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Tow fund transferred to treasurer in Ogle County

Sheriff turns over $51,900

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:13 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 3:27 p.m. CDT
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Sheriff Michael Harn

OREGON – Ogle County's controversial administrative tow fund is now under the oversight of the county treasurer.

Sheriff Michael Harn took a check for the remaining fund balance – $51,932.07 – to the treasurer's office Tuesday morning, Treasurer John Coffman said.

The fund was added to the county's accounting system by midday, Coffman said, and the treasurer's office will now track the money going in and out, as it does with other county funds.

In February, the Ogle County Board approved changes to the tow fund, limiting how the money could be spent and transferring the fund to the treasurer, but Harn was slow to turn it over.

On April 8, Harn met with Coffman, Ogle County Chairman Kim Gouker and Vice Chairman John Finfrock about transferring the fund. Harn told them he would have it transferred by the end of that day, Gouker and Coffman said on Monday.

In December, Sauk Valley Media reported that Harn had used the tow fund, which had collected $210,400 between October 2011 and November 2013, to pay for repairs to department vehicles, a tent at the Ogle County Fair, a $4,000 management fee for the department’s Facebook page, and flowers for Secretary’s Day, among other expenses.

The County Board restricted the fund so it can be used only for fuel or to buy, repair, or maintain police vehicles or vehicle equipment.

Vehicles can be bought with the fund at the sheriff's discretion, according to the amended ordinance, but "shall be done only with the advice and consent of" the County Security Committee.  

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