Cortland board OKs treasurer’s dismissal

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 5:30 a.m.CDT

CORTLAND – A Warrenville accounting firm will take over Cortland’s treasurer duties after the town’s Board of Trustees approved the treasurer’s removal Monday.

Mark Davenport was relieved from his duties as town treasurer Jan. 31 by Cortland Town Mayor Russ Stokes after the accounting firm, Lauterbach and Amen LLP, issued a report showing Cortland had multiple past due invoices and payments.

Cortland officials hired Lauterbach and Amen LLP after becoming concerned that treasurer reports were not submitted to the board in a timely fashion, Stokes, said.

There were no motions by the board to disapprove the removal.

A two-thirds vote would have been required to restore Davenport to office.

“There is nothing here that was done illegally,” Stokes said. “We’re not missing any money. It’s a matter of whether the responsibilities of the treasurer were being met, and clearly they were not.”

The town government had several unpaid bills from vendors including ComEd, which had said it would shut off service if payments were not made, according to a review of the treasurer or budget officer report.

The report also said Cort-land received notices from the Illinois Department of Employment Security for outstanding amounts due for unemployment payouts; a notice from DeKalb County that the budget or estimated revenues and certification of budget or appropriation had not been filed by Jan. 13; and one of the town’s insurance policies, brokered by Assurance, expired Jan. 1.

The town’s management also expressed concerns with software and records, the report states.

The town treasurer’s duties required he or she pay the town’s bills, Stokes said.

The public accountancy firm will take over treasurer duties through at least the end of the fiscal year April 30. In the meantime, Stokes has 60 days to decide whether to appoint a new person or outsource the treasurer position, he said.

Stokes was sympathetic to removing the treasurer, calling Davenport “a fine person.”

“To protect the interests of the town, I have no choice but to remove [Davenport] from his authorities,” Stokes said. “I’m sorry this process must play out by law in front of the public.”

Davenport was a full-time employee who received full benefits from the town of Cortland. His salary was not available Monday.

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