Cal City alderman’s use of campaign money probed
By Andrew Schroedter Better Government Association April 2, 2013 8:40PM
Updated: May 4, 2013 6:10AM
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office is probing whether Calumet City Ald. Thaddeus Jones misused taxpayer and campaign funds during last year’s trip to a Miami film festival.
The Better Government Association recently reported that Jones (3rd), who’s also is a Democratic state representative, appeared to receive taxpayer reimbursement for his 2012 South Beach hotel stay — even though government records indicate that his aldermanic campaign fund covered the cost.
The state’s attorney’s public corruption and financial crimes unit contacted the BGA shortly after the publication of a March 6 story about Jones. A prosecutor from the unit indicated that he was initiating an investigation.
However, it couldn’t be determined how far the unit’s inquiry has progressed or how seriously prosecutors are looking at Jones.
The person who answered the phone at Jones’ House district office directed the BGA to attorney Michael Kasper, who could not be reached for comment.
Records show that Calumet City paid Jones $2,378 a year ago to cover his hotel, registration and other expenses at the American Black Film Festival, an annual event in Florida that showcases movies by black filmmakers.
However, records show Jones used his campaign fund to pay the $1,069 tab for his hotel room, raising questions as to why city taxpayers paid for his lodging.
Jones has told the BGA that campaign funds were used to pay for rooms he had booked for colleagues but forgot to cancel.
After the BGA raised questions about the expenditure, Jones amended his campaign records, which previously showed that he used campaign funds to pay for his hotel room.
The Better Government Association’s Andrew Schroedter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 821-9035.