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The public’s money: Gone without a trace

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka seems befuddled by the financial mess that’s Washington Park, but sadly, this is business as usual in the village.

Washington Park hasn’t submitted the required financial reports to the comptroller’s office for 7 years; it has never submitted a tax increment financing report.

When Topinka sent an auditor to the village, he came back with nothing. Apparently there are no records at the Village Hall to audit. Treasurer Ricky Thomas said recent years were shredded.

Topinka has called in Attorney General Lisa Madigan: “We can’t afford to take chances with public money.” Too late.

Madigan probably doesn’t have the power to disband the village, but she ought to prosecute all village officials, past and present, who were part of the reckless handling of the public’s money.

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