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Why is this allowed to happen in plain sight?

Thursday, Jun 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Answers Project

[Tiffany Henyard] wears two hats in local government. As the Dolton mayor, she takes home more than $46,000 in base pay and as the supervisor of Thornton Township, she makes more than $200,000 a year, records show.

An Illinois Answers Project and FOX 32 investigation has found that while in office, Henyard has:

    • Funnelled thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to a private foundation that bears her name. She says the organization helps people with cancer. The officers of the foundation are people who work for the township or the village.
    • Spent thousands of taxpayer dollars for a group bicycle ride to Springfield in support of a breast cancer bill, Henyard said in videos taken during the trip. But the bill was never formally filed and state lawmakers weren’t in session.
    • Spent thousands of taxpayers dollars for not one but two ice rinks. Elected officials say they did not authorize either expenditure.

In a September 2022 meeting, Henyard and the township board voted to give $10,000 to her foundation, which claims to help people with cancer. Records show the foundation’s paperwork was filed with the state the same day that the township payment was approved.

Documents show the foundation’s officials are all people who work for the village or township.

Dolton Village Manager Keith Freeman, who is also her paid senior advisor at the township, filed the paperwork for the foundation. Village of Dolton Housing Director William Moore and her executive assistant in Dolton, Carmen Carlisle, sit on the board. Thornton Township employees Cheryl Schranz, Pamela Airhart and Kamal Woods, are also nonprofit board members. […]

Last fall, under Henyard’s direction but without board approval, the Village of Dolton hired Minnesota-based KwikRink Synthetic Ice to build an artificial ice rink for $115,000, which included a $10,000 down payment.

But after the board found out and refused to pay the bill, leaving KwikRink with an ice rink collecting dust in a Minnesota warehouse pending payment, the village hired another company at her direction to supply the materials for a second rink ahead of a grand opening which came days before an election that would determine the fate of her control of the board. […]

According to township records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Henyard has received $316,000 in salaries and other payments since being appointed to the board in 2022. Those records show that she also received exorbitant reimbursement checks, though a township Freedom of Information officer never responded to requests for further clarification on those records. The Village of Dolton declined to provide records.

There’s a whole lot more, so go read the rest.

* Meanwhile, here’s Ted Slowik at the Daily Southtown

Lawmakers have approved a state budget that proposes to send more than $9 million in state funds to Thornton Township and $6.8 million to the village of Dolton to cover operational costs and capital improvements.

I hope the state keeps close track of taxpayer dollars soon to be controlled by Tiffany Henyard, embattled supervisor of Thornton Township and mayor of Dolton. The money seems doomed to disappear into a black hole of zero accountability.

The majority of trustees on the Dolton Village Board said it’s been months since they’ve seen credit card statements, a warrants list of money owed to vendors and other financial documents. Henyard canceled Village Board meetings in March, April and May.

Henyard is spending $50,000 a month on a village credit card, Dolton trustees said. Trustees said they don’t know where the money is going. They’ve sued in an effort to promote transparency and see documents that would enable them to fulfill their oaths as stewards of village funds, but the court fight seems to have become an expensive legal slog.

Astute observers believe Henyard is commingling township and village funds and paying for gasoline for residents, continually throwing catered parties and spending big bucks on hair, makeup, photography and graphic design for promotions like billboards that misspelled Thornton Township.

Henyard seems to be wasting public funds in plain sight on frivolous endeavors. A village trustee publicly stated his belief that Henyard inherited a budget surplus when she became mayor in 2021 and now Dolton has a $5 million deficit.

Again, there’s more. Click here.

* Related Slowik columns…

    * Election prompts surreal scene in Dolton as mayor, trustees battle over legal bills: A spectacle that unfolded at a Dolton Village Board meeting Monday night seemed surreal. A DJ blared loud music as Henyard entered dressed as Nino Brown, a drug kingpin character portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the 1991 film, “New Jack City.” Henyard dressed in black leather and carried a stuffed dog to mimic a scene in which the head of a criminal enterprise intimidates, torments and physically assaults an underling.

    * Dolton trustees seek answers from Tiffany Henyard as mayor shrouds spending in secrecy: “The amount of money being spent without board approval, without checks and balances, is unacceptable,” Trustee Edward Steave said Monday night during a special board meeting at a Dolton Park District facility. … Trustees adopted an ordinance in February to cap credit card spending at $20,000 per month, but Henyard is ignoring the policy, House said. Henyard and trustees have battled over paying law firms and other vendors. … The board met at a Park District facility because last year when the board tried to meet at Village Hall on different occasions trustees were locked out, the power was shut off and the Fire Department was called, Steave said.

    * Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard blames Zuccarelli, state senator for $5 million deficit: Henyard also blamed the deficit on state Sen. Napoleon Harris, D-Harvey. Voters last summer elected Harris Democratic committeeperson for Thornton Township, a position Zuccarelli previously held. “Napoleon, your senator, was supposed to sign off on a $5 million amount to give to the township” Henyard said. “He did not give the township the $5 million, so that put the township in a deficit of $5 million, because they did a build out here at the township without even having the money in the bank.” I’ve previously criticized Henyard for mischaracterizing grant funds as “free money.” Her remarks about Harris seemed to indicate the senator might have unsuccessfully lobbied for a state grant that might have funded the Township Hall renovation. “I can assure everyone that Sen. Harris has never discussed funding or any grants with Supervisor Henyard and any claims suggesting otherwise are baseless,” Nakita McGraw, a representative for Harris, told me Wednesday.

    * Thornton Township firings and job postings driven by political revenge and not budget concerns, critics say: Amid the firings, the township posted on its website that it was seeking applicants for marketing manager, staff photographer, executive assistant, social media team, public relations manager, municipal communications coordinator, senior communications coordinator, youth communications coordinator, special events manager, township editor and event planner. None of the positions included information about job descriptions or minimal requirements, just links to a generic employment application.


  1. - DuPage Dad - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 9:59 am:

    If you can go two posts on Dolton’s Facebook page that aren’t specifically promoting Henyard, I’ll give you a golden horseshoe.

  2. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:01 am:

    Sounds like Tiffany Henyard has her own little dictatorship going on. Seems ripe for a federal investigation and a state audit of where she is spending state funds.

  3. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:02 am:

    say what you will about the City of Chicago, and large County governments, but at least there is a microscope on them lots. with so many townships and villages it’s hard to source out these things especially as local papers no longer exist for the most part. Let’s start by getting rid of townships.

  4. - Lurker - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:07 am:

    She got 82% of the vote. My question is, would she again? If so, then her thinking must be, why not?

  5. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:10 am:

    A few years Dolton sent me a parking ticket for $150 or so. I’ve literally never set foot in Dolton, nor has my vehicle ever been inside Dolton limits. When I called them they were surprised at the idea that I was going to appear to contest it and wasn’t just calling to give them my credit card info. They told me they’d take care of it and it never appeared on my credit as unpaid so I guess that was just a phishing attempt by the city’s government. Wonder how much that scam netted them.

  6. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    If the Feds don’t do something about this, I would be shocked.

  7. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:22 am:

    You got me at “more than $200,000 a year” as Township supervisor. That’s beyond the pale. We have municipalities and counties. Why do we need townships?

  8. - walker - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:25 am:

    “as the supervisor of Thornton Township, she makes more than $200,000 a year, records show”

    That’s not a typo?.

  9. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:30 am:

    I suspect that it will only be a matter of time before we’re reading about indictments and cries from the other elected officials that that they had no idea what was going on around them.

  10. - The Truth - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    Oh, there’s a courtroom in her future.

  11. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    Does she know Rita Crundwell?
    Ice rinks instead of horses?

  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:35 am:

    Hubris and ignorance collide, brining in arrogance to complete the trifecta.

    This is all shockingly brazen.

  13. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    ==Does she know Rita Crundwell?==

    She did hers in secret. This is being done in the light of day.

  14. - So_Ill - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:37 am:

    How she isn’t in prison already is amazing to me.

  15. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    The crystal ball does not look good for this elected official.

  16. - low level - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:52 am:

    Law enforcement and governmental entities that provide oversight move slowly but they do move. And when they are ready, they pounce pretty hard. Its just a matter of time for her. Her allies would probably be well advised to lawyer up as well.

  17. - vern - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    Prosecutors seem to have something of a blind spot for public corruption that’s committed openly and proudly. Trump really threw a spotlight on it, saying things in public that would’ve been a scandal or investigation if said on a secret recording. “I was too dumb to conceal my criminal behavior” shouldn’t be a de facto defense.

  18. - JB13 - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    – with so many townships and villages it’s hard to source out these things especially as local papers no longer exist for the most part –

    But she *is* getting coverage, and she obviously doesn’t care about what the outside world thinks.

    The next step has to be: Someone must make her care. The answer can’t always be “the feds”

  19. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:07 am:

    Will Tiffany Henyard’s antics lead her to a spin on the dance floor of the Dirksen Federal Building?

    Or does Ms. Tiffany’s future include an extended stay at the Greybar Hotel?

    The “where’s mine” philosophy never ends well.

  20. - Original Rambler - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:09 am:

    It seems there is more pensioner double dipping with paid State boards and commissions going on than in the past.

  21. - Lurker - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    “Hubris and ignorance collide, brining in arrogance to complete the trifecta.”

    Doesn’t hubris mean arrogance? Have I been using that wrong for 60+ years?

  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:15 am:

    Hubris - “excessive pride or self-confidence.”

  23. - Sad - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Doesn’t hubris mean arrogance? Have I been using that wrong for 60+ years?==

    It means excessive pride or self-confidence. So yeah, arrogance.

    Hubris is the correct word in this case, however. Because in the classic Greek meaning of the term, hubris inevitably drew Nemesis. In the case of Henyard, I’m guessing Nemesis will take the form of a federal prosecutor.

  24. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:22 am:

    We had a township supervisor who acted much like this too. He would act put-upon as if it was a personal attack on him, when the township had to follow other municipal codes for its territory in incorporated areas.

    He’s currently sitting in federal prison, serving a 3 year sentence for also stealing millions from his employer.

    –A DJ blared loud music as Henyard entered dressed as Nino Brown, a drug kingpin character portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the 1991 film, “New Jack City.”–

    She’s telling you exactly what else she is doing. Believe her. That’s not a character which is just randomly picked by someone to dress up as. There’s a lot more to the plot of that movie than him just being a ‘drug kingpin’. Specifically how the gang saw themselves as their own government.

    Also, it’s obvious but Nino is the bad guy in that movie. It would be like a trustee supporting the expansion of red light cameras, coming to a public meeting dressed up as the Eye of Sauron.

    I look forward to seeing how many people she decides to take down with her when the music stops.

  25. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    What always astounds me is that they never think the law is going to catch up to them.

    The SC predicts we’ll eventually hear this from her: “I’m eager to clear my good name.”

  26. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:27 am:

    This is what actual grifting looks like and it is an epidemic in Cook County.

    Zero focus on ethics reform this session because Democrats are not serious about ending corruption and self dealing.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:27 am:


    I appreciate the editing, but I wrote as I wrote it for myself.


    To the post,

    I do think any further scrutiny, be it by news outlets or law enforcement, the ethics versus legality will be the difference here, not what any of us think… as the legality of the ethics will need explanation

  28. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:29 am:

    Live next door to Dolton, within Thornton Township. She’s draining both dry; where’s Kwame’s Corruption Buster Team for the FOIA and other violations of Illinois law?

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:30 am:


    Must you always speak in untrue absolutes to every subject where hyper partisan wants are the only truth?

    You’re dishonest to any absolute because, frankly, no one is a bigger apologist to partisanship than you, no matter an ethical question.

  30. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:30 am:

    ==Zero focus on ethics reform this session because Democrats==

    Once again, ethics reform wouldn’t fix this situation but you keep on with your partisan whining.

  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:33 am:

    ===ethics reform wouldn’t fix this situation===

    I’d disagree, but the state didn’t have to shovel so much taxpayer money at her.

  32. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    ==I’d disagree==

    It just seems to me that she doesn’t have a lot of respect for the rules so I’m not sure why she would respect any ethics laws that might pertain to her situation. If there were a reform that prevented this nonsense of holding two offices at one time then I guess you’re right.

  33. - Credit Card Food Critic - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    That supervisor uses the credit card to buy meals one alone on 9/29/22 at a restaurant in INDIANA that took $3500.00 without tip ( Twp won’t disclose amount that or if alcohol was served ) that money is for feeding the needy , underserved folks in the Twp ! She spent about $80000.00 since last May on that card ! How many meals could that have provided to the needy ? FEDS HELP

  34. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    Ethics reform is nothing more than creating a moral code where one doesn’t exist. There’s no reason to believe that Henyard would do the right thing if only she knew what it was. By her own admission she’s a very smart and accomplished individual. She knows better but for reason that are unknown she simply doesn’t care. And that’s where law enforcement needs to be a forceful reminder. It doesn’t matter your political party of if you’re Mayor, Governor, or President, no one is above the law.

  35. - The Truth - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    It would be like a trustee supporting the expansion of red light cameras, coming to a public meeting dressed up as the Eye of Sauron.

    Restaurant quality

  36. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 11:56 am:

    =This is what actual grifting looks like and it is an epidemic in Cook County.=

    Oh yeah? Rita Crundwell was the perpetrator of the largest municipal fraud in US history. She did that in Dixon which is in dead red Lee County.

    Largest in US history.

    Get your software updated.

  37. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 12:01 pm:

    =“as the supervisor of Thornton Township, she makes more than $200,000 a year, records show”=

    Reason number 4,286 why townships need to be abolished

  38. - Levois - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    Having connected with Mayor Henyard’s instagram page, it appears she really does love her job. The last time I’ve seen it it looks as if she was trying to go viral on TikTok!

  39. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    Is Tiffany Henyard taking a page from the Betty Loren-Maltese playbook?

    We know how that turned out and Betty “went to college” for a considerable time.

    Does Ms. Tiffany take advice from anyone or is she foraging this disastrous path of her own volition?

    Might be time to squirrel away a bit of cash for attorneys’ fees.

  40. - Scott Knitter - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    My brain hurts whenever I try to understand the overlapping (and sometimes exactly contiguous) municipalities in Illinois, and the multiplicity of school districts, some with just one school governed by a principal and staff AND a superintendent and district staff. No surprise that these are opportunities for leaders on the take as well as the honest ones.

  41. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    It happens in plain sight because nobody is looking. The loss of quality local journalism means they can operate like this in the open and nobody calls them out for it.

  42. - Res Melius - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    My only hope for this situation is that it would provide an impetus to taking a serious look at reducing our nation-leading number of governmental jurisdictions. How to address?

    An example would be the military Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) where they developed a list of bases and only the full list could be voted approved or disapproved. It minimized some of the political damage.,end%20of%20the%20Cold%20War.

    Another example is the Indiana 1959 county-based school reorganization act that reduced school districts from 966 to 402. As a previous rural school board member, I would have welcomed this initiative, at least to further consolidation efforts.,fell%20from%20801%20to%20156.

    Just brainstorming. I know these are a national and another state examples but, I am tired of seeing the same old problems of politicians holding onto power without considering the greater good. We need some leadership here.

  43. - Frumpy White Guy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    Former Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown was Henyard’s Chief of Staff and closest political advisor.

  44. - Lurker - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    Sorry OW on me asking about hubris. It’s just I have used this word in a certain way and when I saw you type that, I was thinking a have been incorrect for a long time. When I don’t agree with you on a fact, it makes me question my facts. 🫠

  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    - Lurker -

    No apology necessary, no explanation needed

    Sorry if I made you feel odd

    Words are weird, that’s the bottom line.


  46. - ChrisB - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 3:30 pm:

    Nothing like good old fashioned south suburban political drama.

    It’s so incredibly brazen that you just have to sit back and admire it.

  47. - The Truth - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 3:34 pm:

    It happens in plain sight because nobody is looking. The loss of quality local journalism means they can operate like this in the open and nobody calls them out for it.

    There are literally four pieces of quality local journalism by Ted Slowik linked on this page.

  48. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===There are literally four pieces===


    Some people would rather just post their usual knee-jerk reaction than actually read a post.

  49. - Misunderstanding - Friday, Jun 2, 23 @ 7:37 am:

    ===You got me at “more than $200,000 a year” as Township supervisor. That’s beyond the pale. We have municipalities and counties. Why do we need townships?===

    More like $260,000 a year.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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