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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Turbulence for Aurora Township Supervisor Christina Campos



Daily Herald reports on a series of questions involving Aurora Township Supervisor Christina Campos.

Questionable payroll advances and an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint have Aurora Township trustees scrambling for more control over the woman who seems to be at the center of it all.
The first official sign of trouble came with an outside audit of township finances in November 2010.  The audit found Supervisor Christina Campos gave herself two payroll advances totaling $2,00 without informing any other township official.  Trustees questioned Campos over the course of three meetings for what they deemed to be "inappropriate" behavior.  They also took a vote in March to officially censure Campos and condemn the behavior.  Campos was the lone "no" vote on the censure. 
Since then, the four trustees have put in place a new policy that requires two trustees to look over the payroll checks before they are issued. 

However, the story get more complicated with allegations of giving raises and jobs to some while firing others without cause and, in one particular case, firing the human resources manger, who reportedly was looking into how salaries were being determined.

According to the Daily Herald:

In October, Campos fired Human Resources Manager Betty Lambert after ran a salary and wage report on employees.
"She just walked into my office and said 'Pick up and leave,'" Lambert said 
From Lambert's perspective, she was fired because she noticed there were not set salary ranges for any of the nonelected township positions.  As a result, it appeared employees closest to Campos received much higher salaries than others, Lambert said.  Lambert also noted she was earning $7 an hour less than the previous HR manager despite having comparable qualifications and experience.  Lambert said she did not have a good relationship with Campos during the 16 months she worked there.
 "If she liked you, you were in," Lambert said.  "If you contributed to her campaigns, you got paid more.  I really believe that this township supervisor is bad for the taxpayers.  She is reckless with their money."
Lambert has also filed a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), alleging wrongful termination along with an equal pay violation.  The position has been vacant since October and she is seeking her job back

Daily Herald also reports another employee, Marc McGowan, says Campos fired him in a parking lot soon after he complained in writing to her about discrimination and office harassment.

McGowan says an employee would call him names in front other employees, open his mail and take documents from him.

Trustees have tried putting new procedures in place, such as requiring that terminations or hiring require board approval.

Campos, who's the second-highest paid township supervisor in the region at almost $87,000, was previously a trustee herself.  At that time, there was controversy over the accountability of then-supervisor Jim Murphy, who is now ironically judge in Kane County.

One former elected official, who requested not to be identified, said "township government is a cesspool of controversy waiting to happen because it's too easy for games to be played and there's little attention being paid to what goes on until something odd happens.  Seems to be a pattern where both Campos and Murphy both think it's their office and their money to play with instead of recognizing it's the public's trust and taxpayer funds.  Murphy is now a judge, so not sure what that says about the type of judges we have in Kane County."

Sources tell OpenlineBlog that a complaint may also be filed with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, but there is concern that because of Campos political support for Madigan, the matter may not be reviewed objectively.

Campos has not responded thus far to a request to confirm, deny or respond to the allegations.  Anyone with additional information is welcome to contact us at openlineblog@gmail.com.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the trustees censured the supervisor in March 2011, why did it take openline 9 months to discover it. I assume the the censure occurred at an open meeting since a vote was taken. Perhaps openline needs a new set of interns and investigators.

Then too, the Beacon News was also asleep through this episode in Township government. Then it is not a surprise since the only news about local government that the Beacon publishes is what they learn from press releases. I doubt that the township issued a press release about this controversy.

Again the citizens of Aurora are in the dark because there is NO competent local news organization.

Anonymous said...

This all began with the caucus fiasco in 2009, when Alex Arroyo, doing the bidding of Linda Chapa LaVia, manipulated the caucus results to ensure that Campos would win a rigged contest. It's been downhill from there and the DH story only scratches the surface. Campos is probably lawyering up right now.

Anonymous said...

I've been advocating the dissolution of township forms of government for years. They only propigate skulduggery and incompitentcy costing the taxpayers millions. Kick them all out by disolving the township.

Anonymous said...

Watch it she might wind up on weiner's payroll, making more money. Those demonrats stick together.

Anonymous said...

...or she can become an obonzo czar.

Anonymous said...

I've heard from township insiders that there are other wrongful dismissal suits against the township under her watch. Campos also failed to keep vehicle insurance up to date and transported kids in township vans with no insurance then tried to cover it up. Keep digging. There's a lot of dirt on Chapa's Chica.

Anonymous said...

Weisner has his own investigation to worry about. That one is not being done by some newspaper.

Anonymous said...

2:53 What are you talking about? What investigation? At least give something tangible.

Anonymous said...

It's taxpayer funds.

Wouldn't it be nice if politicians understood they keep playing with OUR money?

Anonymous said...

we should get rid of township gov't in urban areas. It's totally useless.

Anonymous said...

Time for Campos to come clean. What else is going on at township that Chapa's Chica is trying to keep the taxpayers from finding out about?

Anonymous said...

look up and down government, from federal to local and you see a pattern of having incompetent people with power and arrogance.

we need to get rid of these people and make sure the few (very few) good elected officials have more like them.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't this article about Campos published in the Aurora Beacon News where the voters there can read it and vote her out? This article is a real eye opener and there needs to be some serious investigation, by the Township Board of Trustees,about misappropriation of funds. They were voted in to be the overseers and take appropriate action/legal or otherwise when there is wrongdoing going on. They are paid, not volunteers to do their jobs. So please do what you were elected to do! As for Ms. Campos, judgement day is coming sweetie. Time for you to step down.

Anonymous said...

I think the public and the press need to attend the next township meeting and confront Chapa's Chica about her criminal activity

Anonymous said...

the beacons news was at the Aurora Township meeting last night. The real messsage of the meeting is missing, in the article that is online today. Campos continues to defy policy. Looks like we are stuck?

Anonymous said...

Aurora Township board clashes over hire of HR manager
By Stephanie Lulay slulay@stmedianetwork.com December 16, 2011 3:16PM
Reprints1

AURORA - Following a disagreement about hiring policy with Township Supervisor Christina Campos, the Aurora Township board voted to delay hiring a new human resources manager Thursday night.

The move came after trustees said Campos did not provide enough information about the job candidates and objected to the use of a temp agency in the hiring process.

In November, the Aurora Township board voted unanimously to give themselves more control in the township’s hiring and firing process. The resolution mandated that the township supervisor bring hiring and firing decisions to the board for approval.

Previously, Campos made those decisions without board input.

“The Aurora Township Board of Trustees believes that it is in the township’s best interest to have greater scrutiny over the employment practices of the township,” the resolution read.

The resolution, which expires in May 2013, did not include employees hired by the township assessor, road commissioner or supervisor of general assistance.

Campos said the hiring process wasn’t closely outlined when the board passed the resolution. Township attorney Edwin Trinta agreed.

“If the board wants to engage in (hiring) minutia, that isn’t what the resolution passed,” Trinta said.

While Trustee Bill Catching acknowledged there was no process established, he said the board was presented the person Campos sought to hire without the candidate’s resume. He said the person would be making $11 per hour more than what the previous human resources manager was making.

“That’s not acceptable either,” Catching said.

Catching said there is pending litigation related to the former township human resources manager Betty Lambert. The township hasn’t had a human resources manager since October.

Campos said she led interviews with Comptroller Leticia DeLeon.

Trustee Delores Hicks said she didn’t think the comptroller should have been involved in interviews. She said the open position should have been advertised in the newspaper instead of using a hiring firm.

“There are a lot of people without jobs out there,” Hicks said.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who the hiring firm is that Chapa's Chica was trying to use? Local? Campaign contributor?

Anonymous said...

Opti Staffing Group in Oakbrook Terrace.

Anonymous said...

The taxpayers pay this incompetent, bumbling stooge $86,000 a year. the only thing she has proven capable of doing is lining her own pockets and those of her cronies.