Wapella Township, DeWitt Co. (ECWd) –
Ninety-seven 30 packs of Bud Light (nearly 2 per week for an entire year), a refrigerator to keep the beer cold, a Lazyboy recliner, and 90% ground beef to go with it.
After receiving public records, the tip we received on former Wapella Township Road Commissioner Eldon Cusey’s illegal use of the township credit card for personal use was confirmed.
We understand Cusey resigned after township board members confronted him on the credit card charges exceeding $ 27,000. He provided restitution to the township on May 22, 2022.
We believe he should be referred to the State’s Attorney for prosecution.
According to the Township Clerk and FOIA Officer, the three documents mentioned below were compiled from credit card statements by the township to figure out how much Eldon Cusey owed the township and road district.
These credit card charges apparently started in 2019, when Cusey charged more than $ 3,700.00 for personal use, including garden hoses, paint, trash bags, Gatorade, storage totes, accent rugs, lumber, toilet paper, canning jars, RV antifreeze, ice, and dish soap, among other things.
It continued into 2020, when Cusey charged more than $ 6,575.00 for personal use, including a stud finder, food bags, soap, plumbing supplies, cocktail wienies, women’s flip flops, concrete hole saw, candy, men’s clothes, commercial shelving, electrical wiring supplies, utility cart, paint gun, digital weather center, and jelly jars, among other items.
He was “caught” in 2021, when he charged more than $ 16,900.00 for personal use, including a Lazy Boy recliner, 97 cases of Bud Light 30 packs, dog food, cat food, 57 live chickens, lumber, a heated chicken waterer, chicken feed, egg cooker, shower head, hot tub supplies, 2 truck batteries, paint hardener, chain saw chains, pork sausage, another truck battery he claimed was for a lawnmower, clothes, 90% ground beef, barrel pump, everything to plant his garden to include plants and seed, canning jars and lids, potting soil and mulch, livestock watering tank, bamboo torches, refrigerator, electric kitchen range plugs, and charcoal among many other items.
According to the available paper trail, Eldon Cusey provided a certified check to the township on May 22, 2022, in the amount of $ 27,253.00 to repay what he took from the taxpayers by using the road district credit card for personal use.
We find this type of abuse all too often and until these people start getting prosecuted, they will see no consequences for their actions, and will embolden others. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last.