Akemann should be held accountable

By on October 28, 2010

David Akemann is running for judge based on his record as state’s attorney. Really? That surprises me, because I think his record as state’s attorney raises questions. To put it simply, what kind of administrator was he? Let’s review some reporting on his conduct as state’s attorney:

In 2001, the Republican Kane County Auditor released a report accusing Akemann of “sloppy bookkeeping and filing in the state’s attorney’s office.” Beacon, Feb. 15, 2002. This “sloppy bookkeeping” included questionable use of both petty cash and the drug forfeiture account … additionally, “authorization documentation was missing or lost” and funds intended only for witness protection were “spent in other ways,” like travel. Courier, Nov. 29, 2001.

The auditor also indicated, “Documentation showing how money was spent (by Akemann) does not exist for approximately 126 checks totaling $96,943.” Daily Herald, Nov. 7, 2001.

The Republican-dominated County Board refused to conduct a complete audit, even though there was also a report from Bettina Gembala to the Kane County Board Executive Committee that itemized a number of serious problems in the administration of the office of Akemann, including the fact that 23 out of 27 laptops were missing, $2,100 from the petty cash fund was spent on liquor, $55,700 was paid to a consultant that used to work for Akemann’s office when time records only supported $8,000, etc. Courier, Nov. 8, 2001.

Akemann exceeded his budget by over $103,000, and members of his own party alleged that he failed to provide the County Board with adequate information or reporting. Beacon, Jan. 29, 1998.

Maybe the County Board felt these issues of “sloppy bookkeeping” could be ignored because he was not re-elected as state’s attorney, but how do his “qualifications” satisfy the criteria for the job he’s now seeking as a circuit court judge. Personally, I have a problem with the lack of detail raised by these reports. Isn’t a judge supposed to be accountable for the details?

Cliff Olson
Elgin, Ill.