By: Diane Benjamin
See a pic of the massive stack of papers I received in response to a FOIA request here: https://blnnews.com/2019/07/05/guess-what-this-is/
My original FOIA was for 18 months of all credit card/ PC card statements and receipts. I narrowed the request to 12 months and only administrators to reduce the volume. It’s still a huge amount of information to process. Revealing what I found will take more than one story.
- The majority of charges do have matching receipts. If you remember, District 87 could not produce receipts for some Amazon charges.
- Sales tax is on some of the receipts, not near as many as District 87. Some of the Sales tax was refunded.
- Some receipts are not legible.
- The majority of food receipts do not state a purpose or who was fed. Some say things like “staff meeting”,
Deciding where to start wasn’t easy, I opted for here:
You’ve probably heard about School Boards around the State attending the Illinois Association of School Boards convention in Chicago and spending THOUSANDS of dollars doing it. I don’t remember any reporting on what Unit 5 spent to attend. I’m not going to post the receipts because this story would be mostly pictures!
All of these charges appeared on one credit card statement – Kimberly Stewart
- Hyatt Regency – 3 nights 1 Board member $852.90
- Hyatt Regency – 3 nights, 12 people including Mark Daniel and Martin Hickman and valet parking $10,361.7
- Hyatt Regency food $23.25
- Taxi $12.50
- Restaurant $22.90
- Taxi $15.60
- Restaurant $24.00
- Restaurant $21.60
- Transit $11.00
Additional charges on Mark Daniel’s credit card statement:
- Carriage Cab $11.40
- Restaurant $16.00
- Restaurant $38.41
- Hyatt Regency food $67.92
Charges on Joseph Adelman’s credit card statement:
- Taxi $13.00
- Bakery $20.03
- Taxi $12.25
- Taxi $13.50
- Bakery $14.86
- Taxi $14.00
Curt Richardson was in Chicago during the same time frame, he stayed at a different hotel:
- Swissotel – 2 nights plus parking $670.64
The cost of the conference is not included.
I found one credit card charge for Taunia Leffler to attend. She is a school board member. The total cost, that appears to be just for her, was $813.70.
Keep in mind, 13 people definitely attended – possibly 14. It appears registration for the others is not on a credit card statement I received.
If it cost the same for all the others to attend, add at least $10,000 to that number.