MAY 31, 2006
Harvey Park may be a tiny city in Illinois but several of its elected officials have gone on huge spending sprees with public money, purchasing things such as lavish vacations, plasma televisions and fancy clothes with taxpayer dollars.
Federal affidavits illustrate how the district director, board chairman and assistant director spent tens of thousands of public dollars on personal things yet they all maintain their powerful jobs with the city of about 30,000 residents. Only one official so far, Harvey Park District commissioner Brenda Thompson, has called for the corrupt city employees to resign from their jobs.
Examples of the fraud are abundant. According to federal authorities, they include a $16,569 credit card purchase in which only half of the amount was a legitimate city expense and the rest for personal items. Another Harvey Park official charged his daughter’s college costs on the city’s credit card and yet another called public employees to set up her home furnishings during work hours.
Earlier this year Harvey Park officials were in the spotlight for holding a wild Super Bowl party, featuring adult entertainment such as strippers, at a public hall. Numerous city officials and police officers attended the rowdy event, which was probably funded with taxpayer money.
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