Former Swansea (IL) Mayor Sues Village over Fire Apparatus Spending

Last February, Mayor Ken Mueller signed a resolution calling for the village to spend $170,000 in TIF funds to help pay for a used platform ladder fire truck.

Instead, the money was taken from the village’s Illinois 159/Boul Avenue Special Business District fund and village leaders are not sure why that happened.

Village officials discovered the incorrect fund was used after Jim Rauckman, the former mayor of Swansea, complained that the $170,000 should be returned to the TIF fund because he believes TIF funds may have been used improperly to help pay for the 2002 Smeal/Spartan fire truck that cost $340,000.

Rauckman’s attorney, Esther Seitz of Springfield, sent letters to the village on Nov. 17 and Dec. 17 raising concerns about the TIF spending.

On Dec. 21, the Village Board went into a closed session to discuss Rauckman’s complaint.

And now Rauckman has filed a lawsuit alleging the Village Board violated the state’s Open Meetings Act when the board went into the closed session.

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