Ex-Ford Heights mayor accused of stealing nearly $150K from village
This highlights the importance of putting qualified people in financial roles in Illinois government. One reason it is so easy for politicians to divert funding into their own piggybanks is because shortfalls can be blamed on the state. This is exactly what Rita Crundwell did in Dixon to cover her theft for over 23 years, and I have little doubt that Charles Griffin did the same – if he is convicted. The evidence against him is very convincing (secret bank accounts with only you as the authorized signer being a big one) but the trial hasn’t happened yet, so we have to wait for due process. Regardless, the Comptroller’s office should have a process in place to verify that all funding sent to local municipalities was properly recorded on those municipalities books, to be able to show that that shortfalls are not due to the state. There are many strong financial internal controls that should be in place to catch financial fraud, but you need a Comptroller more focused on financials than politics in order to make it happen.