Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Tale of Two Assessors

What I have come to learn in this wonderful county is that far too often, the color of your convictions (red for republican and blue for democrat) is how you get or avoid the press. While we do live within a reasonable commute to a major metropolis, we do fall short with having competent local print media.

If you have been following the print media or lack thereof, several weeks ago a democrat and candidate for Antioch Township Assessor filed his petitions to run for office, was challenged, had several county newspapers cover his story, ended up being arrested for fraud, arraigned and is now out on bail. Every county newspaper covered this ad nauseum to point they had convicted this individual in the press without due process. He has been the brunt of numerous Republican Blogs.

Now this week the story breaks that the current Avon Township Assessor has been served with a civil suit that alleges fraudulent reimbursement for travel expenses in excess of 3,000 dollars by information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and one county news paper writes one (1) detailed article and the largest subscribers service newspaper in the county writes a two paragraph article that does not specify the suit, but quickly points out a comment from the Lake County State's Attorney office that is the individual who filed the suit thought there was fraud, they should have gone to the police. That is it!!!!!! What kind of reporting is this? Bottom line is that both assessors have committed wrong-doing. One gets a mug shot and one continues to try and get re-elected with no press traction.

Yes I know, the story of the Avon Township Assessor did break during silly season, and many will say, including the assessor, this is nothing more than a political stunt. Perhaps the only stunt is the timing. The allegations of this suit are based on factual township records. Anyone can get these records through the Freedom of Information Act. In the view of this author, a criminal investigation is warranted.


Anonymous said...

Hey, can you post the lawsuit here so I can read for myself the allegations and look at the exhibits? I think that will help all make a reasoned decision.
And is this guy Leafblad running? I was always taught that your enemies will turn you in, but your friends will not-not surprising that there is no love lost between these guys.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should consider the fact that this is not the first law suit brought against Mr. Dishman by the same attorney. The previous suits filed against Mr Dishman were tossed out of court. Looks like another case of the old "he said, she said" routine trying to affect the outcome of an election. No wonder Larry Leafblad lost his bid for re-election to the Lake County Board. It is tricks like this that make politics so distasteful in this country.

I think Dan Venturi, Lake Villa Township Supervisor, said it best in his letter to the editor of the News Sun as transcribed below.

Dear editor;

My name is Dan Venturi and I am the Lake Villa Township Supervisor. As supervisor I have been involved in the Lake County Forest Preserve's Senior Day event for several years.

I was very surprised by the quote in the March 24th article about Larry Leafblad lawsuit. The article quoted Larry Leafblad, referring to the Lake County Forest Preserve's Senior Day event, as saying “at no time during the tenure of (Dishman) have any decks of playing cards ever been distributed at these events”.

I can recall early in the day teasing Rick Dishman about his large inventory of playing cards. I recall stacks and stacks of milk crates filled with playing cards. Rick responded proudly you wait and see the seniors love these. To my amazement throughout the day Rick and the Avon Township crew handed out hundreds or thousands of decks of playing cards for free to the seniors. Rick was the right the seniors did love the playing card giveaway.

I also recall speaking to Larry Leafblad several times during the senior Day events and do not see any possible way that Larry could have missed the Avon Township booth with thousands of decks of cards. I'm not sure if Larry Leafblad is suffering from selective memory loss or just likes to tell a good story but there is no way that I can envision that he did not see the thousands of decks of cards that Avon Township was giving to seniors at the events.

Dan Venturi
Lake Villa, IL

Anonymous said...

Venturi is a tool for the Republican party and of course he is going to support Dishman.
Have you even looked at the suit?
What about what I read in another post, that he was supposed to be in class-a class he charged the township for-but was actually renting a car!

Anonymous said...

Is there a referenced date for said Letter to the Editor. I am unable to find it.

redtail said...

Does anyone else find it hilarious that the assessor had to *drive* down to a St. Louis casino to retrieve these cards he gave away? I guess if the casino had mailed them, he could not have treated himself to a little casino R&R for his trouble.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Venturi did not address the aggregious (travel) spending mentioned in the Sun-Times News Group/Pioneer Press Article.

Mr. Venturi did not address how the precious playing cards were obtained (isn't it cheaper to buy playing cards online or AT A LOCAL business versus mileage to St. Louis? Are playing cards purchased in Illinois inferior, Mr. Venturi?So much for supporting small businesses and country first and all that).

Mr. Venturi did not address the disproportionate press 'coverage' of the two situations. With the Antioch situation, it was almost as if what was published was the actual court or public records. With the latter situation, we must wait and see.

Yes, there is a lawsuit and it is not of equal weight as the charges in the Antioch situation. However, if an assistant district attorney has a string of losses in court, we don't necessarily tell him or who to stop trying cases, do we?

Could it be that the pattern of behavior by some Avon Township officials is untoward and has continued - despite the bright spotlight flashed upon it - and has created more significant evidence of unique practices, spending, etc.

One can see how Mr. Venturi identifies with government spoils and incumbents. However, is it wrong to expect fairness from someone affiliated with a Party who supposedly puts country first, when not saying no, no, no, and my way or the highway?

Does Mr. Venturi being in office and being involved in campaigns mean he's also lost touch with the concerns of the average citizen?

Anonymous said...

"Both Assessors"? Perhaps you are getting a little mixed up.

One was a Democrat challenger who developed serious problems with his petition and he now admits to forgery and fraud according to the most recent news stories. What is it with certain Democrats in this county and their inability to obtain legal signatures for election?

The other is an incumbent and an investigation has begun over the charges leveled against him.

Let's keep the facts straight shall we?

Anonymous said...

What is it about Repubs who claim to be fiscally conservative though can't spend enough while cutting taxes?
What is it about GOP morals that creates George Ryan (quite a spender himself), Larry Craig, Mr. Foley, and Mr. Vitter - who is STILL IN OFFICE?

Also, what is it about the Illinois GOP who almost concede elections before they start: Judy -Loan Forgiveness - Topinka and Alan Keyes. Give me a break!

Candi said...

Venturi is so full of it! That letter sounded like a line from a Disney movie it was dripping with so much sweetness. Of course he is going to defend Dishman! They are "buddies". Venturi is a disgrace to the Republican party! Prove where those cards came from. Prove they are from St. Louis and not from Walgreens on Washington and 83. Prove everything in that lawsuit is false! Bet you can't! You like betting right Dishman? Isn't that why you make the trips all the way to St. Louis? I hope voters see through this transparency. Enough with this crook! We need a new assessor. Pardon my French but Dishman sure puts the ass in assessor!

Candi said...

Hey Venturi, how about you write a letter explaining why Dishman was renting a car when he supposedly should have been in a class. Why didn't you mention this in your cute little best friends letter? Or about Dishman charging the taxpayers for lunch when he drives 15 minutes away because it is "out of town." Or how about charging the taxpayers for a full week in Tucson when the "class" was only 3 days long? I wish I could take a nice vacation and have someone else pay for it. I can barely afford paying my taxes thanks to DISHMAN and his incorrect assessing!!!! This is infuriating!

Anonymous said...

Why is Maggie allowed to be an election judge? I know it is legal but seems like thinly veiled electioneering to me.

At Grant, all the nameplates and references to the incumbent candidates are covered. That sounds like a group more concerned with the fairness of the process and the best interest of the people rather than saving their own jobs.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to see this Dan Venturi letter published in any newspaper. Hmmmmm, is someone fibbing here? Could it be that this letter is a figment of a desperate politicians imagination? Where is the letter?? Where is the truth and facts to back it up???

Anonymous said...

I have been hit by Dishman's unfair assessment practices and it has lead me to stand up and take action. I believe one should "put their money where their mouth is" so to speak. I walked my neighborhood independently to see what my neighbors think along the lines of supporting one candidate over the other and what I found it disturbing. People are afraid if they put up a sign supporting Dishman's opponent that he would take action and retaliate against them if he is in office again. One person believes he took notes as to who was supporting the other guy in the last election and suddenly their assessments were raised. People are afraid of him. He is nothing but a bully and do we really want a bully in office?

Anonymous said...

So is this Avon One blog shut down then? No posts for awhile now.