Weather Updates

Harvey’s ex-comptroller took the Fifth 178 times

Joseph Letke FranklPark village comptroller reads from 2008 audit village after Village President Barrett Pedersen announced village is missing $8.7

Joseph Letke, Franklin Park village comptroller, reads from a 2008 audit of the village after Village President Barrett Pedersen announced the village is missing $8.7 million from its accounts (Mark Lawton/Staff Writer)

storyidforme: 70181955
tmspicid: 24914169
fileheaderid: 12522212

Updated: September 19, 2014 6:08AM

Federal regulators call it a “fiasco.”

But the City of Harvey’s former comptroller, Joseph Letke, didn’t want to talk under oath about his leading role in an unfolding scandal that has left the poor and crime-plagued south suburb close to financial ruin.

“I respectfully decline to answer on the basis of my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent,” the 55-year-old said.

It was a phrase he repeated a staggering 178 times during a deposition in April, recently filed court papers show.

A lawyer for Harvey was in the room as Letke took the Fifth time and time again. Yet Letke continued to advise Mayor Eric Kellogg for months.


© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.