Jul 28, 2014
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State Police Investigating Plainfield Park District

Reps of the state's attorney's office met Monday with Illinois State Police.

State Police Investigating Plainfield Park District
Editor's note: Updated at 10:50 a.m. Feb. 25 to include a response from park district spokesman Doug Booth.

After a review by the Will County State's Attorney's Office, the Illinois State Police have agreed to begin a formal investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at the Plainfield Park District, according to the state's attorney's office.

"At this time, the Plainfield Park District can neither confirm or deny that any investigation into District activities is underway," park district Director of Communications said in an email to Patch on Tuesday.

Last month, state's attorney's office spokesman Chuck Pelkie confirmed that the office was reviewing documents related to the park district, but would not elaborate on the review or say whether it was connected to ethics allegations leveled at board president Peter Hurtado.

"Based on our review of relevant information that we received, we contacted Illinois State Police and asked them to conduct an investigation of the Plainfield Park District," Pelkie said. He said reps of the state's attorney's office met with police on Monday.

Pelkie declined to comment on the scope or subject of the investigation, which comes after board vice president Janet Silosky accused Hurtado of trying to sell shipments of LED lights to the park district through a company with the same name as his daughter's boyfriend, Josue Solis.

Invoices and credit card statements for former Executive Director Garrett Peck and Director of Parks and Project Management Joe Masters show thousands of dollars worth of lights ordered from a company called "Josue Solis & Associates."

A call to the phone number listed on invoices for the company yielded an automated  "magicJack" ad, and the same phone number appears on a directory listing for a company called  Mastercraft Metal Spinning. The listing names Hurtado as Mastercraft's president. 

Hurtado, who did not immediately respond to a message from Patch on Monday, told the Herald Ne ws that Mastercraft dissolved several years ago, and denied any connection between the now-defunct company and Solis. He pointed out that after his company's phone number was disconnected, anyone else could have picked it up.

Other controversies dogging the park district recently include allegations of nepotism when it comes to hiring, and calls for the board majority of Hurtado, Peter Steinys and Janet Silosky to resign.

State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and State Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), are also proposing legislation that would "bring some sanity back to the Plainfield Park District," according to Cross, by adding four members to the board.

The move would help bring balance to the board, which has been criticized for its decisions since hiring Village of Plainfield trustee Garrett Peck as executive director in May and demoting would-be Executive Director Cameron Bettin. Both Peck and Bettin have since resigned.

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