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New Dolton subpoena targets financial information for Mayor Tiffany Henyard, spending on trips

A brand new federal subpoena delivered not too long ago to Dolton Village Hall seeks detailed information about trips made by village officers and bills they have been reimbursed for, in addition to funds made to Mayor Tiffany Henyard and the village’s chief administrator, a supply confirmed.

It’s the second time investigators have visited the village trying for paperwork in what they are saying is a probe that’s in its early phases and has not resulted in any prices.

The most up-to-date subpoena asks for extra detailed information about expense reimbursements and different funds made by the village to Henyard and Keith Freeman, village administrator, based on trustees, who’ve individually employed former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to analyze Henyard and a village-financed journey made by her a 12 months in the past to Las Vegas.

Although it seems federal investigators are digging deeper into the village, trustees mentioned Thursday it’s necessary to proceed with Lightfoot, who will probably be paid $400 an hour to analyze Henyard and her administration.

The subsequent Village Board assembly is Monday, and it’s potential Henyard might veto the hiring of Lightfoot, permitted by 4 trustees against her administration April 8 at a Dolton Park District facility.

“The feds have their own investigation and I’m pretty sure they are not going to provide us with the results right away,” Trustee Brittney Norwood mentioned Thursday. “We don’t know how long it will take for the investigation since they are just getting started.”

Trustee Jason House mentioned Lightfoot, as a part of her investigation, “has resources that add value to the board’s ability to make decisions,” however that “we want to be mindful of what is being spent on this in light of the (federal) investigation.”

He mentioned the detailed financial information requested within the new subpoena “should be a wakeup call for everybody (in Dolton government) that transparency is a requirement of the law.”

House and different trustees have mentioned Henyard and her administration have saved them at nighttime in regards to the true state of village funds, and that in her tenure Dolton has accrued a multimillion-dollar deficit.

It’s the second delivery of subpoenas at Village Hall in current weeks, with federal investigators delivering paperwork in search of paperwork April 19.

Those subpoenas, which two sources mentioned don’t title Henyard, got here simply days after Dolton chief administrator Keith Freeman, an in depth ally of Henyard, was charged with chapter fraud in U.S. District Court as a part of a associated investigation.

He has since pleaded not responsible to the cost.

The new subpoena asks for fee disbursement information from the village, together with expense reimbursements and bank card expenditures, to Henyard and Freeman in addition to companies operated or managed by Freeman — Keith Freeman LLC and Government Staffing Advisors, based on sources.

Freeman, an Orland Park resident, is Dolton village administrator and is a supervisor with Thornton Township, the place Henyard is supervisor.

Records associated to trips taken by village elected officers and different personnel are additionally being requested, together with expense reviews and bank card receipts, sources confirmed.

Trips embrace visits in October 2022 to Springfield, in March 2023 to Washington, D.C., and in May 2023 to Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas go to, purportedly made for financial improvement causes, resulted in a current federal lawsuit filed by a former Dolton worker.

The lawsuit names Henyard, the village, Thornton Township and a village official as defendants, and the plaintiff, who beforehand labored for the village and was on the Las Vegas journey, accuses the village official of performing non-consensual intercourse with the worker after she had “blacked out.”

The village official is known as within the case however has not been charged by any regulation enforcement company. The worker mentioned she was later fired by the village.

The subpoena additionally seeks information of “municipal resources” getting used on behalf of any political entity, together with Henyard’s marketing campaign committee, Friends of Tiffany Henyard, and any charitable organizations, together with the Tiffany Cares Foundation.

In February, the Illinois attorney general’s office despatched a letter to the inspiration demanding that it cease soliciting or accepting contributions, and that it should register with the state.

Dolton Trustee Kiana Belcher, talking after the primary spherical of subpoenas have been dropped at Village Hall, mentioned the investigation is “an embarrassment to the community,” however that “I’m glad we got the attention because we need it.”

Belcher mentioned she had not been interviewed by any investigators, and that in current visits to Village Hall “it’s like a ghost town,” with “maybe one or two people in the entire Village Hall.”

A media relations agency representing Henyard and the village didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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