Financial records gone in Washington Park

Jun 20, 2013

The state attorney general is being asked to investigate what happened to the financial records in the southwestern Illinois town of Washington Park. Village officials say they'd like to find the records, too. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more: 

 Washington Park village attorney Eric Evans says when the town's new president took office in May, there was no money in the checking account. And when they went looking for financial records, there were none.Evans also says Washington Park's former comptroller and another official are nowhere to be found.

 "I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to destroy all the financial records. And it certainly raises the question that there may have been some things that shouldn't have happened. But I don't know that for a fact, and we're trying to get to the bottom of it."

 So is Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Her office is responsible for collecting annual financial reports from all of Illinois' cities and counties. She says 97 percent comply ... but Washington Park hasn't filed anything in seven years. She sent an auditor to look into things, but, as the new village officials found:

 "There's just nothing. It's a town that's based on nothing, so we can't really tell you."

 Hence, Topinka has asked the Illinois attorney general to investigate.The village attorney says he welcomes the comptroller's help in sorting out the financial puzzle.