal court in Rockford.

Attempted bank robbery carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison,

up to 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and full restitution.

If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The charge was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation; Keith Von Allmen, Chief of the Johnsburg, Illinois Police Department; John M. Jones, Chief of the McHenry, Illinois Police Department; and Phillip Perlini, Chief of the Grayslake, Illinois Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

Bankruptcy Fraud Indictment

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

FORMER TINLEY PARK MAN CHARGED WITH BANKRUPTCY FRAUD FOR CONCEALING SEVEN LUXURY CARS WORTH $294,000

CHICAGO — A former Tinley Park resident was charged by information today with concealing his ownership of seven luxury cars during his 2012 bankruptcy proceeding.

The charges allege that JOSEPH W. CAMPBELL, 49, concealed cars having a total value of approximately $294,000, including

Coming to a Federal auction near you.

Coming to a Federal auction near you.

  • a Lamborghini worth $122,000
  • a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette
  • a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette
  • a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  • a 1981 DeLorean
  • a 1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  • a 1997 Dodge Viper
  • Campbell will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court.

According to the information filed in court, Campbell concealed his ownership of the luxury cars from his creditors, the bankruptcy court, and the trustee in his bankruptcy case by failing to disclose them in his bankruptcy petition.

He is also charged with lying under oath about his ownership of the cars in testimony he provided during a creditors’ meeting, a discovery deposition, and a bankruptcy court hearing.

The charges allege that while Campbell’s bankruptcy was pending he sold the Lamborghini for approximately $122,000, and spent the proceeds.

In addition, although the judge presiding over Campbell’s bankruptcy had issued an order directing him to turn over five of the cars, Campbell kept the cars, in direct violation of the judge’s order.

After learning that the bankruptcy trustee was seeking court authorization to access the garage where Campbell was storing the cars, Campbell moved the cars, in the middle of the night, to various locations in order to conceal them.

The crimes of bankruptcy fraud and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding each carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Patrick Layng, United States Trustee for the Northern District of Illinois.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Stern.

The public is reminded that an information contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Erin Smith Sends Letter with MCC Endorsements

An email from Lakewood Village President Erin Smith:

Friends and Family,

Ron Parrish

Ron Parrish

The April 7th election is fast approaching and early voting started this week. I am writing to ask for your support for three candidates for McHenry County College Trustee:

Ron Parrish – running for a 6-year term, currently serving as MCC Board Chairman

Mike Smith – running for a 6-year term, currently serving as MCC Trustee

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

Karen Tirio – running for a 4-year term, MCC Alumni

I am also requesting your help forwarding this email message to your friends and family throughout McHenry County — with your endorsement of these outstanding candidates!

Ron, Mike and Karen are all fiscally conservative, committed to easing the burden on McHenry County taxpayers by expanding private funding to support the college.

Karen Tirio

Karen Tirio

They are all passionate about the critical role our community college plays:

  • Providing quality education at an affordable price
  • Empowering students of all ages to achieve career success and financial independence
  • Developing a skilled workforce and promoting economic development.

Each candidate brings practical experience and expertise regarding the needs and assets of the college. A brief summary of their qualifications is attached for your reference.

And each candidate has been endorsed by many of our local leaders, including:

  • State Senator Pamela Althoff
  • State Senator Karen McConnaughay
  • State Representative Mike Tryon
  • State Representative Barb Wheeler
  • County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller
  • McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi
  • McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim
  • County Board Member Andrew Gasser
  • County Board Member Tina Hill
  • County Board Member John Jung
  • County Board Member Donna Kurtz
  • County Board Member Chuck Wheeler
  • MCC Trustee Chris Jenner
  • Vice Chair Algonquin Township, Republican Central Committee Chris Yaeger
  • Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water
  • Citizen Advocates for Public Accountability
  • Voters in Action

Thank you for taking the time to read this email, thank you for your patience for the campaign process and, most of all, thank you for caring enough about our community to vote on April 7th (or sooner at a local City Hall).

Cubs Rooftop Owner Indicted for Evading Taxes

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

WRIGLEY FIELD ROOFTOP OWNER INDICTED IN ALLEGED SCHEME TO DEFRAUD CHICAGO CUBS, STATE AND LOCAL TAXING AUTHORITIES

CHICAGO ― An owner and operator of a rooftop entertainment venue overlooking Wrigley Field was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly scheming to withhold approximately $600,000 due and owing collectively to the Chicago Cubs, the State of Illinois, Cook County, and the City of Chicago, federal law enforcement officials announced today.

The defendant, R. MARC HAMID, 46, an attorney licensed in Illinois and residing in Chicago, owned and operated the rooftop venue Skybox on Sheffield located beyond the right field wall and bleachers of Wrigley Field.

Chicago Cubs loglHamid also owned and operated companies that purchased and re-sold tickets to entertainment and sporting events, including JustGreatTickets.com and Just Great Seats.

Hamid was charged with

  • four counts of mail fraud

in an indictment that was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury.

He will be arraigned on a date yet to be determined in U.S. District Court.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of at least $600,000 in alleged fraud proceeds.

According to the indictment, for the years 2008 through 2011, Hamid caused Skybox on Sheffield to submit false annual royalty statements to the Chicago Cubs that fraudulently under-reported event attendance figures by thousands of paid attendees, and under-reported gross revenues for the rooftop by a total of more than $1.5 million.

By concealing the actual revenues of Skybox on Sheffield from the Cubs, Hamid caused Skybox on Sheffield to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalty payments rightfully owed to the Cubs under the terms of the rooftop’s agreement with the Cubs.

Rooftop seatsHamid also caused Skybox on Sheffield to submit false sales tax returns to the State of Illinois and false amusement tax returns to Cook County and the City of Chicago that fraudulently under-reported event attendance and gross revenues during 2008-2011.

By concealing the actual attendance and revenues of Skybox on Sheffield, Hamid caused Skybox on Sheffield to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars due and owing to the state and local taxing authorities.

According to the indictment, Hamid caused Skybox on Sheffield to falsely report that the rooftop had 200 or fewer attendees at certain events, when Hamid knew that more than 200 persons had attended the events, making it appear that the rooftop had complied with city ordinances limiting the number of attendees at the rooftop to 200 per event.

Hamid also allegedly caused sales revenues for Skybox on Sheffield to be diverted to his ticket businesses, including Just Great Tickets and Just Great Seats, in order to conceal some of the rooftop revenues from the Cubs and others.

According to the indictment, Hamid used the unlawfully withheld funds to pay Hamid’s personal expenses, and business expenses of Skybox on Sheffield and Hamid’s other businesses.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Stephen Boyd, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation in Chicago; and Tony Gómez, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Hedges, Barry Jonas, and Katherine Neff Welsh.
Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or an alternate fine of twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Markee Tells Reason for CL High School Board Candidacy

This came from Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board candidate Brennan Markee:

Thank you for the opportunity to make a short presentation.

I am a lifelong resident of District 155 and a 1993 graduate of Crystal Lake Central.

My employment is local.

It is my time to give back to the school and community that I love.

My parents, grandparents and other family members attended school in Crystal Lake.

They are excited that I am seeking the position of Member of the Dist. 155 Board of Education.

I know that I received an excellent education and I want that same opportunity for my children.

I know many teachers and some administrators and am concerned with the morale at our 4 high schools.

I believe that there are issues facing the staff that are getting worse rather than better.

The State of Illinois financial crisis will certainly continue to affect school funding.

Recently, the Illinois legislature killed a bill that would have shifted State Aid away from school districts like 155 to those “poorer” districts which would have the affect of increasing local tax burden.

A similar bill is likely to be filed in the near future.

Bleachers will probably be an issue in the District 155 school board contest.

Bleachers are an issue in the District 155 school board contest.

This must be a primary concern of every Board member.

The current Board and Administration has shown great disdane for the elected officials of the City of
Crystal Lake and caused a public embarrassment over bleachers for the South football field.

Attorney fees and court costs for such a project are unconscionable.

My involvement with local civic organizations has given me the opportunity to meet many of the present and past leaders of our community.

I have been encouraged by their support in this endeavor.

I am available to speak to any issue at any time. I am available on Facebook “Brennan Markee for
District 155 Board.

Thank you.

Brennan Markee

Palmer Convinces Finance Committee To Keep Dental Audit Secret

Wednesday McHenry County Blog ran a piece entitled, “Should Misdeeds Uncovered by Internal Audits Be Made Public?

There has apparently been double billing for providing dental care to Veterans.

Both the Veterans department and the County Health Department have been billed, I understand.

Pam Palmer

Pam Palmer

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s Office has all the relevant Health Department records.

No indictment has been handed down.

McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer has conducted an internal audit that she refused to release pursuant to a Freedom of Information request.

She cited an exemption for such audits found in state law.

Thursday a resolution that would have allowed the County Board to release the audit to the public was considered.

By a vote of 3-2 the resolution was tabled and kept in committee so the County Board could not (would not have to) vote upon it.

Mike Skala

Mike Skala

Voting against transparency were

  • Mike Skala (Chairman)
  • Jim Heisler
  • Larry Smith

Vote for release of the document were

  • Yvonne Barnes
  • Nick Provenzano

Two members were absent:

  • Mary McCann
  • Chuck Wheeler

Cary Write-In Candidates See Growing Support

A press release from Cary Village Board write-in candidates Jim Cossler and Kim Covelli:
Support Growing from the Cary Business Sector

Like Time for Change in Cary!!

We are grateful for all of the support we’ve received since announcing our write-in candidacy. Cary residents and businesses have made it clear to us they are tired of status-quo in our Village.

They are tired of being told one thing by the Mayor and Village Board only for something else to happen.

Cary residents keep saying they want a community friendly town to call home.

Residents want property taxes reduced by adding and supporting local business.

There are significant decisions approaching us.

One of those being the Maplewood Property.

This is the property next to the train station, which is a prime downtown area.

A proposal for this property recently included the idea of putting approximately 250 high density apartments in this property.

It’s become clear from the residents we’ve talked to, the overwhelming majority DON’T want more high density residential.

Residents would like to see a downtown area they are PROUD of!

We can assure you with great confidence we will be the voice of the people!

We will make it a priority to make our local government transparent and look to the community for their stance before any major changes are implemented!

We feel this is something our current Mayor and Village Board doesn’t do.

We’ve seen major changes to our Village, even with major opposition from the community.

This is not how we will operate!

Thank you for your support and please remember to WRITE-IN Jim Cosler & Kimberly Covelli for the change we need in Cary!

Below is a letter of support from Swiss Automation, a company that employs over 60 people at its Cary location.

Cary write-in Swiss Automation letter