Contrary to statements made by former White County Board Chairman David Dosher (R) of District 1 of White County, records from the White County Clerk’s office reveal that the county’s taxpayers actually paid for the Washington, D.C. trip taken by Dosher in September 2018, as well as other traveling expenses and a workshop, some of which may fall into an ethics gray area.
During the October 9, 2018 County Board meeting, Dosher announced on the record that he had traveled to Washington, D.C. in September and that the trip was paid for by the Illinois Association of County Board Members (IACBMC), but a statement from that county board group says reimbursement didn’t happen, as it is not their policy to pay for expenses for members’ trips.
“Any representation by a county board member that the IACBMC paid for travel and expenses to Washington, D.C. over the period of the last year is not true…” stated Donald R. Little, Past president of the IACBMC. Kelly Murray, Executive Director wrote in an email, “The IACBMC adheres to the ethical standards prescribed under the provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act and, as such, does not provide meeting and/or travel stipends to elected officials.”
The White County Clerk’s office’s 2018 budget under former County Clerk Paula Dozier revealed there was no budget for travel expenses, nevertheless, $2442.53 in travel expense from David Dosher were submitted through the County Clerk’s office to the County Board, showing up in the board’s November financial report and subsequently approved for payment by the board.
Additionally, at the November 13, 2018 Board meeting, Dosher announced that the county had received a $300 refund on dues paid to the same county board association. Again, this is disputed by the association, stating that they do not refund dues. The group expressed their dismay at being misrepresented in this manner.
Dosher left for the Washington, D.C. trip on September 11, after chairing a White County board meeting earlier that day. There was no mention of the trip on the record during that meeting. He stayed in a hotel in St. Louis before departing on a very early flight to the nation’s capitol on September 12. He returned on September 16 to the St. Louis airport. The trip was arranged as a package deal by former County Clerk’s office employee and 2018 Democrat candidate for County Treasurer Sandy Choate, who is listed as an agent for Ambassador Travel in Evansville. The agency for the trip is listed as American Airlines Vacations. Dosher submitted his receipts for the D.C. trip, as well as other hotel, meals, and mileage expenses from two other trips made earlier in the year, to the County Clerk’s office, which were then submitted to the County Board in a package labeled “travel expense” in the Clerk’s report. The charges for the Washington, D.C. trip were $1414.65 for the travel package and $132.85 for the hotel room in St. Louis the night before the plane trip, for a total of $1547.50. Mileage expenses were also claimed.
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