Alleged illegal Orland Park library payment could go unpunished, group says
The Orland Park Public Library Board probably broke the law by approving expenditures without an itemized receipt, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) argue on their Illinois Leaks website.
A potentially bigger issue is that there's nothing citizens can do about it, the ECW says, citing no provision to deal with noncompliance of the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, which the group contends the library board violated.
"The statute, unfortunately, doesn’t address this situation," the ECW posted. "The matter at hand appears to be an example of a public body brazenly choosing not to follow the law when state legislators assumed that no public body would ever decide to behave this way. So it seems the legislature didn’t bother to build-in any obviously stated consequences for noncompliance."
The ECW alleges that Orland Park Public Library Director Mary Weimar submitted a reimbursement form for a meal at Chicago’s Lao Sze Chaun that she purchased using the library’s credit card. She did not provide a receipt for the $96.50 purchase, instead submitting a credit card charge slip, making it impossible for those reviewing the purchase to determine whether she exceeded a $35 per dinner per day rule or used the card to purchase alcohol.
The board approved payment of the charge, and the ECW argues that this broke the law, which became effective at the beginning of this year. The law requires public bodies to set rules around reimbursements with resolutions that they then must follow. The library’s resolution says reimbursement requests must include receipts, which Weimar’s did not.