Metro-East News

Two Collinsville officials call for resignation of councilwoman who previously tried to hide use of city account

Two Collinsville officials call for resignation of Councilwoman Cheryl Brombolich

At the Monday night City Council meeting, Councilman Jeff Kypta and Councilwoman Nancy Moss asked Councilwoman Cheryl Brombolich to step down from her position. Brombolich did not comment on their request during the council meeting.
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At the Monday night City Council meeting, Councilman Jeff Kypta and Councilwoman Nancy Moss asked Councilwoman Cheryl Brombolich to step down from her position. Brombolich did not comment on their request during the council meeting.

Two Collinsville City Council members on Monday night asked Councilwoman Cheryl Brombolich to resign from her position.

This comes after the city released documents to the News-Democrat showing that Brombolich tried to hide her personal use of a tax-free city account when she held the dual role of city clerk and director of operations in 2014. Brombolich later resigned from that position and successfully ran for City Council in the April 2015 election.

“In light of the recent disclosures regarding Councilman Brombolich’s actions as a city employee, I believe that she simply cannot be effective as an elected public servant,” said Councilwoman Nancy Moss, who along with Councilman Jeff Kypta, asked Brombolich to step down.

Brombolich did not comment on the request from Moss and Kypta during the meeting.

The documents about Brombolich were compiled by her boss at the time, former City Manager Scott Williams, in an investigative file regarding Brombolich’s personal use of city credit cards and accounts going back to 2004. The documents were released after the city fought for eight months not to provide them. The BND filed suit and Madison County Associate Judge Don Flack ruled they were public records.

Brombolich routinely used city credit cards and tax-free accounts for personal purchases during her tenure as a city employee, the documents showed. In some cases, she reported the purchases to the city; in others, the city discovered them months, and even years, later. Brombolich repaid all the money, according to city officials.

In a written statement to the BND, Brombolich said Williams assembled the documents to discredit her after he “forced” her to resign as city clerk.

The documents included text messages between Brombolich and Collinsville Finance Director Tamara Ammann in which Brombolich begged Ammann not to tell Williams that she once again had charged a personal purchase to a tax-free city account, claiming it was just a mistake.

Brombolich said she did not ask Ammann to hide her latest personal charge from her boss.

“... I was pleading with her to let me be the one to tell him about a mistake others had made that I was being forced to pay for,” Brombolich wrote in her statement.

Moss and Kypta previously stated during a press conference on the steps of City Hall that Brombolich attempted to conceal her personal use of a city credit card and city accounts, and that she asked Ammann to cover up the “misuse” of city funds.

Budget adjustments

The City Council on Monday night approved increasing the city’s 2015 expenditure budgets by a total of more than $1 million.

A total of $129,000 in increases were added to the general fund, including:

▪  $50,000 to police administration to compensate two retiring assistant chiefs.

▪  $32,000 to economic development for the St. Louis Road tax increment financing study.

▪  $25,000 to fire administration for the addition of a part-time fire marshal position.

▪  $12,000 to information technology for an upgrade to cable/video production coordinator position.

▪  $10,000 to shuttle bus program for reorganization and the addition of part-time staff.

The largest single increase, $1,014,000, will be added to the TIF district 1 fund for delayed projects originally budgeted in 2014, including Collins House and Collins Park among others, and for full-time salaries in the uptown program.

The motor fuel tax fund will increase by $51,000 for the transfer of the Keebler/Beltline project from another fund.

Increases of $1,000 will be added to both the Fournie Lane fund and the bond fund for debt service administrative fees.

Public works purchases

After approving a new location for the city’s water treatment plant earlier this month, the city council approved spending $110,000 for redesign services toward the project.

The council previously approved buying property at 9525 Collinsville Road, east of Rural King, for $55,000 from Luken Investment Company at its Feb. 8 meeting.

Public Works Director Dennis Kress estimated construction would finish in 2018.

The water department also requested two equipment replacements, which the council approved on Monday:

▪  A new 2016 Ford F350 service truck for $30,075 to replace a 2008 service vehicle with more than 112,000 miles. The 2008 truck will be reassigned to the street department.

▪  A compact track loader for $48,529 to replace a 2001 loader. The department’s old loader will also be transferred to the street department.

In other business

The council also approved the following:

▪  Amending the city’s comprehensive plan regarding the proposed St. Louis Road TIF district to permit more of the land to be used for retail, hospitality or office development. Interim City Manager Mitch Bair said the land use will stand whether the TIF district is created or not. Moss and Kypta voted against the amendment.

▪  Authorizing the lease-purchase agreement with The Bank of Edwardsville for a new fire truck. The council previously approved the purchase of a new fire truck for $900,233, funded by the city’s capital improvement program. The lease will have a 10-year term and a 2.75 percent interest rate.

The City Council meets next at 7:30 p.m. March 14 at City Hall, 125 S. Center St.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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