Oak Forest, Oak Fest records subpoena...

Oak Forest, Oak Fest records subpoenaed in Sopkos inquiry

There are 18 comments on the The Southtown Star story from Jan 24, 2014, titled Oak Forest, Oak Fest records subpoenaed in Sopkos inquiry. In it, The Southtown Star reports that:

Cook County prosecutors have subpoenaed Oak Forest documents for the fire department and the annual Oak Fest summer event in an ongoing investigation into a couple accused of embezzling $352,000 from the Palos Heights Fire Protection District, records show.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Southtown Star.

Patchy

Chicago, IL

#1 Jan 24, 2014
Too bad the patch editor was in detention today and couldn't pick up a copy of the Southtown Star. Then he could have found some interesting material to swipe from ACTUAL reporters.

Once again, patch gets trumped by actual people who know their trade.
WOW

Chicago, IL

#2 Jan 24, 2014
MORE subpoenas, more to come...State's Attorney has pryed opened pandora's box........everything' s wonderful ...nobody knew anything, nobody did anything, everybody's innocent..........ever head that line of crap before ???....that's how you know Boss Tweed needs a can of honesty along with a side order of ethics and City Hall is in desprite need of forensic audit....Bang up job to you too City Council
Deakre

Forest Park, IL

#3 Jan 25, 2014
You are right on this one man! Just keeps getting better and better all the time! Every time documents are subpoenaed someone comments "We are an open book" or "we watch it all to see if there is any change"

Yet no one ever knew any of this was going on, hard time believing that one folks!
Dude

Tinley Park, IL

#4 Jan 25, 2014
Wow. If Cook County starts subpoenaing the " shit just got real". Remember, they have a special unit in both the Sheriffs office and the State Attorneys Office that read financial records for fun. I doubt anyone in office was involved it's the Sopkos but there will be some embarrassing moments to come, no doubt. Patchy....move on, bro, your shit is old and you have ulterior motives.
Marcos

Forest Park, IL

#5 Jan 25, 2014
Dude wrote:
Wow. If Cook County starts subpoenaing the " shit just got real". Remember, they have a special unit in both the Sheriffs office and the State Attorneys Office that read financial records for fun. I doubt anyone in office was involved it's the Sopkos but there will be some embarrassing moments to come, no doubt. Patchy....move on, bro, your shit is old and you have ulterior motives.
I'm not so sure.... OF has a pretty sordid past
Clean House

Forest Park, IL

#6 Jan 25, 2014
Maybe if a bunch of people go down and we get a fresh start with new leaders the "Me First! What's in in for Me!" culture in OF politics could be broken.
This makes me wonder how much of OF financial problems stem from self inflicted selfish actions from poor leadership. Are they thinking about how they are going to dig OF out of the hole they created?? No. They are thinking about how to exploit their powers to benefit themselves, family, and clan.

Interesting

United States

#7 Jan 26, 2014
I admire your optimism but don't share it. Any opening will be filled with some pal of the mayor or some connected person. Education, experience won't even be considered.
Clean House wrote:
Maybe if a bunch of people go down and we get a fresh start with new leaders the "Me First! What's in in for Me!" culture in OF politics could be broken.
This makes me wonder how much of OF financial problems stem from self inflicted selfish actions from poor leadership. Are they thinking about how they are going to dig OF out of the hole they created?? No. They are thinking about how to exploit their powers to benefit themselves, family, and clan.
Strange

Forest Park, IL

#8 Jan 28, 2014
Who is Boss Tweed?
WOW wrote:
MORE subpoenas, more to come...State's Attorney has pryed opened pandora's box........everything' s wonderful ...nobody knew anything, nobody did anything, everybody's innocent..........ever head that line of crap before ???....that's how you know Boss Tweed needs a can of honesty along with a side order of ethics and City Hall is in desprite need of forensic audit....Bang up job to you too City Council
Strange

Forest Park, IL

#9 Jan 28, 2014
There is something I don't understand about this. So the City receives these subpoenas, Burkhardt sent out an email Jan. 2 to several city officials, including the Mayor. Yet this article states that Oak Fest Chairman, Joe Koce, said it was the first time he had heard about the subpoena for festival-related documents. He said there are 25 Oak Fest Committee members and that the nonprofit’s finances, are primarily controlled by the organization’s four board members. How do you become a committee member? Who are the committee members? Who are the other three board members? According to the City's website, the Mayor has been a member of the Oak Fest Committee for several years also serving as its chairman for several years. Interesting as well, it states he served or serves, it really isn't clear, on the Oak Forest Park District Advisory Board. Why wouldn't he tell Mr. Koce, the current chairman, about the subpoena? Why wouldn't he forward the information to Mr. Koce? Was the plan to answer the subpoena by saying the City doesn't have any of the records, thus delaying the investigation? Are the Sopkos committee or board members? I don't understand how Mr. Koce could say Oak Fest organizers would know if any bingo proceeds turned up missing. Just how would you do that? He said, "we know when something will feel right.” Well, as long as it "feels" right. I wonder how Palos "feels". He also said the organization hadn't been subpoenaed. Sure seems like if the City/Mayor was doing all that it could to help in the investigation, the Chairman would have been made aware of the request.

The article also stated, "In 2012, the group raised $176,000 and spent $178,000 on the festival, according to its 2012 tax filing." I know it’s a non-profit, and the funds earned are distributed to various groups from the City, but how do you end up spending more than was raised? Isn't the purpose of a fundraising activity to raise funds? How does it lose money?

Does anyone know?

As an aside, everyone should take a look at the Mayor's page. http://www.oak-forest.org/administration/mayo... This is potentially how people get an impression of our city. You would think whoever created this would make sure it was done professionally. There are typos, titles aren't capitalized, etc. It's embarrassing.

While you're at it, look around the site. There are errors all over the place. We are paying people to do a job, this clearly shows they don't take pride in their work, or just don't care. Willing to collect their paycheck and do a less than stellar job. Whose job is it to oversee this sort of thing? Doesn't seem like anyone is paying attention. I wouldn't be surprised if someone doesn't make some comment about "grammar police" but really, this is an example of what's wrong with Oak Forest. To have typos, grammatical errors, misplaced links is just inexcusable.
Resident Extreme

Oak Forest, IL

#10 Jan 28, 2014
Thats because the REAL mayor of this town is the 'secretary' Jim Richmond. Hank is nothing but a puppet.
Res

Tinley Park, IL

#11 Jan 28, 2014
For years, qualifications for positions within the City meant nothing, it's "who you know". After the subpoenas, there will be subpoenas to individuals to appear so they can answer the confusing questions. The investigators are pros at this. They can see through the smoke. Hopefully it will be enough so Hank won't run or at least have opposition in 3 years. Good god, we have 3 more years of this crap.
WOW

Chicago, IL

#12 Jan 28, 2014
Strange wrote:
Who is Boss Tweed?
<quoted text>
GOOGLE
Strange

Forest Park, IL

#13 Jan 28, 2014
Ah, Gangs of New York thing. Gotcha. Very interesting comparison, "greatest influence came from being an appointed member of a number of boards and commissions"
Strange wrote:
Who is Boss Tweed?
<quoted text>
Random Thoughts

Hanover Park, IL

#14 Jan 31, 2014
So hey could be involved with Oak Fest Funds, when the Oak Fest Chairman tells people, "he has not heard of the subpoenas", that would be an interesting statement to make in light of the State's Attorneys office requesting that detail. Burkhardt along with the Mayor are still very well involved, entrenched and do work at Oak Fest, should we believe that the head of Oak Fest does not know about these subpoenas? There have been some concerns about the payouts to organizations that volunteer in recent years, why would anyone in the State's Attorneys office want to review those documents?

You also have the folks in the Park District laying very low also, I wonder what odd activities they may want to keep from the State's Attorney's office? Does anyone else wonder why all the heat went from Palos Heights Fire District to the City of Oak Forest and all of the organizations that these folks had their hands into now? We just don't hear anything more about Palos Heights Fire District - I guess we will have to wait for the next court date - when is that going to be?

That should be a eye opening next court date! You can only be left to wonder if there will be any other groups impacted or if there will be other names brought to light about these financial deals?
Gregory Chase

Oak Lawn, IL

#16 Mar 6, 2014
Larcenous, grandiose personalities are prone to excess. Expect revelations of more embezzlement in everything their filthy hands touched. Reminds me of Reavis District 220.
Confused

Oak Forest, IL

#17 Mar 6, 2014
Gregory Chase wrote:
Larcenous, grandiose personalities are prone to excess. Expect revelations of more embezzlement in everything their filthy hands touched. Reminds me of Reavis District 220.
What does Reavis HS have do with the sopko's case?
Confused

Oak Forest, IL

#18 Mar 6, 2014
Confused wrote:
<quoted text>
What does Reavis HS have do with the sopko's case?
What does Reavis HS have to do with the sopko's case?
Interesting

Forest Park, IL

#19 Mar 6, 2014
It has similarities in people thinking they could take advantage of taxpayers.
Confused wrote:
<quoted text>
What does Reavis HS have to do with the sopko's case?

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