Board awaits report on Lyons Township school treasurer’s benefits
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:37PM
LAGRANGE PARK — Lyons Township School Treasurer Robert Healy’s resignation was unexpected during an investigation of a $100,000 benefits payout, said the board president overseeing the office.
“I was kind of shocked that he resigned,” said Theron Tobolski of McCook, president of the three-member Lyons Township Trustees of Schools Board. “Sure, it is probably over the investigation. We’ll have to see what the investigation comes back with so we can act accordingly.”
A report is expected Sept. 14 from the Chicago law firm of Kubasiak, Fylstra, Thorpe & Rotunno, hired in June to examine Healy’s contracts covering 24 years of employment and a $100,000 payout in accrued vacation, sick and personal time in 2011. Healy’s letter of resignation is dated Aug. 31.
“For the first 10 years, he didn’t have a contract and fell under School Board rules and guidelines,” Tobolski said. “Then there were multiple contracts over the next 14 years, all stipulating different things, what he could and could not do as far as benefits.”
Tobolski said the board expects to review the report in a closed session and consider what, if any, action to take. The board is expected to meet at 4 p.m. Sept. 14 at the treasurer’s office at 930 Barnsdale Road, LaGrange Park.
“I will promise this, if anything is wrong or there are any misdoings or if there was something he wasn’t entitled to, the board will take swift action and make sure there are new rules going forward,” he said.
The Better Government Association released a report May 18 on Healy’s payout based on salary information obtained from the Open the Books Portal, a project of For the Good of Illinois, a group pushing for government transparency started by businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski of Hinsdale.
That group’s website shows Healy making $180,319 in 2009 and $295,703 in 2011. There was no entry for 2010.
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 La Grange, Western Springs, Burr Ridge and other towns.
At the board’s June meeting to hire the firm for an investigation, Tobolski said Healy has done a great job with a great record and that no school districts complained about him or the returns on investments he oversaw.
On Sept. 1, the board approved a four-month contract for Clyde Bradley to serve as interim treasurer. The board plans to post qualifications for the job on the office’s website at www.lyonstts.org and interview candidates to permanently fill the position, Tobolski said.
Bradley of Western Springs is a school finance consultant and has taught school business management and school leadership at Northeastern Illinois University. He also worked as an administrator in Indian Springs Elementary School District 109 in Justice, Tobolski said.
In July, Tobolski and Karen Civinelli of Bridgeview appointed Mike Thiessen from Western Springs as the board’s third member, after former president Edward Maloney of La Grange resigned in May. Thiessen has a background in financial investing and children in Western Springs schools, Tobolski said.
Maloney, a Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit Court judge and a partner in a Skokie law firm, said he wanted to step down so an independent investigation could be conducted of Healy’s payout.
Tobolski said the board hopes to strengthen relationships with the superintendents of districts served by the office, perhaps by monthly breakfast meetings to enhance communication.
“We look to move forward, and we’re here for a service to the school districts,” he said.