Oak Lawn won’t expand audit beyond fest
BY BOB RAKOW Correspondent July 13, 2012 8:06PM
Updated: August 17, 2012 6:28AM
A forensic audit of Oak Lawn’s 2011 Fall on the Green festival will not be expanded to include other special events or any of the village’s financial procedures.
The village board on Tuesday voted 3-2 against widening the scope of the audit, which was proposed by Trustee Tom Phelan.
“I think it’s really shortsighted and a waste of time to do one event,” Phelan said.
Trustee Bob Streit, who called for the forensic audit in May, said Phelan’s proposal was an attempt to interfere with the investigation into the event, which Phelan oversaw.
Phelan said he called for an audit one year ago when he was chairman of the special events committee because he wanted to take a closer look at how the funds generated by Fall on the Green “intertwined” with other events the village sponsors.
Streit, the new chairman of the special events committee, is questioning the contracting, accounting and management tactics by Phelan, and claims Phelan used the festival as a tool to punish or reward people based on politics.
Mayor Dave Heilmann has said he removed Phelan as special events chairman because Phelan personally negotiated contracts for Fall on the Green and distributed VIP tent passes to certain people while excluding others.
Streit said in an email that his information came from various sources, including village officials, staff and records.
Phelan said Tuesday that Streit has yet to produce any evidence that he acted improperly during his involvement with Fall on the Green. Phelan, meanwhile, has provided copies of emails and other documents in an effort to vindicate himself.
Streit said management of the festival lacks rules, procedures and controls, which the audit will help the village put into place.
Village manager Larry Deetjen said the village conducted phone interviews with five auditing firms and will interview three of them in person. He said the audit will cost between $10,000 and $20,000.