McHenry County administrator accused of backtracking, ineptitude
McHenry County Administrator Peter Austin performed a "two-step shuffle" to get out of what appeared to be his lack of knowledge regarding state law, the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) and county government, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) claim on their Illinois Leaks website.
The ECW's Kirk Allen said that at a recent county board meeting, he posed questions about a county plan to use a broker to lease the county nursing home, working to ascertain how the board plans to run the process and if it will follow all legal requirements. Austin first contended that the county’s use of a broker did not need to go through a bidding process as it was a professional service. Allen responded by saying that the Professional Services Selection Act does not cover brokers, and Austin revised his statement to say that it would be going out for a bid, Allen wrote.
The conversation turned to the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB), as Allen pointed out discrepancies in expenditures. Allen posted that he was using the ETSB as an example of past county spending that did not follow legal requirements, to which Austin responded that the ETSB is its own local government.
On the Illinois Leaks website, Allen points to several legal opinions that clearly establish that ETSBs are agencies of their corresponding county governments and accused Austin of drawing a salary of nearly $200,000 and not understanding these concepts.