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Former Coloma supervisor who failed to submit financial reports lands job in Berwyn

Burke resigned May 14, started as caseworker in Berwyn June 2

Deb Burke, a former supervisor for Coloma Township near Rock Falls, now works for Berwyn Township in suburban Chicago.

Burke's last day with Coloma was May 31. She started work at Berwyn Township as a general assistance caseworker on June 2, she said.

She declined to comment further.

Burke, who had been Coloma supervisor since 1981, left after it was revealed that she had failed to submit the township's financial reports to the state comptroller's office for four years.

Burke filed the reports in December, but the state agency still fined Coloma more than $13,000, later negotiated down to $3,200. Burke paid the penalty herself, and said she was responsible.

She also was late in publishing financial information in the newspaper, which kept Whiteside County from releasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax revenue.

Burke had been recognized for her expertise in providing assistance to the poor, which is a key function of townships.

Elizabeth Pechous, Berwyn Township supervisor and president, said that she was aware of the circumstances that led to Burke's departure at Coloma.

"I had heard about that situation," she said. "I have attended general assistance training. I had been a caseworker in Berwyn Township since 1993. Deb knows her stuff and does a good job."

Burke will be paid $17 an hour and work 37.5 hours a week, Pechous said.

According to the Township Officials of Illinois website, Berwyn Township, based in Berwyn, had 56,657 residents as of the 2010 Census. Coloma's population was 11,371, according to Census data.

Burke announced her resignation from Coloma during the township's monthly meeting May 14.

"After deliberation, I am announcing my retirement May 31, 2014, citing personal and health issues," she said.

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