This Letter to the Editor was received by the Illinois Business Journal on Oct. 11, 2023:
I know public corruption when I see it. It’s bad ethics combined with money, and that’s what appears to be happening in Nameoki Township, with its Supervisor John “Eric” Foster.
I blew the whistle on former County Treasurer Fred Bathon, and he went to federal prison for bid-rigging.
Documents recently obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request point to possible bid-rigging involving two grants with Madison County, one when Foster was also a county board member, and Chairman of the grants committee.
Twice Foster submitted bids from his company, Honey-Do Home Repair, Inc., to the township, in early 2022 and 2023, for PEP (Park Enhancement Program) projects.
One bid was dated February 12, 2022 for $21,870 dollars. The other bid was in the amount of $26,530 on January 17, 2023. Each time there was only one other bid, which was lower.
The PEP program allows for up to $15,000 of assistance per year according to the sub-recipient agreement with Madison County. The program is supported by federal funds from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, which has strict rules against conflicts of interest.
Foster’s actions violated the sub-recipient agreement with the county. As township supervisor, he should not have submitted a bid.
Was he trying to create the appearance of multiple bids? The documents have been delivered to the State’s Attorney’s office.
Foster is advertised as a host of a fundraiser to be held later this month in Granite City for Madison County Treasurer, Chris Slusser.
Kurt Prenzler, CPA
Madison County Chairman
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed in this publication on its Commentary pages are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Illinois Business Journal or its corporate family.)