Corruption – Andrew Gasser decides that it’s not so bad after all
By Nancy Zettler
In January of 2016, Andrew Gasser announced, with great fanfare, that he was going to “take a stand” against “nepotism and patronage” in McHenry County. Laudable crusade to be sure, however, it quickly became obvious that Gasser really wasn’t all that worried about nepotism and instead was ginning up this newly discovered righteous indignation to tarnish Bob Miller’s reputation during the campaign. Now that he’s taken office, we have even more evidence that Gasser’s “stand” for good government is phony.
Throughout his campaign against Miller, Gasser self-righteously held himself out as the cure for the corruption he claimed exists in Algonquin Township. After all, as he reminded people over and over again, he was going to “drain the swamp”!
In the February 14, 2016 edition of Dan Proft’s phony newspaper The McHenry Times, Gasser was depicted as being “shocked” at the prospect that Bob Miller might have given Township business to vendors who had contributed to his campaign. Referring to even the possibility that Miller would hand township contracts out to people who contributed to their political campaign, Gasser stated,“If that’s happening, that’s a freaking outrage.”
It turns out that Gasser wasn’t really “outraged” at all and is apparently quite comfortable with giving out contracts to his campaign contributors. In fact, he’s so comfortable with it that less than a month into his term as Commissioner, he’s already handed out his first contract to a contributor. What’s worse is that he’s handing out taxpayer money to a campaign contributor for services that wouldn’t even be necessary but for legal situations that Gasser himself created. He has hired himself a campaign-contributing attorney on the taxpayers’ dime and doesn’t seem the least bit uncomfortable about it.
According to the Illinois Board of Elections, Gasser’s attorney, Robert Hanlon, donated $1000.00 to Gasser’s campaign on January 27, 2017, a contribution Gasser readily accepted. According to righteously indignant candidate Andrew, that should have prohibited him from hiring Hanlon, to do so would be a “freaking outrage”, the kind of thing that caused candidate Gasser to say that he had to “drain the swamp”. The kind of thing that he, Andrew Gasser, would never do because it would violate his promise of “integrity” in office. Yet he did, and he tried to hide it too.
As highway Commissioner, Gasser is allowed to contract with venders for any amount up to and including $20,000. Any contract for more than $20,000 is required to go out to bid, something that Andrew, as Commissioner, would know.
Last Wednesday, Gasser submitted a bill from Hanlon to the Township Board for their approval. As the Board discussed the bill during the meeting, Andrew hid in an adjacent room. After much discussion, including going into executive session, the board approved the bill with the stipulation that an itemized bill be provided instead of the lump sum bill from Hanlon that Gasser submitted. The amount of the bill that Gasser submitted? $20,000!
A “freaking outrage”, right? Not in Gasser’s swamp. But it gets worse.
Next – Gasser plays State’s Attorney at the taxpayers’ expense.