A former Evanston city employee says he found more than a month’s worth of undeposited funds sitting in the city collector’s office one Saturday last March.

David Meimers, who at the time was just under a year into his job as the city’s accounting manager and deputy treasurer, says he was called to the office by an employee of the city’s independent audit firm, which had discovered the cash and checks.

Earlier this month, almost a year after the incident and 10 months after he left his job with the city, Meimers filed a whistleblower complaint with city officials and the state attorney general’s office about the discovery.

David Meimers.

Meimers, who didn’t immediately return a phone message today seeking comment, also referred in his complaint to a disclosure of the issue by the city’s auditing firm in a management letter it issued last August that was included in the City Council’s Aug. 15 meeting packet.

In the city’s response to the concerns raised by the auditor, it said the delay in deposits was caused by staff turnover and resulting miscommunication.

In a statement, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons said that the backlog was cleared up quickly once it was discovered and that procedures have been updated to avoid a recurrance.

He said the backlog totaled $2 million, of which less than $50,000 was in cash.

A state law requires that funds received by a municipality be deposited in a bank within two working days.

Meimers, who came to his job in Evanston from a position with the City of Chicago, had worked for the Village of Bloomingdale in DuPage County as its assistant finance director from 2008 to 2012.

Two years after leaving that job, he filed suit against Bloomingdale, claiming he’d been harassed and discriminated against at work.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Someone please look around

    Someone please look around that office to see if City clerk Greene has dropped off that  $6900 reimbursement check that he said he would write for his slight indescretion. It must be there somewhere and the City needs the money…NOW!

  2. City collector’s office needs to be audited

    I think an outside audit of Evanston’s collector’s office is in order.

    A month’s worth of undeposited funds including $50,000 in cash just sitting around in the collector’s office is grounds for an immediate audit. There is no excuse for this. How easy would it be to grab the cash and run.

    Just paid my property tax bill that just keeps going up every year. And now D65 wants $14.9 million more each year from property owners. And now this.

    Remember last year when Evanston elected officials gave themselves a raise? 

    I hope there are enough angry voters out there to stir the pot.

    1. An audit discovered the problem

      Hi Al,

      If you read the story carefully, you’d know that the problem was discovered last March during a regular annual audit … and reported to the City Council last summer.

      The city’s operations are audited every year.

      Regular audits are important to catch things like this.

      Assuming the audit cycle is the same this year as last, they’d probably be checking the city collector’s office again right about now.

      You want taxpayers to pay for an extra audit beyond the regular annual one?

      Just asking.

      — Bill

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