Remember that bike Fritzen got?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Somehow retiring Normal Trustee Jeff Fritizen ended up with a big party and a bike the Town purchased from Mayor Chris Koos’s bike shop.

Since inquiring minds want to know, I FOIA’d the Town of Normal for all communication about the bike.  In this story I printed the Town answer:

They couldn’t find a single document!

So, one of these is true:

  • The Town is embarrassed citizens found out so they hid documents
  •          or
  • Chris Koos gave Fritizen the bike without discussing it with anybody and sent the bill to taxpayers

Since the Town answer isn’t good enough, I filed a Request for Review with the Attorney General’s Public Access office.  PA agreed to investigate, but only how Normal searched for documents:

ag pub Norma

They gave Normal 7  business days to respond.  The AG’s office isn’t looking at whether the “gift” was legal, Illinois doesn’t do that.

Unless the Public Access office performs better than usual, I might have information in a year or two.  Karyn Smith is still waiting for a ruling from 14 months ago.  Marc Tiritilli filed too when Mayor Koos cut him off mid-sentence, I think that as last October.  The law states 90 days, that rarely happens.

This is yet another example of citizens losing trust in THEIR government.  Read this story if you missed it:

A newer example of an elected official not prosecuted:  The Champaign County Clerk counted early votes the night before the election AND posted those totals on-line that night.  Who was he sending signals to?  His actions violated State Election Law, he got “scolded” for doing it.

Illinois is corrupt because elected officials like it corrupt.

11 thoughts on “Remember that bike Fritzen got?

  1. Ole Boss Tweed would be PROUD! Let’s widen Linden street in uptown 20 feet on EACH side, unless we get some “grease money”

  2. Hey… when you are the Mayor… you take care of your people. Mayor Koos was just taking care of his people. It was just a bicycle and a small party?

    I know it looks like graft.

    I know it looks like corruption.

    I know it looks like a payoff for services rendered.

    These things are best done without a messy paper trail.

    How else is a Mayor supposed to get things done?

    I wonder how many other people have gotten bikes from the Mayor’s store for their loyalty to him?

  3. As to which one is true, either the town is embarrassed people found out or Koos gave the bike to Fritzen and sent the bill to the taxpayers; I’d say both are true.

    My observation of this Council is that they knowingly do illegal things all the time and it’s the burden of citizens to prove them wrong. As you’ve shown, going up against government in Illinois is a difficult thing to do. There’s hell to pay when you do.

  4. Koos days are about over. Rest of the pack ought to get ready for the reckoning. Yep, you know who you are. Then you can explore for yourselves that age old adage about “crime doesn’t pay.” First you’ll deny but the stress will be there. Then when the atmosphere does heat up, glow-bull warming will be the last thing on your mind. And then btw, there’s that other thing about “cheaters never win.” Lol, I’m looking for the day. Not if, but when.

  5. IF this council worked at State Farm They’d ALL be STEALING a box of pens a DAY! It ALL adds up. But since it’s US-the taxpayers, they just figure we’re too stupid to figure out that they are the most corrupt politicians since the Clinton administration. Or ANY number of OTHER choices!

  6. This is Illinois. It is par for the course. Corruption and graft are expected. The bike is only one in a long list by Koos and Co. Don’t forget the $100 all expenses included rent for one of his neighbors and no rent for his buddy at Wild Country. It is laughable to think they Council would say anything. Even more foolish to think the state would step in for taxpayers. No one in IL government cares and that is why people are leaving the state.

  7. my guess is they made all those emails disappear after you found out about it.there are forensic techs that could find them but hey, its Illinois and “what’s the difference” they are gone forever because HRH Koos wanted them gone. As for any attn working for state,do you seriously think they are going to bother?

    there are people out there who would argue about 500 bucks being a big deal. that 500 bucks is probably a drop in the bucket of wasteful spending Koos has been a party to.

  8. It is less about the single $500 transaction. It is the aggregate of all the small items that becomes overwhelming. It is easier to stay under the radar doing many small frequent cheats than to go for single large paydays.

  9. Kind of like the Johnny Cash song, where he JUST takes only ONE car part a day from the factory, but winds up building himself a car!

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