FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2012
Circuit Court Clerk – Not “Always…Always” a Cost Effective Office
Chief Deputy Professes “Millions in Profit” but Closer Look at Budget Reveals Operational Deficit for 2012 of $294,904.
ROUND LAKE, IL – Republican candidate for Circuit Court Clerk Gerald Dietz today challenged Chief Deputy Keith Brin’s false claims that the Clerk’s office is cost-effective and operates within the budget.
“I take issue with a candidate who is running for office claiming to have been a good steward of tax dollars when in reality, it’s a bait-and-switch with budget numbers and a complete falsehood,” Dietz said. “Misrepresenting the office’s revenues and expenditures is a disgrace to the people of Lake County.”
In statements made at the League of Women Voters’ candidate forum on February 12 and other local forums, Chief Deputy of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office claimed that the office is cost-effective and returns millions of dollars back to the County each year.
“That’s an easy conclusion to make considering that the budget overview sheet for the Circuit Court Clerk shows that the department expects revenues in the amount of $12,536,625.00 and expenses of only $8,927,954.00,” Dietz said. “However, close examination of the pages detailing those revenues clearly shows that almost $4 million of that revenue is for use by other departments, and the office does not operate in the black.”
According to state statute, the Circuit Court Clerk’s office is required to collect revenues such as Court Security fees, traffic and conservation fees on behalf of other county departments and agencies. While the Circuit Court Clerk is mandated to collect these fees, these revenues do not directly support the office operations or functions, as Brin has stated.
“The Circuit Clerk will collect $2 million in court security fees for FY12, but these public dollars are distributed to the Sheriff’s Department who manages the Court Security division,” Dietz said. “Additionally, the Circuit Clerk budget shows revenues of $1.5 million for the County’s traffic and conservation fees, but these are required by law to be deposited into the County’s general corporate fund.”
“It is unfortunate that the Chief Deputy, and a candidate for Clerk, is misrepresenting the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in this way. We need honesty, transparency and accountability in the Clerk’s office,” Dietz said. “I look forward to serving the people of Lake County with integrity and fiscal restraint.”
In November 2011, the Lake County Board adopted its budget for fiscal year 2012 totaling more than $487,000,000. Contained within the 349 page document are several pages that detail each department and/or functional area.
P.O. Box 236
Round Lake, Illinois 60073