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Franks nominates Shannon Teresi to fill County Auditor vacancy

Post Date:04/09/2018 12:59 PM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks has nominated Chief Deputy Auditor Shannon Teresi to fill the vacant office of County Auditor.

Franks, D-Marengo, and Teresi have discussed changes that would allow the office to better focus on its primary purpose of auditing and fraud monitoring. Teresi, who has worked in the office since 2010, has been leading the Auditor’s Office since Pam Palmer retired in January.

A proposal will go before the County Board to shift the functions of accounting and financial reporting from the Auditor’s Office to the Finance Division of County Administration, which will allow the office to allocate more effort to its traditional roles of auditing and investigating waste, fraud and abuse. The shift will bring the Auditor’s Office more in line with the responsibilities granted it by state law.

“This nomination will be a win all around. The taxpayers will get an experienced professional with a sharp eye for detail in Shannon Teresi. Her office will be able to focus more exclusively on a watchdog role with the handing off of some responsibilities that should have been transferred to County Administration years ago,” Franks said.

Teresi called the change a “natural evolution” of an Auditor’s Office as a county population grows.

“I’m very excited to be nominated to serve the public in the vital role of ensuring that their tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently, and the changes that Chairman Franks and I have discussed will further that role. An auditor’s main focus should be auditing and being a watchdog for the taxpayers.  I am looking forward to serving as County Auditor and implementing the changes coming before the County Board,” Teresi said.

Franks will bring Teresi’s nomination to the County Board for a vote at its April 17 meeting. The County Board also will vote on a resolution formalizing the proposed changes to the office. Teresi will run in the November election to fill the remaining two years of Palmer’s term.

State law gives counties with more than 275,000 people the authority to remove the responsibility of acting as county government’s accountant and controlling its financial reporting from the auditor. McHenry County exceeded that population threshold with the 2010 U.S. Census, but county leadership at the time decided to leave the authority in place.

Moving both of these roles to County Administration will allow the Auditor’s Office to scrutinize finances without any conflicts of interest that could arise from being responsible for reviewing its own accounting. The move will result in improved efficiencies by putting all financial duties under the roof of County Administration, which handles payroll, the county budget, purchasing, and contract management.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a diligent and full-time set of eyes on how public money is spent. As a state representative, I worked with a very strong state Auditor General to uncover illegal spending in the administration of Rod Blagojevich. He’s now in federal prison,” Franks said. “I am confident that Shannon will be able to help us take this office to the next level on behalf of county taxpayers.”

Teresi is a certified public accountant, a certified internal auditor, and a certified fraud examiner. She started her career in the Auditor’s Office in 2010 as an internal auditor, and was promoted in 2016 to financial reporting manager and chief deputy auditor. Teresi received her master’s degree in accounting in 2007 from Northern Illinois University.

A lifelong McHenry County resident, Teresi grew up in Marengo and lives in Crystal Lake with her husband and two children.

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