A review of the Baker Tilly Audit conducted on the Fall on the Green Event shows that Mayor Sandra Bury’s and Trustee Alex Olejniczak’s claims at a recent meeting that the Fall on the Green Audit would not show any problems with missing funds are false and misleading.
Both Olejniczak and Bury demanded that Trustee Robert Streit show them in the audit where funds are missing.
Mayor Bury violated Roberts Rules of Order several time at the September 9th board meeting, claiming that the Fall on the Green Audit would not show any problems other than “missing liquor”.
During Trustee Robert Streit’s (District 3) report, Mayor Bury interrupted Streit claiming that the 911 complaints by residents and other issues such as the Fall on the Green Audit were “contrived scandals”. The term is eerily familiar because it is the same term used by former Trustee and Bury confidant, Tom Phelan to describe the audit, conducted by Baker and Tilly, one of the most respected public auditors in Illinois.
Both Olejniczak and Bury “demanded” during the report that Streit show them where the audit discusses $10,000 in missing funds. Olejniczak even gave Streit his “personal copy” of the audit while Streit was attempting to give his report.
Despite being a violation of Roberts Rules of Order, which the village follows in policing the conduct of its meetings, many onlookers gasped in shock at the break from protocol and rudeness.
Streit promised to find the entry in the audit by the end of the meeting but he said that Bury refused to return and acknowledge him to speak about it. We reviewed a copy of the audit also.
The Oak Lawn Leaf published a story on the Fall on the Green Audit and the recommendations included in that audit that changed what were described as the “wild wild west days where money flowed through the event and very little accountability was demanded”.
On page 14 of the audit, the auditors wrote the following regarding ticket sales for beer and wine noting that beer was sold for three tickets and wine for four tickets:
“As each ticket is sold for $1, we performed a reconciliation between the number of tickets disbursed by the Village and compared this back to the total cash receipts for ticket sales. We noted that the last range of tickets issued for the event were ticket numbers 75,001 through 77,500 and that total ticket sales were $67,011. If it was assumed that all previously issued tickets were sold and that a portion of the last ticket issued were sold, the variance between the total amount collected and the total tickets issued could range between $7,990 and $10,849…”
The missing funds that should have been paid for the tickets was not the only problem with the Fall on the Green under Tom Phelan’s leadership. As noted by Bury, the audit found that there was missing liquor. She had wrongly argued with Streit that the audit had not found $10,000 missing and stated “the only thing missing was the booze…” Streit at the time told Bury to read the audit claiming that the audit repeatedly found that under Phelan the Fall on the Green Event lacked formal procedures and policies. This fact, in and of itself, led to missing funds, missing liquor, misuse of food vouchers, misuse of wristbands and other malfeasance.
Streit said that he doubts Bury ever read the audit but she should immediately apologize to the people of Oak Lawn for trying to trivialize the audit’s findings. “Thousands of dollars are missing and auditors are telling you that you need procedures and the Mayor is falsely claiming that it is ‘only booze’ when she should be concerned because it is taxpayers’ money”, said Streit.
Streit had said that the audit found $10,000 missing. Olejniczak, who had been part of a scheme to pass out free tickets to people in his district without anyone paying for the tickets, claimed the accusation was “another falsehood by Bob Streit”.
After the meeting, Streit pointed to the audit report and said, “it appears it is another falsehood by Alex Olejniczak”.
(To read the audit, click HERE)