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CBS-2 Investigates Oswego Township Highway Commissioner

Jul 20, 2015 11:45PM ● By Steven Jack

Watch the full CBS-2 report below.

Oswego Township's long-time elected Highway Commissioner Gary Grosskopf spends most of his time living in Florida while collecting an over $95,000 paycheck to supervise roads in the unincorporated areas surrounding the village, according to a CBS-2 report from Monday night.

Investigative reporter Pam Zekman reported that phone records indicate 
Grosskopf made calls from Port Charlotte, Florida where he owns a home, on over 300 separate days since April 2014.

“I would call it ghost payrolling,” said Todd Milliron, a Kendall County activist who requested Grosskopf's Township cell phone records through the Freedom of Information Act. “Job abandonment may be another term that could be used.” 

Zekman was in town Friday and Monday, and approached Grosskopf's son Aaron, who is also a Township employee, about the residency of his father. Aaron Grosskopf told Zekman his dad lives with him.

Jim Detzler, former village president of Oswego and the current Township Supervisor, 
told Zekman as an elected official Grosskopf "can do kind of what he wants to do. ... It means he can go to Florida as much as he likes.” 

Indeed, it's unclear who may have ultimate jurisdiction over the office of Highway Commissioner. 
According to the Townships of Illinois website, "A township road district is, in many aspects, a separate government. Neither the township board of trustees nor the township supervisor has any jurisdiction, or authority, over the highway commissioner and/or employees of the road district. The employees of the road district are subject to the directions and requirements set forth by the highway commissioner, not the township board."

As for any law that may require Grosskopf's residency in the township to hold the position, that is also unclear. According to an Illinois Department of Transportation Township Commissioner guide, employees hired by the district are not required to live within the district.

However, there is no mention of residency requirements for the elected highway commissioner, except to say that the commissioner must live in the district for at least one year before being elected.

The office of Oswego Highway Commissioner held by 
Grosskopf is up for election in 2017, and several sources have confirmed that he does not plan to seek re-election.