Letter informs DeKalb County of an illegal stipend paid to a housing authority commissioner

Published

Derek Van Buer has been filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the housing authority since last summer, and now is summarizing concerns he’s found for the DeKalb County Board (and where applicable, HUD officials). The first letter to the county, which alleges the housing authority has failed to follow travel reimbursement policies, is here.

The second letter reveals the Housing Authority for the County of DeKalb (HACD) was paying a $200 monthly stipend to the “resident” commissioner of the HACD board, “resident” meaning the commissioner also receives services from the housing authority.

Compensation is governed by state law.

Sec. 7. No commissioner shall receive any compensation, whether in form of salary, per diem allowances or otherwise, for or in connection with his services as a commissioner, except that the Housing Authority in any municipality having over 500,000 inhabitants may establish by resolution a reasonable salary or per diem allowance for the services of the commissioner who serves as chairman, and except that in an Authority created by a municipality or a county having over 25,000 inhabitants the corporate authorities of the municipality or county may establish a reasonable per diem allowance for the services of commissioners, to be paid by the municipality or county from funds budgeted by the corporate or county authorities for that purpose…

Illinois Housing Authorities Act, 310 ILCS 10/7

In short, it’s supposed to be the county that establishes a salary or per diem and pays it.

Records indicate housing authority staff discontinued the stipend once uncovered this past fall. Questions remain about how long these payments went on and how recovery of illegally-paid funds is to be effected, and Mr. Van Buer is suggesting a public hearing of the county board.

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