Mayor Dwight Welch Facing State Board of Elections Inquiry

Blog Commentary 

Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown reports that Mayor Dwight Welch of Country Club Hills is facing questions about "$40,000 in campaign expenditures by Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch, most of which Welch originally reported spending to remodel his campaign headquarters."

According to Brown:

It turns out the headquarters in question is inside Welch’s three-car garage, which he is in the process of expanding and equipping with a new kitchen and bathroom to better serve as a party and meeting room.

Brown further reports Welch, who has been mayor since 1987, "said he has been using his garage for campaign purposes for that entire time, but plans to officially switch his political operation there with the completion of the remodeling work."

But it’s something of a revelation to state election officials, who want Welch to explain why his recent construction spending doesn’t violate a state prohibition against political candidates using campaign funds to pay for expenses related to their personal residence.

Welch said he never considered the possibility that fixing up his house with campaign funds was improper and said he will be happy to reimburse Citizens for Welch from his personal funds if the elections board rules he must.

Welch also challenged the election board’s assessment that he spent $40,000 on construction, asserting the figure is closer to $15,000. 

Welch has been, ah, invited to submit documentation to election officials.

According to Brown, Welch is still building.

Read more here.