Three questionable campaign donations of $11,200 have been funneled into the reelection campaign of Mayor Sandra Bury and her allies from individuals linked to Frank Mancari and another company that don’t appear to have legal standing to do business in Illinois.
The re-election campaign of Mayor Sandra Bury and her Trustees, Alex Olejniczak, Terry Vorderer, and Tom Phelan received a boost of over $36,000 recently from Frank Mancari and another company the Better Government Association has linked to organized crime.
Mancari has admitted that village officials assisted his dealership in securing additional land and he has admitted to donating $12,500 to the reelection campaigns of the Mayor and Trustees while simultaneously pumping $24,000 into the failing village owned newspaper, which routinely prints a message from Bury to residents.
However, Mancari has denied that the help on his development is related to his decision to donate unprecedented amounts of money and has publicly scoffed at the idea that there was a quid pro quo or “pay to play” arrangement.
At the same time, Mancari was signing a letter to the editor to another news outlet, two married individuals from Burr Ridge were making a combined $10,200 donation to Mayor Sandra Bury. Victor Jacobellis and Jennifer Jacobellis each provided $5,100 donations to Bury on March 27th. Several media outlets have confirmed that Victor Jacobellis operates an advertising business and handles advertising design and placement for Mancari Dodge Jeep and Ram. The report issued to the Illinois State Board of Elections, lists Victor Jacobbellis as “self employed” in “advertising”.
A few days earlier, on March 24, 2017, a limited liability company listing an address in Addison provided Bury and her Trustees $1,000. The name provided to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Yemenis Investments LLC, is not listed with the Illinois Secretary of State as a limited liability company or a corporation.
Illinois law only allows political committees to accept contributions from individuals, corporations and partnerships and the contributions from individuals cannot be hidden in the name of others according to the Illinois Election Code.
The latest disclosures come on top of Mancari’s previous donations and a $1,000 donation from D&P Construction, a company the Better Government Association has linked to alleged mobsters.
In a previous interview with the Oak Lawn Leaf, Hana Callaghan, director of the Government Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, spoke with the Oak Lawn Leaf about Mancari’s donation and another the D&P donation.
Callaghan said that the disclosure of the contributions “alerts the voters to who or whom the politician may be beholden to”. Callaghan also said that politicians should avoid even the appearance of impropriety that comes with accepting such contributions.
Unfortunately, the use of names that are not registered corporations or limited liability companies makes it impossible to know who is actually making the donation.