WHEATON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lynn LaPlante, Democratic candidate for DuPage County Board Chairman, filed a complaint today with the DuPage County Ethics Commission, requesting an investigation into conflict of interest activities of incumbent DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.
LaPlante’s complaint against Cronin alleges that Cronin’s law firm, Power and Cronin, Ltd., represents companies who have been awarded lucrative contracts with DuPage County without Cronin disclosing his relationship. The companies, Comcast and Superior Ambulance, pay Cronin’s firm fees for such representation. Evidence on DuPage County’s website reveals that on June 26, 2018, Cronin presided over and participated in a DuPage County Board meeting at which the County Board voted to award a lucrative, no-bid, 10 year-deal to Cronin’s client, Comcast, to provide cable service in DuPage County. DuPage County currently does not have a cable franchise agreement with any other cable provider. Cronin did not disclose his relationship with Comcast or the fact that his law firm represents Comcast. Further evidence shows that, on August 21, 2014, Cronin used his official position as County Board chair to lobby the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to have the FCC approve a lucrative deal with Comcast, again without disclosing his financial relationship with Comcast.
The complaint also alleges that the statement of economic interests that Cronin filed discloses his ownership interest in his law firm, but fails to disclose his relationship with Comcast or his receipt of funds from Comcast. Similarly, the County Coroner’s office has a contract with Superior Ambulance, and Cronin did not disclose his relationship with Superior prior to Superior winning the contract award.
According to the complaint, Cronin’s actions violate the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act, DuPage County’s Ethics Ordinance and the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act.
LaPlante’s complaint was filed this afternoon with copies of the documentary evidence demonstrating Cronin’s failure to disclose, records from the Illinois Industrial Commission demonstrating his representation of Comcast, Superior Ambulance and other public bodies who have entered into contracts with the County. The evidence also includes a copy of a letter from Cronin, on County stationery, urging the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to have the FCC approve a contract with Comcast, which also fails to disclose that Comcast is a client of Cronin’s law firm.
According to local government attorney, Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer, “The Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act, 50 ILCS 105/3, prohibits any public official from being ‘in any manner financially interested…in any contract…of which such officer may be called upon to act or vote.’ DuPage County’s Ethics Ordinance incorporates this same prohibition.” Mr. Cronin’s failure to publicly disclose his relationship with Comcast when he conducted the meeting awarding the 10-year, no-bid contract to them appears to have violated this Act, as well as DuPage County’s Ethics ordinance.
“I want to shine a light on what is happening in DuPage County,” says Lynn LaPlante. “I feel strongly that public officials should operate in full transparency and with full accountability, and the public should know about the favoritism for certain vendors that is at play here. We have the right to demand honest and transparent behavior of our elected officials, especially those in top positions of leadership and power. These actions have ethical, and potentially legal consequences. No matter how this election turns out, this lack of transparency needs to stop. That is why I have asked the DuPage County Board of Ethics to review this matter. “
For more information, please contact Lynn LaPlante via media contact, Elizabeth Saunders, at firstname.lastname@example.org.