Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gorman credited with exposing financial mismanagement in regional schools superintendent's office

The Cook County Board last year granted a $190,000 loan to the Regional Schools Supt. Charles Flowers. Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, from the 17th district, was the ONLY member of the board to vote against the loan. At the time, she was attacked as being anti-education and out of step with the rest of the board.

But yesterday came vindication. And many responsible county board members like Commissioners John Daley and Larry Suffredin acknowledged it was a mistake to give the controversy-plagued Flowers and his administration the loan, praising Gorman, who in the past year has risen to become one of the board's more responsible leaders and voices advocating for the rights of taxpayers.

A report by the auditor general shows that Flowers mismanaged millions of dollars in funds. His office has an annual budget of about $1 million and is reportedly more than $1 million in debt. The audit shows that Flowers has borrowed money to pay for all kinds of expenses, without proper records, but he insisted he has repaid everything.

But the idea that you can use a public agency like it is your own bank account is outrageous. Gorman saw this coming last year and deserves credit for bringing it to light.

-- Ray Hanania

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