West Cook News

West Cook News

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Orland Park trustee wants village to move on from probe, with apologies to residents, Mayor Pekau

Local Government

By Glenn Minnis | Jun 15, 2019


Following a prolonged internal investigation into potential contract irregularities involving Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, village board trustee Bill Healy knows one thing for sure. Two things, actually.

“I think the people of Orland Park are due an apology based on the amount of taxpayer money that was spent on all this,” Healy told West Cook News. “The mayor also deserves an apology with the way his name has been dragged through the mud.”

Several media outlets have reported the probe was initiated by since departed Orland Park village manager Joseph La Margo and was conducted by the Chicago law firm of Jones Day, with the crux of the investigation delving into landscape bids from as far back as seven years ago. According to the Chicago Tribune, one of the companies at the center of the probe was the Groundskeeper firm once owned by Pekau. The probe evolved to include the Horton Insurance Company for which Pekau consulted, and the actions he took in introducing Groundskeeper’s new owners to village public works staffers.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau

“There is no evidence of wrongdoing by any contractor associated with the landscape bids from 2012 and 2013," current village manager Tom Dubelbeis declared in March. "There is no evidence of a conflict of interest by Keith Pekau in his introduction of the new owner of Groundskeeper to public works staff and his business relationship with Horton insurance.”

While Pekau has since labeled the ordeal a “political attack,” Healy said he cannot imagine what may have driven La Margo.

“I can’t speak to the motivation,” he said. “I just don’t know, but I think that the people opposed to the mayor hoped to benefit from this.”

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