Dueling Huntley School District Complaints at McHenry County State’s Attorney Office?

It looks like Huntley School District 158’s forensic audit may have produced something actionable.

At least if the Huntley school board has its way.

As in, maybe the McHenry County State’s Attorney will take some action as a result of something that Jefferson Wells came up with. The audit has been blasted by minority bloc board member Larry Snow for its inadequacy.

You will remember that the headline on the Northwest Herald the day after the forensic audit was presented blared,

Auditors:
No fraud

Reporter Jameel Naqvi of the Daily Herald has gotten School Superintendent John Burkey to admit that the district has filed a complaint with the McHenry County State’s Attorney.

Will it be the giving or taking of extra cash to administrators (past and/or present) that was not authorized by the school board in an open meeting?

In an indirect quote, the Daily Herald cited CPA Tony Quagliano as follows:

“The district’s complaint alleges that one or more district officials authorized benefits they did not have the authority to grant.”

When I first heard the board mention “in lieu of” payments, I had no idea what they were talking about.

But, then I learned that district administrators got what amounted to unapproved pay raises. One excuse was an administrator did not need the health benefits other administrators got because his/her spouse had health coverage somewhere else.

Having administrated health benefits for the largest employer in Illinois, state government, I can tell you that really surprised me. Most employers want to keep the cost of employee benefits down. This practice was a way to make the benefits cost taxpayers more.

And, despite majority board bloc criticism of board member Larry Snow, who likes to turn over rocks like “in lieu of” benefits to see what worms crawl out, there is no indication the district complaint is against him.

Snow filed his own complaint with the State’s Attorney, the Daily Herald reports, “alleging that more than one current or former board member engaged in criminal misconduct.”

Citing other board members, the article says the target of Snow’s complaint is at least former School Board President Mike Skala, who was just reappointed to the board to replace Jim Carlin after losing the April election to him.

Skala told the Daily Herald that he hadn’t done anything wrong.

“’Larry’s filing is not in any way, shape or form related,’ board Vice President Tony Quagliano said. ‘Larry has his own complaint.’”

I do wonder how Quagliano got a copy of Snow’s complaint. Did the State’s Attorney’s office send it to District 158.

Or is this a comment as valid as Daily Herald columnist Amy Mack’s.

In a hint of what a public relations’ disaster the revelation that the district filed a complaint with the state’s attorney, the Daily Herald article says,

“The district’s complaint also appears to undercut board President Shawn Green’s recent statements expressing outrage at Snow’s lodging a criminal complaint against Skala.

“Green was part of the board consensus that directed Burkey to file a complaint with the state’s attorney, board members said — although it is not clear how similar the district’s complaints are to Snow’s.”

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Huntley School District 158 Superintendent John Burkey is on top. Below and on the left is Huntley School Board Vice President Tony Quagliano. Below him is Larry Snow. Below and to the right of Snow is Mike Skala.


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