In less than a year and a half, the Village of Midlothian as a corporate entity has been subjected to a variety of investigations.
We had Dart’s office come in January of 2015, which accumulated into a reported 6 complaints total filed: one by former Trustee Vincent “Vince” Schavone (dismissed), one by former Emergency Management Agency Director Chuck Hillyer (dismissed), one by a resident regarding Mayor Sharon Rybak’s spending of $88,000 and most recently, it was suggested one was a report regarding one from Rybak stating that Dart’s personnel just couldn’t “get to the bottom” of the “bond issue.”
We had news delivered to us that a forensic audit was called for by “Springfield” and “bond council” and Crowe Horwath entered the equation. It was later discovered that the Village’s auditing company, McGladrey and Pullen said they wouldn’t perform the annual audit without…well…something. Whether or not M&P called for a forensic audit or the simple reconciliation of the books is still as much of an unknown as what the annual audit will contain using Crowe Horwath numbers that were approved by the Board under protest and disagreement.
Even the Public Access Counselor’s (PAC) Office called for an investigation into Rybak’s severe hold-ups of meeting minutes, of which a conclusion is still outstanding and unknown.
So when Rybak broke the news that she “self-reported the Village” to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it looked like there was not much left on the list to request the opening of an investigation into something or other that the “Village” did. While the narrative of the actual complaint is right in line with my hypothesis that Rybak has been on a singular mission to bring down as many Trustees as she possibly can while trying to project an image of heroism.
Whereas the act of filing a complaint against Rybak for her illegal spending was clearly an act of heroism, retaliation can really suck sometimes, as it was I who was complained about by a Village official for recording board meetings and publishing them online, but sometimes you just have to speak up about certain things that are…well…just not right.
Just when a variety of investigations are finally being brought to reasonable points of closure, out of nowhere comes Trustee Gary L’Heureux and an announcement under his business asking for another opening of an Office of the Investigator General. No reason. No explanation. Just the request.
In reviewing the list of individuals who have called for investigations, one thing that stands out is the lack of any Trustee calling for an investigation…perhaps largely due to the Village’s local municipal code having a perceived “Teflon Clause” for the Mayor in which only the Mayor can call for investigations to be undertaken.
This topic was also not discussed at last week’s Special Meeting, so its unclear if L’Heureux is going rogue on the Village and that not a Trustee will support his request or if he is initiating a conversation with the Trustees that may accumulate into a conclusion that Dart needs to engage in a 2nd Round of Duty here in Midlothian.
It is actually quite possible the Trustee’s are ready to call upon Dart to sort and sift through Rybak’s actions…but which ones? Also, Kohlstedt never has been in the best of positions and his latest “whoops” cost a local business owner $1,500 they didn’t have to pay to lease the property.
Whether or not this call by a Trustee for Dart to look into something will all depend on length of time the office is open and whether or not this is topic-specific or another call for open-doors to one and all.
The last time around when anyone could file a complaint, Dart’s Office ended up being clearly abused for political and retaliatory purposes.
We’ll hopefully know Wednesday night the purpose of calling upon Sheriff Dart to once again look at the behaviors of one or more of our public officials…still not sure how well it worked the first time around.