TOWN OF CICERO SUB­POE­NAED ON IN­SIDER DEALS

Feds seek records of town’s pur­chases from busi­nesses

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITY BEAT - BY AN­DREW SCHROEDTER

The U. S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Chicago has sub­poe­naed the town of Cicero for records of deals with two po­lit­i­cally con­nected com­pa­nies, the Bet­ter Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion has learned.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties asked for in­voices, pay­ment records and other doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to You & Me and the Woodridge pro­mo­tional prod­ucts com­pany’s own­ers, Rose­mary Walsh Konz and her hus­band Daniel Konz, since 2008, ac­cord­ing to a copy of the subpoena ob­tained from Cicero through a pub­lic records re­quest made un­der the Illinois Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act.

Last year, the town spent $ 19,061 to buy items in­clud­ing lip balm, nail files and pen­cil sharp­en­ers from You & Me— all im­printed with the name of Cicero Town Pres­i­dent Larry Do­minick, records show.

Since Do­minick took of­fice in 2005, Cicero has spent more than $ 890,000 on mer­chan­dise bought from You & Me Inc., whose co- owner Rose­mary Konz is the daugh­ter of Cicero Trustee Lor­raine-Walsh, a long­time Do­minick sup­porter.

The items also have in­cluded thou­sands of ice cream scoops, mouse pads, back scratch­ers, lint rollers, hand san­i­tiz­ers and hol­i­day or­na­ments, as well as beach balls and bal­loons im­printed with con­tact in­for­ma­tion for Cicero’s ro­dent con­trol depart­ment, the Chicago Sun-Times has re­ported. They typ­i­cally were given away at town events.

The subpoena — which lists the names of an In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice agent and a fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor — also de­manded town records re­gard­ing Lem­bke& Sons True Value Hard­ware in Ber­wyn and an af­fil­i­ated busi­ness.

The Sun- Times has re­ported that Cicero spent more than $ 3 mil­lion at Lem­bke & Sons since 2005. The store, owned by Alan Lem­bke, has con­trib­uted more than $ 69,000 to Do­minick’s cam­paign funds since 2005, Illinois State Board of Elec­tions records show.

The town’s records were to be turned over to a spe­cial grand jury that con­vened Dec. 15, ac­cord­ing to the subpoena. Grand ju­ries typ­i­cally are con­vened so ev­i­dence can be con­sid­ered in a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Joseph Fitz­patrick, a spokesman for the U. S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice, would not com­ment.

Ray Hana­nia, a Cicero town spokesman, de­clined to com­ment on the subpoena.

But, Hana­nia said, “The con­trac­tors have been do­ing busi­ness with the town long be­fore Larry came to of­fice in 2005.”

Rose­mary and Daniel Konz founded You & Me in 1998, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s web­site. Rose­mary Konz has been a mem­ber of the town’s Hous­ing and Real Es­tate Board since Do­minick ap­pointed her in 2006.

You & Me has con­trib­uted $ 6,550 in cash and mer­chan­dise to Do­minick’s cam­paign funds since 2005, and Walsh has given more than $ 21,000, ac­cord­ing to elec­tions board records.

Cicero’s spend­ing at You & amp; Me has de­clined since hit­ting $ 149,573 in 2012. Town of­fi­cials spent $ 49,131 there in 2013, $ 40,915 in 2014 and $ 19,061 last year, records show. Last year’s pur­chases in­cluded $ 2,157 for 3,500 sticks of cherry lip balm, $ 2,600 for 5,000 nail files and $ 2,580 for 2,500 pen­cil sharp­en­ers, all em­bla­zoned with Do­minick’s name, in­voices show.

Rose­mary Konz had no com­ment. Walsh couldn’t be reached. Lem­bke didn’t re­turn mes­sages.

Last year, in an­other case that had drawn fed­eral scru­tiny, the owner of a sewer re­pair com­pany was sen­tenced to six months in prison for non- pay­ment of fed­eral in­come taxes on money he was paid by Cicero. The com­pany, Su­pe­rior Sewer So­lu­tion, had got­ten no- bid work from Cicero. The com­pany and its owner had been Do­minick cam­paign con­trib­u­tors.

| SUN- TIMES FILE PHOTO

Since Town Pres­i­dent Larry Do­minick took of­fice in 2005, Cicero has spent more than $ 890,000 on mer­chan­dise bought from aWoodridge com­pany called You& Me Inc.

| SUN- TIMES FILE PHOTO

The Town of Cicero has spent more than $ 3 mil­lion at Ber­wyn hard­ware store Lem­bke& Sons since 2005.

Rose­maryWalsh Konz and Daniel Konz from the You& Meweb­site.

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