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Springfield Officials Absent from Open Government Talk

Updated: Thursday, April 24 2014, 05:56 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD --- There were some conspicuous absences at a Wednesday conference on open government.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is holding "Follow the Money" talks around the state. They are meant to teach elected officials how to be open about city finances while also looking for signs of waste and corruption. Though one of the talks on Wednesday was held at Lincoln Land Community College, neither Mayor Mike Houston, any of the aldermen, the city treasurer or city clerk were there.

Springfield's chief accountant, Ramona Metzger, was the city's only representative among more than 30 attendees.

Topinka took note of the Springfield officials' absence.

"I would have like to have a few more elected officials here," she said. "Like, 'be serious about this,' because I'm being very serious."

Topinka said Ward 6 Alderman Cory Jobe, who works in her office, is familiar with the lessons.

The comptroller's office partnered with the FBI and Illinois CPA Society for the three-day series of talks. According to a news release, 450 local leaders from 303 governmental bodies had signed up.

Springfield unveiled its own website for tracking city finances in November.Springfield Officials Absent from Open Government Talk


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