Township sues supervisor over payroll taxes
MONTICELLO — Blue Ridge Township officials want their supervisor out of office, alleging she has failed to submit payroll taxes on time for a majority of her seven-year tenure.
In a four-count lawsuit filed in Piatt County in August, the township - the northernmost township in Piatt County - says Sandra Manuel has incurred at least $8,399 in late fees from the Internal Revenue Service and hid the penalties from the township board. Court documents also show the township at one time owed at least $19,489 in taxes to the Illinois Department of Revenue, which included late charges dating back to December 2006.
"Our indication is that paychecks were written (to township employees) and money withheld from paychecks, but corresponding tax forms that would report them and remit the contributions are chronically not filed on time," said Michael Tague, the attorney representing the township.
Manuel could not be reached for comment.
Besides wanting the court to oust Manuel from office, the township is asking for a preliminary injunction prohibiting her from writing township checks in the absence of the township clerk and at least one board member.
A court hearing to consider that injunction is scheduled for Wednesday at the Piatt County Courthouse in Monticello.
A third count asks the court to assess a $50 fine on Manuel for each case of "willful neglect." The final count asks for forfeiture of her bond with the Township Officials of Illinois Risk Management Association.
The township also says Manuel failed to present bills to the township, did not keep correct accounts of receipts and expenditures, failed to report the tax levy amount received, and "concealed from the township outstanding indebtedness due for unpaid indebtedness, including but not limited to (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) contributions and delinquent payments to the Internal Revenue Service."
Tague said the township is still in the process of figuring out what it owes in payroll taxes. He added there is "no indication at this time that monies were taken, but we are investigating it."
Manuel was elected to office in the spring of 2005. Her second term expires in May.