Reporting Dave Savini
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MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) -- How would you like a free place to run your business, with no cost or overhead?
2 Investigator Dave Savini found a government employee getting a sweet deal: running a private auto mechanic shop out of a Markham Park District garage.
CBS 2 went undercover, taking a vehicle to public employee Timothy Dawson, who looked it over and assessed its condition.
“More than likely, that’s a rod noise – internal,” Dawson told 2 investigators.
Dawson was using a fenced-off storage area along with a large garage and tools that include a vehicle lift to fix people’s cars. The problem is, the property belongs to the park district and is paid for with tax dollars.
Approached by Dave Savini, Dawson gave a variety of answers. At first, he tried to deny he was running the repair shop. Then he denied he’s a government employee, even though he works for the park district.
Earlier, however, he said he was a high-ranking employee.
“They kind of promoted me here,” Dawson said. “I’m now the director, too, so I’m basically running the whole park.”
Dawson insisted what he does here is nobody’s business but his. Savini suggested Dawson get his own space on private property.
“Why are you messing with me?” Dawson responded.
Former Markham Park District Executive Director Thomas Miggins says the garage should not be used this way.
“It is just fundamentally wrong,” Miggins said. ”There can be potential liability. I would say if someone were to get hurt, or maybe a car wasn’t fixed properly, and that person might have an attempt to sue.”
Dawson says what he does is common in government.
“Evidently you ain’t been doing your job as an investigator,” he told Savini.
Miggins, the former director, says Board President Kenneth Muldrow Jr. gave Dawson permission to repair private cars at the garage. Muldrow says Miggins, who has been fired, is to blame.
When asked how the park district would respond to CBS 2’s report about the private garage on public property, Muldrow said the agency’s attorney would offer a response. The lawyer has not yet offered comment.