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Township's numbers in, but are they right?

Trustee ‘hopeful’ information is correct

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – Coloma Township’s embattled supervisor has turned in her revenue numbers to the township’s auditors. 

The question for the township’s trustees: Are the numbers right?

Supervisor Debra Burke last week submitted her numbers to the firm, Wipfli, township officials say.

The firm gave the township until Friday to turn in the numbers, or it would wait to finish Coloma’s audit until after tax season ends in April.

Asked whether he had confidence in the numbers, Trustee Walter “Butch” Neal said, “I’m hesitant about everything, the way the situation has been going.”

He said he hopes they are right.

“I need to talk with the auditors,” Neal said. “They’ll be able to see whether they are the right numbers. When we get their report, we’ll know what’s going on.”

Trustee Peggy McFadden said Burke indicated the auditors had a problem with the information she turned in.

“We go in the office and check on her,” McFadden said. “I don’t know what steps we have to do to get the right answers or get the job done. We have no power over her, other than questioning her.”

In recent weeks, Burke has been turning in financial reports from the past 4 years to the state comptroller’s office. The township hadn’t submitted one since 2009, although it’s required by law to do so every year.

Burke also has been late in publishing financial statements in the newspaper, another legal requirement. At one point, Whiteside County withheld more than $400,000 in property tax payments from Coloma because of the late statements.

At a recent meeting, the trustees dressed down Burke, an elected official, for the missing reports.

Her term expires in 2017. She has served since 1981.


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