Wapella Township, DeWitt County (ECWD) –
Ninety-seven 30-packs of Bud Light (nearly 2 a week for an entire year), a fridge to keep the beer cold, a Lazyboy recliner, and 90% ground beef to go with it.
Updated: 07/24/2022 with credit card statements and receipts from January to November 2021 (HERE).
After receiving the public records, the tip we received about the illegal use of the township credit card by former Wapella Township Highway Commissioner Eldon Cusey for personal gain has been confirmed.
We understand Cusey resigned after township board members confronted him over credit card charges exceeding $27,000. He provided the restitution to the township on May 22, 2022.
We think he should be sent back to the state’s attorney to be prosecuted.
According to the township clerk and FOIA agent, the three documents mentioned below were compiled from township credit card statements to determine how much Eldon Cusey owed the township and road district.
These credit card charges apparently started in 2019, when Cusey charged over $3,700.00 for personal use, including garden hoses, paint, trash bags, Gatorade, storage bins, accent mats, lumber, toilet paper, canning jars, car antifreeze VR, ice and dish soap, among others.
This continued into 2020, when Cusey loaded over $6,575.00 for personal use, including stud finder, bags of food, soap, plumbing supplies, cocktails, women’s flip flops, concrete hole saw, candy, men’s clothing, commercial shelving, electrical wiring supplies, a utility cart, paint gun, digital weather center, and jelly jars, among other items.
He was ‘caught’ in 2021, when he charged over $16,900.00 for personal use, including Lazy Boy recliner, 97 cases of Bud Light 30 packs, dog food, cat food, 57 live chickens, firewood, heated chicken waterer, pet food chicken, an egg cooker, a shower head, spa supplies, 2 battery trucks, paint hardener, chain saw chains, pork sausage, another truck battery which he claimed was for a lawn mower , clothes, 90% ground beef, a barrel pump, everything to plant his garden, including plants and seeds, canning jars and lids, potting soil and mulch, a watering tank for cattle, bamboo torches, refrigerator, electric stove plugs and charcoal among many other items.
According to the paper trail available, Eldon Cusey provided a certified check to the township on May 22, 2022, in the amount of $27,253.00 to repay what he took from ratepayers using the road district credit card at personal purposes.
We see this kind of abuse too often and until these people start being prosecuted, they will see no consequences for their actions and will embolden others. He is not the first and will not be the last.