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Former Coloma supervisor lands new township job

Burke resigned May 14, started as caseworker in Berwyn June 2

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 2:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 21, 2014 10:49 p.m. CDT
Deb Burke

Deb Burke, former supervisor for Coloma Township, now works for Berwyn Township in suburban Chicago.

Burke's last day with Coloma was May 31. She started work at Berwyn Township as a general assistance caseworker on June 2, she said Monday.

She declined to comment further.

Burke, who had been Coloma supervisor since 1981, left after it was revealed that she had failed to submit the township's financial reports to the state comptroller's office for 4 years.

She filed the reports in December, but the state agency still fined Coloma more than $13,000, later negotiated down to $3,200. Burke paid the penalty herself, saying she was responsible.

She also was late in publishing financial information in the newspaper, which kept Whiteside County from releasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax revenue.

Burke had been recognized for her expertise in providing assistance to the poor, which is a key function of townships.

Elizabeth Pechous, Berwyn Township supervisor and president, said she was aware of the circumstances that led to Burke's departure at Coloma.

"I had heard about that situation," she said. "I have attended general assistance training. I had been a caseworker in Berwyn Township since 1993. Deb knows her stuff and does a good job."

Burke will be paid $17 an hour and work 37.5 hours a week, Pechous said.

According to the Township Officials of Illinois website, Berwyn Township, based in Berwyn in Cook County, had 56,657 residents as of the 2010 Census. Coloma's population was 11,371, according to Census data.

Burke announced her resignation from Coloma during the township's monthly meeting on May 14.

"After deliberation, I am announcing my retirement May 31, 2014, citing personal and health issues," she said.

Former Rock Falls Mayor David Blanton was appointed this month to serve the remainder of Burke's term, which ends in 2017.

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