Fired Huntley Bookkeeper Case to the States Attorney

It seems that the next step is being taken to bring justice to the apparent perpetrator of a reported payroll theft from Huntley’s School District 158.

Friday Algonquin Police Chief Russ Lane told McHenry County Blog,
“We never received the final audit, but we are shipping all this up to the State’s Attorney next week.”

Last summer, after the financial shenanigans were discovered in bookkeeping, the Algonquin Police Department investigated.

The woman was fired, but the police report was not turned over the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, pending completion of the forensic audit.

The headline in the Northwest Herald the day after the forensic auditors made their oral report indicated that no fraud had been found.

Some thought that meant there were no misdeeds in the business office, but that’s not what Superintendent John Burkey thinks.

Burkey had this to say while supporting a forensic audit:

(There is a) very clear need for a targeted audit of our payroll for the last four years.

We need to get this out in the open. We know we have some irregularities…a small part of it may be criminal.

Apparently so.

I’ve written too many stories about this.

The night of the forensic auditor’s oral presentation of the less than comprehensive audit, they revealed some $200,000 in cash fringe benefits had been paid to school district executives without school board approval.

But, the payroll auditor did not call it fraud.

Here is what McHenry County Blog reported on the March 20, 2007, forensic auditor’s presentation:

One of the final inquiries was about “the individual who left.”

Quagliano asked,

Did you verify what we had was accurate?

Did you see the police report?

Mark Wagner, who seemed to be in charge of the payroll auditing, replied,

The document appears to be correct.

Now, it’s up to the prosecutors to make the determination.

The employee, so far unnamed, has been investigated by the Algonquin Police, but the report has been held at the request of school officials pending the completion of the forensic audit, Superintendent John Burkey said.

Asked after the meeting, when I inquired when the school district will ask that the police report be forwarded to the state’s attorney’s office, Burkey said,

As soon as this is done. The reason we waited was because we wanted that done before we turned it in.

Burkey indicated the time was then.

And, with Chief Lane set to send his department’s police report to the State’s Attorney, maybe there will finally be an indictment.

But that does not cover the unauthorized cash fringe benefits to past school administrators.

The newly constituted Huntley School Board will have to figure out what reimbursement, if any, past administrators will have to make for the $200,000 or so in question.

Almost two months ago, when one board member suggested it might just be a problem with the malfunctioning SDS payroll system, CPA Tony Quagliano, who was the board’s liaison with the forensic auditors Jefferson Wells, said,

Trust me. There are overpayments.

The question is whether the new school board, still firmly under the control of the old Establishment with the addition of Quagliano to its team, will collect the unapproved payments, which would pay for the $100,000 forensic audit.

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