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Are the political aspirations of DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan distracting him from his current responsibilities? Apparently so. Throughout the course of October, numerous attempts to reach the candidate for Illinois state treasurer at his county auditor’s office resulted in failure. This was not a fluke. Out of ten calls placed on ten different days in a single month, the auditor could only be reached at the office once. Bob Grogan’s staff did not provide viable reasons for his unavailability, but did make it clear he was not in his office. And not once did his staff suggest he would return later in the day.
Some suggest that Grogan, as auditor, was possibly in the field conducting investigatory work on this days. However, documents uncovered through FOIA suggest that Bob Grogan was not likely conducting field investigations. Records obtained from the auditor’s office employees show that no employee throughout fiscal years 2011, 2012, or 2013 received mileage reimbursements for travel on more than nine days in an entire year’s period. In addition, in not a single instance in those three years is Bob Grogan reported to have travelled throughout the county for field audits. The released records clearly show field audits to be an uncommon occurrence. Based on mileage reimbursements, conducting fieldwork nine days out of entire year would be an anomaly. Excusing nine days in a single month on such an assumption defies reality.
So the questions persist. If the auditor was not conducting fieldwork, what was he doing throughout those numerous mid-afternoons away from his office? If these absences occurred a nine times in a just a single month, how many other times was the auditor absent unbeknownst to the public? How often does the county auditor actually show up for work? Does he work full time at as county auditor? Have these absences affect the productivity of the entire county auditor’s office?
In order to prevent misappropriation of funds, the taxpayers of DuPage County pay Bob Grogan $139,835 yearly in salary plus nearly $11,000 in annual pension contributions. This translates into roughly $600 per day. As such, County Auditor Bob Grogan bears a responsibility to account for any portions of work days spent away from this full time position.
As Bob Grogan competes with Tom Cross (R) and Mike Frerichs (D) to become the next Illinois state treasurer, voters will be determining which candidate is most likely to safeguard the interests of taxpayers. If Grogan fails to provide an explanation for his truancy, on election day the message to the DuPage County Auditor may be simple: audit thyself.