The inspector general for Joliet has concluded that council member Pat Mudron’s involvement in an insurance agreement with the Joliet Area Historical Museum violates state law and a city ordinance and should be referred to the Illinois Attorney General for review.
The report from the inspector general also identifies City Manager James Capparelli as the source of Mudron’s involvement in securing the museum and recommends whistleblower protection for the city manager.
Inspector General Sean Connolly gave the city a supplemental report dated Aug. 14 about the museum that follows an earlier report that made the same recommendations about Mudron’s role in an insurance policy for the Rialto Square Theater.
Mayor Bob O’Dekrik, who oversees the inspector general, said Monday that he believes Connolly has sent his recommendation to the state attorney general.
He also said the City Council is likely to discuss Mudron’s case in closed or open session at its meeting next week.
Mudron is a partner in Mudron Kane Insurance, which handles both policies, though Mudron said he was not directly involved in providing coverage for the museum or the Rialto.
The report states that Mudron, as a partner in the firm, benefits from insurance contracts.
“Even if Counselor Mudron is/was not directly involved in providing brokerage services to JAHM (Joliet Area Historical Museum), on behalf of Mudron Kane, it is still a conflict of interest and violates the Joliet Code of Ethics and the law of Illinois.” the report says.
The report notes that while the museum is not a unit of city government, it is a “constituent unit,” an accounting term that refers to entities that can have a financial impact on the city. The Rialto is also a constituent entity, although the city’s connection to the museum is closer as they are partners in opening the former Joliet Correctional Center for tours and events.
Mudron said he is not concerned about a review by the attorney general.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said Monday.
The museum’s policy was previously handled by Northern Illinois Insurance, which was owned by the late Jeff Thompson, Mudron said. Joe Kane with Mudron Kane is currently handling the policy and Mudron Kane Insurance is trying to buy it “but it belongs to Jeff Thompson’s estate,” Mudron said.
Mudron, at a Rialto board meeting last week, said he considered the investigation into the insurance issues “just a political game” and that he had assurances from lawyers that he had done the right thing.
Mudron has been a political foe of Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and was the lone vote against hiring Connolly, who was approved by the council without any information provided on his background or the terms of his contract.
Connolly is a private attorney from Westmont who serves on an as-needed basis as the city’s inspector general.
In his report on the museum issue, Connolly said he was contacted by the city manager.
The report states that Capparelli provided “this information as a whistleblower pursuant to the Whistleblower Act in state statutes. Connolly recommends whistleblower protection for Capparelli.
Capparelli on Monday did not return a call for comment.
Mudron was among a number of council members who clashed with the mayor over hiring a city manager before Capparelli took the job in January 2021 in a 5-3 vote. Mudron was among the no votes, though he did approve a one-year contract extension for Capparelli in December.