This week, the Illinois News Network (INN) investigated the Illinois Municipal League conference at the Hilton-Chicago. Taxpayers picked up the tab for fine dining, thousand dollar hotel stays, and paid the bill for one mayor who didn't even show up!
We were asked to comment on the taxpayer abuse:
"This is not public service, this is abuse of public spending. Everybody says the gravy train needs to end, and what you've uncovered here is a real gravy train. This lavish travel, airplanes, fancy hotels, fine dining. This is not public service, it's taxpayer abuse."
Brad Cole, Director of the Illinois Municipal League steadfastly defended the lavish, taxpayer-paid conference: "So if you want to have good government, you have to have people involved who know what they're talking about."
News flash to Brad Cole: 'Good government' has nothing to do with an expensive Hilton-Chicago conference paid for by the hard working taxpayer!
In Quincy, the city sent thirteen employees for a cost of nearly $18,000. When questioned by NBC News - Quincy, the mayor indicated he'd recommend sending even more people to the conference next year!
Local taxpayers need to hold their local elected officials accountable for tax and spend decisions. Read the full INN investigation here.
So, what the heck is the Illinois Municipal League (IML)?
Here's what our team at OpenTheBooks found in 2015: The Illinois Attorney General, Comptroller of Illinois, and Secretary of State have no record of the IML organized as either a nonprofit organization, corporation, partnership or unit of government.
So, what is the IML? They claim 'Instrumentality of the State' status!
The IML is a big reason why the Illinois 'Gravy Train' keeps steamrolling taxpayers. This week in Illinois, they proved it again.
Join the Transparency Revolution! It's Your Money.