2 Investigators, BGA: Should Suburban Road Commissioner Who Worked From Florida Give Salary Back?

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(CBS) — Should a suburban road commissioner pay a chunk of his salary back to taxpayers? Yes, says the Better Government Association and that is not all. In this Original Report, CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman has more on the road commissioner who spends most of his time in Florida.

“The person in charge has to be on site looking at these roads to make sure people are taking care of business, fixing potholes, making repairs, removing snow,” said Andy Shaw, who heads the Better Government Association. “You can’t phone it in from Florida.”

Better Government Association logo. (Credit: BGA)

Better Government Association logo. (Credit: BGA)

But that is apparently what Oswego Road Commissioner Gary Grosskopf did, according to records obtained by community activist Todd Milliron.

“I think it’s not right and it’s an abuse of taxpayer money,” said Milliron.

As CBS 2 previously disclosed, Grosskopf’s cell phone records show from the end of April through June of this year, there were 321 days of calls made from Florida, including in December, January and February, when there were some massive snowstorms.

“This is what happens when no one is watching,” said Shaw. “How can the supervisor allow this for the better part of a year without making a fuss?”

Shaw is talking about Oswego Township Supervisor James Detzler who told CBS 2, as an elected official, Grosskopf is basically his own boss.

“He can do kind of what he wants to do,” said Detzler.

When asked if Grosskopf is a type of ghost-payroller, he said, “I don’t think so. No. He comes and goes constantly.”

But today Detzler said he talked with Grosskopf and Grosskopf conceded he may have spent too much time in Florida, where last November he married his former secretary and was remodeling a house they bought in Port Charlotte.

“This underscores an argument we have been making here at the BGA for years,” said Shaw. “That townships, for all intents and purposes, are worthless units of government. The snow removal, the road maintenance can be done by Kendall County.”

And that is not all.

“This is a rip-off of taxpayers. It’s an insult,” said Shaw. “The people of Kendall County ought to send him a bill for his salary and demand repayment.”

Grosskopf has not returned Zekman’s phone calls.

Two township trustees say they only review the amount owed on township cell phones, and have never looked at the calls made.

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