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Dolton taps sheriff’s office to help fight corruption in village

DoltMayor Riley Rogers left Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announce new partnership Friday. | Stefano Esposito~Sun-Times

Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers, left, and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announce a new partnership Friday. | Stefano Esposito~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 2, 2013 8:05AM

The Cook County sheriff’s office — in a first-of-its-kind move — will act as an independent inspector general for the village of Dolton to help it deal with rampant corruption.

Village citizens will be able to call or email the sheriff’s office to report corruption, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers told reporters at the Daley Center on Friday.

“With local corruption, where can people go? They have nowhere to go,” Dart said. “In Dolton, they’re going to have a place to go.”

During the last two weeks, Rogers — who took office in May — said he’s received reports of “ghostpayrolling,” vehicles being purchased without authority and unauthorized overtime — among other allegations.

“To adequately investigate these allegations, we need an independent, transparent authority with the resources we lack at this time,” Rogers said. The sheriff’s office’s phone number and email will be posted at various locations around the village, Rogers said.

Dart said his office is already looking into allegations of ghost payrolling and corruption in Dolton. He also said an arrangement is in the works to have his office handle the village’s 911 calls.

Rogers called it “a new day in Dolton.”

The announcement comes as the newly elected Rogers is tackling a financial crisis in the village that has threatened to shut down operations and required to the village board earlier this week to approve an emergency $1 million loan to meet payroll.

Rogers has said he discovered since taking office that Dolton has $3 million in outstanding bills from vendors, which include the city of Chicago for supplying Lake Michigan water to village residents.

Rogers has said that members of the previous administration, led by Mayor Ronnie Lewis, left with $250,000 in cash benefits from unpaid sick days and other perks, and he has questioned whether they were entitled to all the money.

Lewis’ predecessor, William Shaw, came under fire for appointing his twin brother to be Dolton’s first inspector general. The village trustees in 2010 voted not to renew Robert Shaw’s contract.

Contributing: Phil Kadner

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