The Republican Central Committee of McHenry County must file an amended quarterly report to the Illinois Board of Elections to achieve full compliance with a board ruling last month, IBOE spokesman Matt Dietrich said.
Earlier this year, Rachael Lawrence, an Algonquin Township trustee and the former RCCMC treasurer, filed a complaint alleging that the committee failed to identify the proper beneficiary of a $1,200 expenditure to attorney Philip Prossnitz for legal fees. The payment also was the subject of a separate complaint from Lawrence against the campaign committee of McHenry County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio.
During a previous hearing, Tirio said he had paid his own legal fees. His lawyer, Robert Hanlon, the attorney who represented Tirio’s election committee, had said the money was used by the RCCMC to confer with Prossnitz about whether it would be prudent to join Tirio’s suit against the Illinois Integrity Fund.
After a closed hearing, the election board ruled Aug. 26 that the complaint was filed on justifiable grounds and ordered the committee to file an amended report identifying the proper beneficiaries of the legal expense, as well as send the proper notification to each beneficiary.
RCCMC Chairwoman Diane Evertsen said in an email Thursday that the changes to the quarterly report were made Sept. 18, and email notifications were sent on the same day. Evertsen said in the email that she “never pushed the right button to submit it,” and as of Thursday morning, the amended report was filed.
“This is just further evidence of the utter incompetence of our current party leaders and a reminder that we need to elect skilled servants to lead, not just political insiders seeking a fancy title,” said Lawrence, who also is a precinct committeeman.
The amended report shows the $1,200 expense disbursed among five candidates, but because the beneficiary of each $240 payment still is listed as the RCCMC, Dietrich said the report must be amended again.
Although failure to amend the report within 30 days of the initial order could result in a civil penalty of up to $5,000, Dietrich said it’s unlikely any fine would be imposed because the committee is making a good faith effort to remedy the situation.