Legal action contemplated against former township school treasurer
Updated: November 5, 2012 10:48AM
LA GRANGE — Legal efforts are under way to recover more than $276,000 in taxpayers’ funds as overpayments to former Lyons Township School Treasurer Robert Healy, who resigned Aug. 31.
Theron Tobolski, president of the three-member board overseeing Healy’s office, said a civil suit is expected to be filed to recoup the money paid out over 24 years as unused vacation, sick and personal days.
The Chicago law firm of Kubasiak, Fylstra, Thorpe & Rotunno released a report Sept. 14 detailing how Healy overpaid himself $539,120 in 840 unused days off. The total is offset by $262,495 for three months’ salary and five vacation and sick days for July and August, which Healy offered to forgo in his letter of resignation.
The law firm’s “investigation is going forward, and as we sue Bob civilly, we’ll look at the report and turn that over to the (Cook County) State’s Attorney’s office,” Tobolski said.
Tobolski said he couldn’t comment further, because “Bob has an attorney, and Bob has threatened to sue us. We don’t want to hurt the investigation going on.”
Healy’s attorney, John Muldoon, couldn’t be reached by phone for comment.
The Lyons Township Trustees of Schools Board oversees Healy’s office, which invests more than $150 million in assets and manages payroll for 13 school districts and educational cooperatives in the township.
In June, the board hired a Chicago law firm to investigate a $100,000 payout Healy made to himself in 2011, which was uncovered by the Better Government Association in May.
The law firm found Healy directed staff members at the LaGrange Park office not to track his vacation, sick and personal days accrued or used. His records showed he used 25 vacation days in 24 years and no sick or personal days.
The firm’s investigation also determined there was little or no oversight in Healy’s 24 years on the job. The office has no budget, which would have controlled payments and exposed excessive payouts.
Healy also was authorized to sign checks on behalf of the board without any limitation as to the amount.
Financial records for 2011-12 ending June 30 showed Healy earned more than $271,000 with a base salary of $127,000, an auto allowance of $6,600, an annuity of $8,890, a payment of $4,485.60 toward his Social Security contribution and another $123,800 in unused days off.
An updated report by the BGA in September questioned the link between financial advisers Healy hired to invest school districts’ funds and the advisers’ donations to the Committee for School Finance Excellence.
Healy serves as chairperson of the committee, which helps support political candidates.
The BGA called the arrangement a potential conflict of interest, given Healy’s role in hiring and overseeing money managers.
The BGA investigation also found one financial advisor who improperly invested $4 million in foreign bond markets, prohibited under state law pertaining to school districts.