District 87 spending your money

By:  Diane Benjamin

On a tip from a reader I FOIA’d 2 years of credit card charges from District 87.  I’m not anywhere close to looking at everything yet.  I will post items I found as I go through the files.

Start with this one from July 2017:


No, Barry Reilly didn’t spend all that money himself.  13 people attended a conference in Chicago and of course stayed overnight:   See all the attendees here:  Chicago conference  The cost includes $465 for each person plus a $200 deposit for housing.  The event took place in November, so there are additional expenses for the 13.  Why did 13 need to go?  Why not when taxpayers get the bill!  I do have a few train receipts but that doesn’t cover transportation for all 13.

These guys love to eat, some receipts are marked, some aren’t.  Potbelly is labeled Stem Boot Camp.  Keep in mind, school is not in session in June.

love to eat 2love to eat

Cindy Helmers bought 5 IPad Touch directly from Apple.  There isn’t a credit for the Sales Tax charged in July or August, so taxpayers paid it:

d97 tax

Jim Peterson went to something in San Antonio Texas.  He rented a car while he was there for I think 5 days – $529.44.  I know two other people went with him:  Chris Holt and Kristi Sutter.  From this food bill there might have been a fourth person, eating well is easy when you are not paying:

party of 4

I wonder if Chris Holt took somebody along:

holt 2

The hotel for 5 days was a little over $1000 each.

Misc Food bought in town:

All dated on different days in June.  Click to enlarge.

This one is interesting.  Jim Peterson bought some domain names that aren’t being used as far as I can tell.  He spent almost $1800:


He bought:









The receipts I have only total $247.38, I received nothing for the rest.  I don’t believe any of the purchased domains are being used, at least not publicly.

See everything received for July 2017 here, I might have missed something:  07-2017

23 more files to go, let me know if you want to help.

6 thoughts on “District 87 spending your money

  1. Why do these cockroaches have to stay at Hyatt and Hilton? That’s unnecessary. Super8, Days Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn would be more economical and it would save money. And they should have a per diem on meals, not unlimited costs. $10 per meal per day. That would save a lot of money.


  2. I agree with “FEDUP” – there is nothing wrong with establishing a per diem limit on both lodging and meals! That way folks can stay and eat where ever they like, but the individual will only be reimbursed for the stated limits. This is a fair approach and a good business practice! These credit card charges makes it appear as though there is no respect for the tax payer (and our money). And clearly no accountability for their actions. UGH =(


  3. And these leeches want MORE money for schools, because “It’s for the children”? This town NEEDS a MAJOR house cleaning from the mayor on down! BOYCOTT ANY business that these “representatives of the people” patronize! That would send a LOUD message! NO MORE MOES, STARBUCKS, KELLYS OR AVANTIS FOR ME!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The old it’s for the children and we have no where to cut was thrown out by me a long time ago. There are plenty of places to cut but then they might have to pay for their own dinner. They should get the GSA determined per diem on trips (the same way federal employees do—however not like overpaid politicians) and pay for their own food from that. Anything above they are on their own.
    I have also always wondered why the schools spend money for 1GB capable internet (this may be Normal schools)….but it was at about 60K a month. What you get at hotels would be more than adequate and would cost a lot less. The layout and setup is identical. Just another waste in the same style as oversized connect transit busses to carry 3 or 4 at best riders.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m not sure if this might answer some of your questions, but for years and years D87 have offered technology classes for the district as well as the surrounding area schools. There is a cost to attend and Grant’s are also written to offset some costs. Typically the classes are a week long and teachers drive from all over the state to attend.

    Liked by 2 people

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