The Madison County Record Oct. 30, 2012, 12:58pm

A $340 donation provided by the City of Wood River to the Wood River Democratic Precinct organization in 2008 has angered a conservative Illinois grassroots group.

Records from the Illinois State Board of Election show the city made the donation on May 6, 2008.

For the Good of Illinois, led by former Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski, held a press conference last week in front of Wood River City Hall blasting Wood River and other municipalities for what the group calls a "culture of corruption."

The $340 donation given by Wood River was returned to the city by the Wood River Democratic Precinct organization on Oct. 23, two days before the press conference was held, according to Wood River Mayor Fred Ufert.

"It was a mistake," he said of the payment to the Democratic organization. He also said the payment was handled by the city's former assistant finance director, Leslie Dona.

Dona pleaded guilty to theft by deception in July after admitting to stealing nearly $143,000 on the job.

Andrzejewski stated that in addition to the money Wood River gave to a Democratic organization, the City of Waukegan donated $2,400 to the AFL-CIO political action committee and the City of Urbana allowed a Democratic organization to hold a press conference in City Hall.

"The culture of corruption in Illinois is so deep that abusing taxpayer’s money is part of their mindset," Andrzejewski said in a statement.

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