* The other day, Sheila Simon’s campaign sent out an e-mail asking people to check out her brand new website. So I did. And I found this…
The comptroller’s office plays an important role in the oversight of finances for local governments. Thousands of units of local government across Illinois are required to file annual reports with the comptroller. The current comptroller’s office has stated they are “just a repository” for this information, nothing more.
In addition, many of these units of local government are several years delinquent in filing their financial reports. Sheila will work to shine a light on delinquent local government and provide real analysis of the financial reports they submit to the comptroller. Sheila believes this type of oversight can help prevent the type of local corruption seen in places like Dixon, Washington Park, and Moro Township. [Emphasis added.]
* Many are still several years delinquent? Well that’s not good.
So, I checked with Comptroller Topinka’s spokesman and asked how many local governments were at least two years behind. I figured since Simon claimed “several years” I’d make sure it was more than one. Here is the response…
There are 5,200 local governments that file Annual Financial Reports with the Comptroller’s Office.
When Comptroller Topinka took office in 2011, there were 101 local governments that were more than two years delinquent with their filings. Today there are 28. Comptroller’s staff is in regular contact with those governments to bring them into compliance.
It is also worth noting that the Comptroller successfully pushed for legislation last year to fine local governments for late reports. The fining started on May 1 and we believe that it will encourage even greater compliance moving forward.
That works out to about a half percentage point delinquency rate. Not exactly a scandal, or even “many.”