Edgar County Watchdogs Group raises questions over former highway commissioner Bob Miller's association
The Edgar County Watchdogs Group is raising more questions about former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller’s legal authority to enter the township into an association while he still served as commissioner.
Raising even more red flags for watchdog group officials is the fact that Miller founded the McHenry County Township Highway Commissioners Association in question and once served as its corporate president.
The association describes itself and touts its mission as “a professional association to promote and serve the professional interests of the several elected township highway commissioners of McHenry County, Ill. and to educate and advise them as to their duties and responsibilities.”
Government officials have concluded that at least $3,431.89 in taxpayer funds were once paid to the Miller-owned corporation for membership in the association.
Edgar Watchdogs officials say that is in clear violation of Law 60 ILCS 1/85-15, which stipulates that only township boards are eligible for joining membership associations at the expense of the taxpayer.
"It should be noted that the above law provides no authority for a road district to be such a member and there is no such authority given in the Highway Code,” the law states. “Now we understand there are a lot of associations regarding highway commissioners, however, no authority has been given for taxpayer dollars to be used for such memberships. Considering numerous other public body laws provide authority to join an association related to the purpose of the public body, it is clear that the legislature did not intend for road districts to be included in such a provision as their law is silent on the matter and not on others.”
Miller founded the association in 2005, and Edgar Watchdogs officials said they have been unable to document any 990 filings with the IRS for the corporate non-profit or any mention of it made to the attorney general's Charitable Database.
Earlier this year, Miller’s name was scrubbed from the organization’s list of officers. In all, Edgar Watchdogs reports that Miller used his position as highway commissioner to pay his company at least $400 in taxpayer funds over a four-year period. The group also notes that there are 17 township road districts in McHenry County, and it remains to be seen how many of them were also using taxpayer funds to be a member of Miller’s business.
In April of last year, Miller’s wife, Anna May, received a $2,800 gift from the Miller-ran association courtesy of taxpayer funds. In addition, minutes show that the bank account in question was closed and a check issued for $5,422.14 does not denote who the check was issued to.
“We can only hope that these matters, which were not included in the state’s attorney final report, will be part of any alleged ongoing investigation into Bob Miller,” Edgar Watchdogs group officials said.
After 24 years in office and more than four decades of his family being in charge of the Algonquin Highway Commissioner’s office, Miller was voted out of power earlier this year in a close loss to tea party conservative Andrew Glasser.