Joliet’s executive director has determined that Council Member Pat Mudron’s involvement in an insurance contract with the Joliet Area Historical Museum violates state law, as well as a city ordinance and should be referred to the Illinois Attorney General for review.
The inspector general’s report also points to city manager James Capparelli as the source of Mudron’s involvement in the museum’s insurance policy and recommends protections for city managers.
Inspector General Sean Connolly issued an additional report to the city on Aug. 14, concerning the museum that followed a previous report that made the same suggestion about Mudron’s role in the Rialto Square Theater insurance policy.
Mayor Bob O’Dekrik, who oversees the inspector general, said Monday he believes Connolly has forwarded his recommendations to the state’s attorney general.
He also said that the city council should discuss Mudron’s issue in private or in public at their meeting next week.
Mudron is a partner in Mudron Kane Insurance, which manages both policies, although Mudron said he was not directly involved in providing support for the museum or the Rialto.
The report states that Mudron, as a partner of the company, benefits from the insurance contracts.
“Even if Councilman Mudron was/was not directly involved in providing business services to JAHM (Joliet Area Historical Museum), on behalf of Mudron Kane, it is still a conflict of interest and in violation of the Joliet Code of Ethics and Illinois,” the report states.
The report notes that while the museum is not part of the city’s government, it is a “regional unit,” an accounting term that refers to entities that may have financial problems in the city. The Rialto is part of the section, although the city’s relationship to the museum is closer since they are partners in the opening of the former Joliet Correctional Center for tours and events.
Mudron said he was not concerned with the attorney general’s comment.
“I have done nothing wrong,” he said on Monday.
The warehouse policy was administered by Northern Illinois Insurance, which was owned by the late Jeff Thompson, Mudron said. Joe Kane and Mudron Kane are currently handling the policy and Mudron Kane Insurance is trying to acquire it “but it belongs to Jeff Thompson,” Mudron said.
Mudron, at a Rialto board meeting last week, said he considered the insurance investigation a “political game” and that he had been assured by lawyers that it was successful.
At times Mudron has been a political opponent of Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and was the lone vote against hiring Connolly, who was approved by the council without any knowledge of his background or affiliation.
Connolly is a private attorney from Westmont, who works as a city administrator.
In his report on the museum, Connolly said he was contacted by the city manager.
The report states that Capparelli provided “this information as a whistleblower under the federal Whistleblower Act. Connolly advocated whistleblower protections for Capparelli.
Capparelli on Monday did not return a phone call for comment.
Mudron was among several council members who clashed with the mayor over the hiring of city manager before Capparelli accepted the job in January 2021 in a 5-3 vote. Mudron was among the no votes, despite agreeing to a one-year renewal of Capparelli’s contract in December.