Atlanta, Illinois, library accused of illegally obtaining loans
The Atlanta, Illinois, Public Library broke the law by taking out bank loans to pay for construction and remodeling of library facilities, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) contend.
On its Illinois Leaks website, the ECW points to the article of the Public Library District Act that relates to buildings and equipment in its allegations that the library board broke the law to fund a construction project in 2013 and 2014. The portion of the law says that library boards are responsible for preparing a plan and estimate of a project's costs, and that the board must then determine what funds will be available and how much must be raised from a bond issue, annual certification or mortgage.
The law does not cover loans, and the library's trustees should be charged, the ECW contends. The group cites a case in which Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza pursued charges against a village clerk who forged an annual audit report by changing the date on the previous year’s report.
The ECW also allege that the loans were approved despite not appearing on meeting agendas issued in advance, which is a violation of the Open Meetings Act.