Pierog blames Lauzen for loss of pot tax revenue

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BATAVIA – Corinne Pieorg, the Democratic candidate for Kane County Board chairman in the Nov. 3 general election, blamed current Board Chairman Chris Lauzen after learning that the county missed out on tax revenue from marijuana sales because the paperwork wasn’t filed with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

“This is incompetence at the highest level,” Pierog stated in a news release from her campaign.

“Once again, Chairman Lauzen and his leadership team have shown the people of Kane County that they cannot be trusted to lead amid a budget crisis,” Pierog stated in the release. “As someone who interacts with struggling families every day, I think it is inconceivable that while the rest of us are sacrificing, our elected officials are not doing the job they were elected to do.”

Lauzen has asserted that the screw-up will cost the county $1 million in tax revenue –calculating from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 this year and Oct. 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Lauzen blamed Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Lulves under State’s Attorney Joe McMahon’s supervision.

But in an Oct. 28 letter, Lulves blamed Lauzen’s own County Board Office for not filing the paperwork, as the chairman “continues a pattern of avoiding responsibility.”

Lulves’ letter details various notices sent to Lauzen’s office about the filing deadline to receive the marijuana tax revenue; Lauzen stated in an email that he never received them.

Pierog blamed Lauzen.

“A hallmark of leadership is taking responsibility when things go wrong. Once again, Chairman Lauzen and his leadership team are more concerned with pointing fingers than they are in correcting their mistakes,” Pierog stated in the release. “A skilled executive sees the big picture as well as the details. It is time for a change in culture, substance, and stewardship in the chair’s office.”

Lauzen disagreed.

“This is not a general county failure; it is a specific individual, the failure of Joe Lulves, Assistant State’s Attorney in charge of the Civil Division to do the job he’s paid $153,000 a year in salary and benefits to do,” Lauzen said.

“The fact that Corinne tries to splatter mud all over everybody for her political gain is simply irresponsible,” Lauzen said. “It’s not a failure of a team, it’s a failure of the attorney (Lulves.) It’s so gosh darn obvious. … When they don’t do their job, it’s everybody else’s fault. Typical.”

Pierog said Lauzen’s leadership team that bears blame for this includes County Treasurer David Rickert – her Republican opponent in the race for County Board Chairman – and Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham.

“The county has very little money and has been all stressed out about the budget and making budget cuts,” Pierog said. “And this is potentially earned revenue he forgot to file the ordinance.”

But Rickert said neither he nor his office has anything to do with filing the paperwork for that tax collection.

“Once again, she does not understand the duties and responsibilities of the different offices,” Rickert said. “This is an attempt to save her failing campaign. … It’s quite obviously a political maneuver at the last minute. … It has nothing to do with me or my office As much as she wishes it was there, it has nothing to do with my office.”

Cunningham also said filing the paperwork with the state was not the responsibility of his office.

“Finances are not our responsibility,” Cunningham said. “It’s an oversight. it’s not the end of the world. We all make mistakes – it’s the human element. People are finding fault with everybody else. Live up to it when you make a mistake.”

In response, Pierog stated in an email that, "It is obvious that the current leadership would rather blame others and belittle critics than deliver for the county. I am looking forward to bringing accountability back to the Chair’s office."

via Daily, local and breaking news for Kane County, Illinois | Kane County Chronicle

October 31, 2020 at 07:17AM

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