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Article posted: 11/15/2012 8:35 PM

Trustee questions spending of township funds over 3-year period

By Susan Sarkauskas

Police are investigating whether former Sugar Grove Township Supervisor Dan Nagel inappropriately spent and received township money, according to Det. John Sizer of the Sugar Grove Police Department.

Township Trustee Scott Jesseman filed a police report questioning spending of township money over the last three years, including $1,800 spent on meals and the purchase of a $400 iPhone.

Nagel resigned Oct. 31, citing "personal and family" reasons. He had served the township, either as trustee or supervisor, for 38 years.

A woman who answered Nagel's home telephone Thursday said "We have no comment. Thank you."

Jesseman said he had "argued" throughout 2011 and 2012 about the way the township board approved paying bills. The bills were presented after Nagel had already paid them, and Jesseman thought that didn't make sense. The trustees also didn't get to see supporting documentation such as receipts, credit card statements or mileage reports, for the bills and for payments to Nagel.

In June 2012, Jesseman filed a Freedom of Information Act request for bills dating back to the middle of 2009, when he was appointed to the board. He said he found $9,600 worth of payments to or items for Nagel that were never brought to the board for approval. He told the other trustees about it, suggested Nagel should resign, and asked for the money back.

One of the payments, for $500, was made to Nagel for selling one of his refrigerators to the township, Jesseman said. Nagel also received $3,000 for auditing the books of the township's road and bridge district, but he shouldn't have, according to Jesseman, because his supervisor salary already covered those duties, and the board told him so and never agreed to pay more. Jesseman said Nagel's lawyer agreed the audit money was improperly paid.

According to Jesseman, Nagel met with two of the other trustees, and his own lawyer, who also serves as the township's lawyer.

Nagel ended up writing a checks to the township and the road and bridge district for $4,000.

Jesseman, however, said he wants to know about the rest of the money and thinks it ought to be repaid if Nagel can't provide proof the money was spent on township business.

"That's why I am taking it to the next level," he said. " ... I'm not trying to run for his position."

Jesseman, while saying a person is innocent until proven guilty, also said he wonders why Nagel would write a $4,000 check if he didn't do anything wrong.

"He kind of looked at it as his township," Jesseman said of Nagel, describing him as a friend. "He did a lot of good things."

The other trustees did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The board is making arrangements to have an audit done, Jesseman said.

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