CICERO, Ill. (CBS) — At a time when money is tight for most cities in suburbs, the Town of Cicero reportedly has a surplus of rubber chickens.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the 250 rubber chickens are among numerous trivial trinkets on which the town has spent money with a politically-connected firm.

The town also bought 9,500 backscratchers, 30,000 custom balloons and 1,200 beach balls advertising the Rodent Control Department, and 4,000 ice scream scoops, the Sun-Times reported.

They are manufactured by Downers Grove-based You & Me, which is owned by Town of Cicero board member Rosemary Konz – who is also the daughter of Cicero Trustee Lorraine Walsh, the newspaper reported.

Altogether, the town has spent $500,000 for the various trinkets, the Sun-Times reported.

In May, CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reported that the State of Illinois has been spending thousands of dollars on similar trinkets to promote the work of state agencies.

A fake Secretary of State police badge was fund at the Chicago Auto Show, and lipstick holders and coin cases with hotline numbers for victims of human trafficking were freebies grabbed up by two ladies at an Illinois Department of Human Services event.

State records showed that documented the purchase of thousands promotional items purchased in fiscal 2010 by state agencies, handouts that added up to more than $900,000.

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