I already published a few months ago my vote of no confidence for the Office of the Investigator General for a variety of reasons, however now that a letter from the OIG office has been published in a local newspaper, it is easier for me to articulate at least one facet of my zero confidence.
There were 5 recommendations made by the OIG office in response to a complaint filed by a disgruntled former Trustee who lost his seat in the last election. Out of the 5, one stands out extra strong for me.
The second recommendation reads as follows “Establishing a complaint process.”
Ummmm…we have a complaint process. We don’t need one “established.”
It’s in our Midlothian Municipal Code Book under Title 1, Chapter 5, Section 4.
Apparently the OIG staff skipped over that part? Sure the complaint system is not perfect by any means and allowing the Mayor sweeping powers over the processing of any and all complaints helps me explain to you how the Village of Midlothian has gotten away with silencing complaints without a whisper for decades.
What we don’t have is an appeals process for every single instance that the Mayor of Midlothian decides to dismiss a complaint at whim and will.
In essence, victims of the Village of Midlothian continue to be victimized by being told that unless they pay up money to a court system, there will be zero chance of resolution and with the way our court system works in Illinois, there is always a 50/50 chance that justice will not be served. And as there is no oversight of her judgement, no codified system of complaint submission, what criteria is needed to initiate an investigation…the list goes on and on…it is clearly a pre-prejudiced system designed to serve and protect only the interests of Government and relies heavily on whether or not the Mayor likes a person or not.
I am reminded of the virtually non-existent Illinois Equal Access to Justice Commission that has been nothing but a paycheck and another notch on resumes for those who claim they participated. When you can’t access the justice system on a local level, complete with an appeals process, there can be no equal access to the larger Justice System, but the IEAJC doesn’t care about preventing people from having need to enter the justice system in the first place.
Let’s take the example of meeting minutes and agendas. No one should have to step into a courtroom to file formal complaint about meeting minutes and agenda “errors” nor should they have to waste more taxpayer dollars by going through the Public Access Counselor’s Office. There should be a method in place so that when a Mayor dismisses a complaint…especially when she is the cause of the complaint…the complaint can then be brought to the Board for consideration.
Therefore, I am going to go ahead and make my own formal recommendation to the Village:
The Village MUST establish, implement and record an appeals process that excludes the Markham courthouse, the PAC Office, the OIG Office and any other governmental unit so that the next logical step would be for the problem to be resolved at a local level.
I can’t wait to hear their conclusion about my complaint about the municipal code book, especially considering we already have on record that errors in the book are continuing to cause damages to the people of Midlothian…
I also can’t wait to hear their conclusions about the complaint regarding the $95,000 spending spree Mayor Rybak went on…