JAWA water project
Glass Box

Maywood, IL

#531 Jun 26, 2014
Special

Maywood, IL

#532 Jun 26, 2014
Complaint wrote:
Just Imagine; What the guest list will look like and who will be deposed!
A Blooming Onion

Maywood, IL

#533 Jun 26, 2014
Complaint wrote:
Vacations for many........
The Amazing Sting

Maywood, IL

#534 Jun 27, 2014
A Blooming Onion wrote:
<quoted text>
Vacations for many........
With a Who's Who of Who Done It!

“2nd Time Trying Topix Account”

Since: Jun 14

Location hidden

#535 Jun 27, 2014
Thanks for the link! It gave me some ideas on how Midlothian can address its own bond issues relating to a non-existent water tower.
JAWAS rogue board

Blue Island, IL

#536 Jun 30, 2014
Was Letke hired to defraud Blue Island taxpayers? By Peloquin? The scheme continues. Why all the secrecy by the JAWA board?

Harvey, comptroller part ways after fraud lawsuit


By Joe Mahr and Matthew Walberg
Tribune reporters
June 30, 2014

Days after being accused in a lawsuit of working together to defraud investors, Harvey and its comptroller have split – with each offering a different explanation of what happened.

Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said comptroller Joseph Letke was fired this afternoon, while Letke’s firm released a letter saying it quit after the town ignored its advice and treated the firm poorly.

Letke’s departure came five days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed an unusual lawsuit that said Harvey and Letke couldn’t be trusted to woo borrowers because of fraud committed in a past borrowing deal. That failed development deal, exposed by the Tribune last year, has left taxpayers on the hook for as much as $20 million in loan payments for a hotel sitting half-gutted and in foreclosure.

Federal authorities alleged that, as part of that deal, Letke’s firm pocketed not only $547,000 in middle-man fees for advising the suburb on the loans but also nearly $270,000 in fees paid to his firm by the developer that were never disclosed to the lenders.

Authorities say some of the proceeds of the borrowing deals were misused for years by the town to prop up its ailing finances – including making payroll. In a letter obtained by federal authorities, Letke warned Mayor Eric Kellogg two months ago that the town “will be unable” to pay bills as early as July.

Letke did not return a message, but his firm, Alli Financial, faxed a letter to the Tribune that the firm said it sent to Mayor Eric Kellogg today terminating its deal with the suburb. Letke, in the letter, complained of numerous cases of ignored advice, not providing it key financial information and failing to act on potential misconduct.

Harvey disputed Letke’s claim, saying instead that the city fired him. Howard said Kellogg met with his key advisors and staff on Thursday to discuss Letke’s employment. He said a South Chicago Heights-based firm, G. W. & Associates, P.C., was interviewed over the weekend and took over the city’s financial management immediately after Letke’s employees were escorted out of Harvey City Hall this afternoon.

Howard would not say why Kellogg decided to fire Letke’s firm.

Tribune investigations this year have shown how as Harvey has struggled financially, residents have faced a high violent crime rate and low arrest rate that have made the suburb of 25,000 residents arguably the most lawless place in metro Chicago, while state and federal authorities failed to use their full powers to force reforms.

Howard told the Tribune the suburb would make payroll and pay all its bills, despite what Letke wrote the mayor in April. But some city council members have grown so concerned they’ve scheduled an emergency meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the town’s finances and other issues.

“I want to get to the root of the matter and find out what’s going on, because the communication is not flowing easily,” said Ald. Shirley Drewenski.
Good Govt Not Found Here

Blue Island, IL

#537 Jul 1, 2014
JAWAS rogue board wrote:
Was Letke hired to defraud Blue Island taxpayers? By Peloquin? The scheme continues. Why all the secrecy by the JAWA board?
Harvey, comptroller part ways after fraud lawsuit
By Joe Mahr and Matthew Walberg
Tribune reporters
June 30, 2014
Days after being accused in a lawsuit of working together to defraud investors, Harvey and its comptroller have split – with each offering a different explanation of what happened.
Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said comptroller Joseph Letke was fired this afternoon, while Letke’s firm released a letter saying it quit after the town ignored its advice and treated the firm poorly.
Letke’s departure came five days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed an unusual lawsuit that said Harvey and Letke couldn’t be trusted to woo borrowers because of fraud committed in a past borrowing deal. That failed development deal, exposed by the Tribune last year, has left taxpayers on the hook for as much as $20 million in loan payments for a hotel sitting half-gutted and in foreclosure.
Federal authorities alleged that, as part of that deal, Letke’s firm pocketed not only $547,000 in middle-man fees for advising the suburb on the loans but also nearly $270,000 in fees paid to his firm by the developer that were never disclosed to the lenders.
Authorities say some of the proceeds of the borrowing deals were misused for years by the town to prop up its ailing finances – including making payroll. In a letter obtained by federal authorities, Letke warned Mayor Eric Kellogg two months ago that the town “will be unable” to pay bills as early as July.
Letke did not return a message, but his firm, Alli Financial, faxed a letter to the Tribune that the firm said it sent to Mayor Eric Kellogg today terminating its deal with the suburb. Letke, in the letter, complained of numerous cases of ignored advice, not providing it key financial information and failing to act on potential misconduct.
Harvey disputed Letke’s claim, saying instead that the city fired him. Howard said Kellogg met with his key advisors and staff on Thursday to discuss Letke’s employment. He said a South Chicago Heights-based firm, G. W. & Associates, P.C., was interviewed over the weekend and took over the city’s financial management immediately after Letke’s employees were escorted out of Harvey City Hall this afternoon.
Howard would not say why Kellogg decided to fire Letke’s firm.
Tribune investigations this year have shown how as Harvey has struggled financially, residents have faced a high violent crime rate and low arrest rate that have made the suburb of 25,000 residents arguably the most lawless place in metro Chicago, while state and federal authorities failed to use their full powers to force reforms.
Howard told the Tribune the suburb would make payroll and pay all its bills, despite what Letke wrote the mayor in April. But some city council members have grown so concerned they’ve scheduled an emergency meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the town’s finances and other issues.
“I want to get to the root of the matter and find out what’s going on, because the communication is not flowing easily,” said Ald. Shirley Drewenski.
Peloquin and his administration did not earn the citizens trust. Jail time for them would do Society, good. They should not be rewarded with a pension paid by the taxpayer.

“2nd Time Trying Topix Account”

Since: Jun 14

Location hidden

#538 Jul 2, 2014
JAWAS rogue board wrote:
He said a South Chicago Heights-based firm, G. W. & Associates, P.C., was interviewed over the weekend and took over the city’s financial management immediately after Letke’s employees were escorted out of Harvey City Hall this afternoon.
And another fast-fire contract signing, with no room for any real due diligence except an "interview over the weekend," is signed into reality.

Just curious. What kind of background/reference checks could Chicago Heights possibly have performed over the weekend, even if it's a temporary contract?

Of course, there's always the path of "I know someone who knows someone so let me in" hiring strategy...
Raise Your Glass

Maywood, IL

#539 Jul 5, 2014
Excessive

Maywood, IL

#540 Jul 6, 2014
Charges imposed by Blue Island have far exceeded actual charges for water from Chicago.
Red Rover Red Rover

Maywood, IL

#541 Jul 6, 2014
Complaint wrote:
Marvelous Guest List!

How many will Roll Over???????
Who will Flip?
Who will get Rolled Over?
Goldie

Blue Island, IL

#542 Jul 6, 2014
Red Rover Red Rover wrote:
<quoted text>
Marvelous Guest List!
How many will Roll Over???????
Who will Flip?
Who will get Rolled Over?
You are so brilliant. There are still many people as you, who care about this city. God Bless you.
A Case Worth Following

Maywood, IL

#543 Jul 6, 2014
Complaint wrote:
Follow this Case through Court and in All of the Papers!
Sticky

Maywood, IL

#544 Jul 7, 2014
A Case Worth Following wrote:
<quoted text>
Follow this Case through Court and in All of the Papers!
This complicated wide spread case gutted numerous communities and implicates several elected officials who should have known better.
Who Done It

Maywood, IL

#545 Jul 7, 2014
Sticky wrote:
<quoted text>
This complicated wide spread case gutted numerous communities and implicates several elected officials who should have known better.
We are expecting to learn more as additional charges are announced and persons of interest are identified.
BOB

Blue Island, IL

#546 Jul 7, 2014
PELOQUIN should be in JAIL!
Evidence Reveals

Maywood, IL

#547 Jul 11, 2014
Complaint wrote:
SSJAWA was never a water distribution system.....it is what it is;
a money distribution system!
jawa did not fool us

Blue Island, IL

#548 Jul 16, 2014
When is the next jawa meeting?

"The repeated failure of well-intentioned programs is not an accident. The failure is deeply rooted in the use of bad means to achieve good objectives."

— The late University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman
Please throw away the key

Blue Island, IL

#550 Aug 3, 2014
Feds turn up heat on suburban bookkeeper’s role in water agency
SUN, 08/03/2014
The feds may not be done with municipal bookkeeper Joseph Letke.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges June 24 against the City of Harvey and Letke, the community’s longtime financial consultant.

The federal complaint alleged that “from 2008 to the present, Harvey and its Comptroller, Letke, have engaged in a scheme to divert bond proceeds for improper purposes, including undisclosed payments to Letke.”

Now, we have learned the SEC is looking at other municipal financial transactions involving Letke. And that creates more potential problems for a group of south suburbs wanting to build their own water supply system.

The SEC issued a subpoena, dated April 30, to Amalgamated Bank of Chicago seeking copies of financial records relating to the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency. Specifically, the bank was told to produce, among other things, copies of monthly account statements and withdrawal slips, checks, money orders and wire transfers totaling at least $500, according to a copy of the subpoena, obtained by the Better Government Association.

Amalgamated is where the water agency – comprised of Alsip, Blue Island, Harvey, Markham, Midlothian and Robbins – does its banking. A Letke-led firm is the water agency’s financial advisor.

An SEC spokesman declined to comment. But we have learned from a source that the subpoena was issued as part of the agency’s ongoing investigation into Letke’s dealings.

“I’ve been told they’re looking at anything he was connected with,” Markham Mayor David Webb, the water agency’s chairman, says about Letke. Referring to the bank documents, he adds,“We provided them with the info, and we haven’t heard anything since.”

Amalgamated executives didn’t return calls.

The BGA previously reported that federal prosecutors have separately issued grand jury subpoenas to municipal governments in Dolton, Riverdale and Robbins seeking contracts, invoices, cancelled checks, and other documents relating to Letke and two of his south suburban companies.

Letke had been the comptroller in Riverdale and Robbins and performed financial audits in Dolton, but he no longer works with those towns. He didn’t return messages.

Letke is representing himself in the SEC matter because he “has been unable to retain an attorney for financial reasons,” according to a recent court filing.

Frustrated with Chicago’s rising water rates, the group of south suburbs banded together and in August 2012 borrowed more than $5.5 million through a bond sale.

The funds were to be used to study if and how the agency could build a system that would pump, treat and transmit water from the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan, at an estimated construction cost of $300 million.

At the time of the August 2012 bond sale, Letke was comptroller for two of the towns, Harvey and Markham, though Letke no longer works for either municipality.

A Letke firm, Public Funding Enterprises Inc., was paid $42,000 to serve as financial advisor on the bond deal. Additionally, the company was paid $191,200 at the sale’s closing for work it had performed up until that point, according to interviews and public records.

In all, the water agency has paid Letke’s companies more than $375,000 from August 2012 to January 2014, according to the most recent financial records.

The water agency now has approximately $2.6 million left in its coffers.

Officials say they’ll need more cash – as much as $3.5 million – to complete a still-unfinished feasibility study. Among the options are issuing more bonds or obtaining private financing.

What impact the SEC probe may have on those plans is unknown.

Already, the resolve of some water agency members is weakening.

.
Feds Turn Up the Heat

Maywood, IL

#552 Aug 3, 2014
There were originally seven south suburbs, but Calumet Park recently withdrew and Blue Island and Midlothian have said they may follow, raising questions about the water agency’s future.
“I’d rather cut my losses,” Midlothian Mayor Sharon Ryback says.

‘A cash-strapped city’

Besides the SEC complaint, Harvey and Letke are co-defendants in another federal lawsuit, filed April 2012 by former Calumet City Mayor Jerry Genova.
If the name sounds familiar it’s because Genova was once a Golden Boy of suburban Democratic politics, elected mayor fresh out of Notre Dame law school.
Genova waged an unsuccessful campaign for state treasurer, and his ascension hit a wall when he was convicted in 2001 on federal charges he accepted $125,000 in kickbacks and used city workers – on city time – to aid his political campaigns.
After his release from prison, Genova worked for one of Letke’s companies for an annual salary of $100,000 plus a quarterly bonus of at least $10,000, according to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court.
Genova alleges in that lawsuit that Letke fired him around April 2010 under pressure from Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg who threatened to “remove Letke as Harvey Comptroller if Plaintiff’s employment continued” because Genova had supported one of Kellogg’s mayoral opponents.
After two years of legal wrangling the two sides appeared to be close to a settlement that, sources say, involved Harvey paying Genova up to $400,000.
But the Harvey City Council recently rejected the deal, raising the possibility that Genova’s case will go to trial.
 “We rejected it based on the fact that he was asking for too much,” Harvey Ald. Joseph Whittington says.“He doesn’t deserve that. We’re a cash-strapped city.”
Genova declined to comment.

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