Village Sues over Misconduct Claim Bensenville Hopes to Set Pension Record Straight

By Kmitch, Justin | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

Village Sues over Misconduct Claim Bensenville Hopes to Set Pension Record Straight


Kmitch, Justin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Justin Kmitch Daily Herald Staff Writer

Bensenville leaders have had at least four attorneys and three auditing firms tell them they did nothing wrong by funneling all revenues, including pension fund money, into a single account.

But now Bensenville wants a judge to decide.

An attorney for the village and its firefighters' pension board filed suit Tuesday in DuPage County against the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations, which is responsible for enforcing all state pension laws.

Village leaders hope a judge will finally declare whether they violated any state laws or mishandled any pension money.

The allegations of fund mishandling were raised in May by former pension board attorney Michael Zimmermann. He pointed to independent audits that concluded the village failed to transfer nearly $2.5 million into the pension fund over the course of two years.

Village-hired experts have called the claims libelous and have steadfastly maintained they did nothing wrong. However, the village repaid the pension fund the money in June.

"We have thoroughly reviewed the cash management practices of the village ... and we find that they comply with state law and general accounting practices," pension law attorney Jeffrey Carren said in a written statement.

The suit, according to a village release, was filed because the state agency "has failed to directly respond to numerous requests by the village to render an opinion confirming the legality of the village's actions. …

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