Aldo. Walter Burnett Jr. (No. 27) has yet to give state election officials a satisfactory explanation of what happened with his $165,000 campaign fund.
And state officials don’t have the authority to tell him what happened to the unaccounted-for money, and they can’t tell him or anyone else running for Illinois what’s on the required campaign finance report. It also claims that it has no authority to demand verification of
The Chicago Sun-Times reported in November that Mr. Barnett told state election officials that he had deposited $375,000 from his campaign funds over the past 20 years in investment accounts at various banks. However, over time, candidates have been required to submit campaign finance reports about $300,000 of that money, even though they are required to update state elections officials on how they are using campaign funds. stopped including any mention of
Barnett has now told the Illinois Election Commission that he actually deposited $400,000 in bank investment accounts, including a previously unreported $25,000 certificate of deposit. Told.
But even after six years of amended campaign finance reports, his filing is still missing $165,000.
Most of the lost funds came from three investment accounts his campaign fund opened with his political donations: one money market account worth more than $71,000, according to his filings. and two $50,000 certificates of deposit.
Barnett’s campaign fund told state officials it had withdrawn $65,000 from a money market account at First Eagle National Bank in the West Loop and returned it to his campaign fund.
But a state elections commission official said in an email to Barnett’s staff last month that there was “no evidence” that the funds were actually returned to campaign funds in amended election reports.
And Mr. Burnett gave no explanation to election officials about the two missing CDs. One was at Cole-Taylor Bank, which was later taken over by another bank, and the other was at Broadway Bank, which federal regulators closed in 1999.
If the Barnett campaign lost funds when Broadway Bank closed, it could have filed a recovery claim with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. State officials said they don’t know if Barnett’s campaign did so.
Barnett, now the longest-serving member of the Chicago City Council and a key ally of Mayor Brandon Johnson as deputy mayor, responded to a message seeking comment on the use of funds raised from supporters since 1999. not.
His campaign funder, Diamond Moreno Burnett, did not answer the call. A city employee, she serves as the Superintendent of Urban Sanitation for 27th Ward on the West Side of Burnet, where she earns $114,012 a year. She is also married to Barnett’s brother.
Since last November, the state election commission has emailed General MacArthur III seeking answers. Although the general is not Barnett’s campaign finance officer, he has been a longtime campaign finance report filer.
In February, MacArthur submitted a revised version of more than a dozen campaign reports Barnett had filed over the past six years. However, there is no information in these amended reports as to what happened to his $100,000 from the two CDs.
“We have no comment,” MacArthur said when he arrived at Moraine Valley Community College’s offices in Paros Hills. He is listed as an athletic student success specialist at the university.
Since 2013, MacArthur has been paid more than $34,000 in what are reported as “accounting fees” and “consulting,” according to Barnett’s campaign report.
On May 10, the state elections commission told MacArthur that the newly amended report still lacked information about the two missing CDs and another $50,000 CD from American Charter Bank. I sent an e-mail when I was there., it was cashed.
Barnett was first elected to the Chicago City Council in 1995 and began moving political contributions into investment accounts in 1999, according to a report he filed with the Election Commission.
According to those reports, he invested $375,000 in seven CDs, an investment that Illinois law requires to be listed in semi-annual campaign reports and showing the amount of interest earned. . The amended report also shows an additional previously unreported $25,000 of his CDs.
If a campaign liquidates an investment, you must report what was subsequently done with the funds. But the Sun-Times previously reported that Barnett stopped reporting information about five investments that initially reached $300,000 for years.
After Barnett’s revised report was filed on Feb. 7, the campaign still couldn’t account for the $165,000 he invested.
State elections commission spokesman Matt Dietrich said the state elections commission had no way of getting updates on Barnett’s campaign finances.
Dietrich said Barnett’s report shows that in some cases, “he says he deposited money in campaign funds, but we don’t see any evidence of that.”
But the Election Commission does not have the authority to verify the accuracy of reports, he said.
“It’s all self-reported,” says Dietrich. “You can’t go back in time and look at their bank records. You can’t subpoena their bank records.”