Bellwood Village Worker Makes Big Bucks To Do...What?
It's almost midnight outside the home of Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale.
Nobody's home. But there's a guy sitting out front in a running truck.
He's dressed like a police officer, but why would he be guarding an empty house?
And the guy doesn't even notice a reporter staring at him, because he's sound asleep.
The sleeping security guard's name is Floyd Green. He’s a longtime Village of Bellwood employee, but he isn't a cop – despite the Bellwood police jacket and cap.
We later asked Pasquale what Green was doing, parked in front of his house, asleep, while Pasquale was out of town.
"Probably a little eating, a little sleeping, a little R and R," Pasquale said with a laugh.
The mayor said Green is an old friend and political supporter. And while he heads a department called "Bellwood Community Service" – shoveling snow and trapping skunks – nobody seems clear on exactly what Green does for taxpayers.
"It could be anything from picking up garbage to helping a senior. Floyd's a worker," Pasquale said.
And he's a worker who makes some serious cash. FOX Chicago News and the BGA found Green was paid:
- $147,000 in 2006;
- $154,000 in 2007;
- $171,000 in 2008;
- $169,000 in 2009;
- $131,000 in 2010.
"As I said, Floyd's the director of a program, where he works with the seniors, mainly seniors, household stuff," Pasquale said. "Minor stuff."
Three quarters of a million bucks over five years for "minor stuff."
And while Green used to get paid to sit outside the mayor's home, Pasquale said, he insists he wasn't being paid the night we saw him.
The BGA and FOX Chicago News also found that a taxpayer-funded security system on the street outside the mayor’s home includes cameras trained on the house.
Pasquale was asked whether his job as mayor was somehow dangerous.
"Any political position is dangerous," he said with a chuckle.