from submitted reports June 18, 2012 1:58PM
Updated: June 18, 2012 6:03PM
GENEVA — Those who see fraud, waste and abuse within the Kane County government now have a number to call to report it.
The Audit Hotline was established last week by Auditor Bill Keck, and is a way for citizens, vendors and employees to report financially fraudulent, wasteful or abusive financial practices. The number is 630-23-AUDIT (630-232-8348. “This will give the people out there in Kane County the chance to disclose something that is improper,” he said.
After talking with some of the other county auditors in Illinois, Keck said he decided to model the hotline after one that has been established in nearby DuPage County.
“They’ve had a certain amount of success,” he said.
There was no incident that spawned the idea. The auditor’s office wants to be proactive in preventing any long term environment of corruption from developing, Keck said.
He is hoping the hotline would work to prevent situations similar to the Dixon, Ill., case where a longtime comptroller was accused of embezzling $30 million since 2006.
The hotline is something Keck said he has wanted to establish for a long time. The timing is not related to a recent attempt to redraft Kane County’s ethics ordinance, he said. If there were an ethics-related call, they might have to refer that to other authorities, he said.
Keck gave several examples of activities that could be reported, including misuse of county equipment or property, theft of county resources, improper activity, pay roll and expense claim fraud, wasteful or inappropriate purchases, or embezzlement.
The caller ID has been removed from the hotline, so that calls can be kept anonymous, he said. The department employees do prefer that people give identifying information, however, in case they need to ask for a follow up.
Keck is in the process of getting the word out with brochures, business cards and presentations to county employees, he said. He wants people to know that it is open to the public as well.