To the Editor:
Following a series of meetings and correspondence between the Madison County State's Attorney's Office and my legal counsel and confirming what I already knew, I've been informed that the charges leveled against me by Kurt Prenzler are without merit and that no legal action in this matter will be pursued against me.
I am pleased that the Madison County State's Attorney, who also serves as legal counsel for Mr. Prenzler, said there was nothing 'illegal' regarding the purchase of Federal Home Loan Step-Up Bonds, which have an investment safety rating equivalent to U.S. Treasury Bonds. I am, however, very disappointed and tired of the continuing, slanderous attacks against me and former members of my staff by Mr. Prenzler and the lack of professionalism he has displayed during his short-term as treasurer.
Despite being told by the State's Attorney that there was nothing illegal regarding the government bond purchase I oversaw while Treasurer, Mr. Prenzler completely disregarded that legal opinion and 'stormed' ahead, publicly leveling personal and damaging charges against me, charges that resulted in Madison County Government needlessly spending taxpayer money on legal fees and related expenses. And it is still not over.
Mr. Prenzler now wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars for legal counsel in a misguided, futile attempt to seek compensation from one of the country's largest and most respected brokerage firms for a problem he caused.
Recently, Mr. Prenzler touted, albeit erroneously, to have reduced the Treasurer's Office budget by more than $300,000, an interesting claim from an elected official whose ill-advised sale of more than $43 million in government bonds has cost the taxpaying people of Madison County close to $2,000,000.
Interestingly, premier brokerage firms throughout the country anticipate that the Federal Home Loan Step-Up Bonds in question, purchased while I was Madison County Treasurer, will be "called" by the government in the near future as a result of interest rate reductions in the bond market. In effect, Mr. Prenzler has taken what would have been a significant, positive return for taxpayers and turned it into a substantial loss. And, if the bonds are called as were anticipated, the bond purchase would be within the guidelines of the Treasurer's Office Investment Policy.
During my tenure as Madison County Treasurer, I was dedicated to working on behalf of the people of Madison County. My actions as treasurer included the responsibility of maximizing the income on the public's monies, and the fact the bonds in question were returning approximately 2.75 percent interest in these difficult economic times attests to those efforts. Unfortunately those efforts continue to be undermined by Mr. Prenzler.
Former Madison County Treasurer