GOP candidates for DuPage auditor talk about their qualifications
After nearly a dozen years as DuPage County auditor, Bob Grogan says he still has the talent and passion to be an effective watchdog for taxpayers.
His opponent in the GOP primary -- Jeffrey Mack of Downers Grove -- is promising to bring a fresh set of eyes to the auditor's office, which evaluates and reports on county operations.
On March 17, Republican voters will decide whether Grogan or Mack should be their party's nominee for auditor. Whoever wins the GOP primary will face the Democratic nominee in the November general election. The two Democrats competing in their primary are Bruce Fogerty of Wheaton and Bill White of Downers Grove.
Mack, who is a retired bank officer, says his decades of banking experience makes him well-suited for the auditor position.
In addition to serving as a watchdog and working with county departments to improve their operations, Mack said he would focus on customer service.
"In the private sector, you're always customer focused," Mack said. "You have to be responsive to your customer. Otherwise, you don't survive."
Since becoming auditor in 2008, Grogan said he's been working to innovate.
The Downers Grove resident says he was the first auditor in Illinois to put a county checkbook online. He also was the first to create a transparency portal and an audit hotline.
Grogan said that record has prompted his peers to elect him as president of the Illinois Association of County Auditors.
"I end up helping them with continuing professional education -- raising their game," he said. "There isn't a week that goes by that I don't get a phone call from somebody from outside of DuPage asking, 'How does DuPage do it?'"
As a licensed CPA and certified fraud examiner, Grogan touts his experience in auditing work. He says findings made by the office during his tenure have resulted in convictions, firings and significant savings.
"I'm still able to find stuff," he said. "So far this year, some of our findings ended up meaning that two people are no longer working at the county. We continue to do that all the time."
Grogan said he has a good working relationship with other officials in the county. He says he knows "how to ask the awkward question."
If elected, Mack says he would work in partnership with the other countywide elected officials. He said he also would bring "a fresh look" to the auditor's office and wouldn't let politics influence his work.
"I view this as a nonpartisan office," he said.
Grogan, meanwhile, says he has the skill to find waste and fraud in county government.
"I'm good at understanding the way things are," he said. "So I think I have a record that has been innovative and continues to produce what's best for the voters and the taxpayers and citizens of DuPage County."