Illinois Mayor Accused of Misusing Funds, Partying in Las Vegas, Vetoes Probe

Posted on: March 7, 2024, 10:18h. 

Last updated on: March 7, 2024, 10:48h.

Tiffany Henyard (D), the mayor of Dolton, Ill. is accused of spending more than $1 million of taxpayer money to fund her lavish lifestyle. That included a security detail worthy of a U.S. president. Now she has vetoed an effort by the local Village Board to investigate her alleged misuse of funds.

Illinois mayor Tiffany Henyard Dolton
Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard rejects allegations on Monday, March 4, regarding her misuse of taxpayer money. Henyard is accused of using money reserved for the small Illinois town to fund her extravagant lifestyle and at least one trip to Las Vegas. (Image: Chicago Tribune)

The six-trustee Dolton Village Board last month voted in favor of a resolution to initiate an investigation into Henyard. The motion called for the Cook County Sheriff, the state’s attorney general’s office, and the FBI to assist in the probe.

Soon after the vote, Henyard interjected with a veto annulling the resolution. She claims the board “acted unconstitutionally and in complete disregard of the law.” Henyard added that she’s “shocked” by the board’s lack of understanding about how municipal government works.

“I will be victorious when the dust clears,” Henyard declared.

The Dolton trustees said in their resolution that Henyard’s spending has driven the town into a “multimillion-dollar deficit,” rendering the village unable to pay for expenditures, including road paving and tree trimming services.

Las Vegas Trips reported in January of Henyard’s alleged reckless and unlawful use of taxpayer money on personal expenses.

Henyard is rumored to have used Dolton government money last year to pay for her trip to Las Vegas. The mayor took a first-class flight that cost $3,741 and ran up more than $8,400 in room charges. She hasn’t answered board questions regarding why she needed to go to Las Vegas on the taxpayers’ dime.

The board’s resolution to prompt a review of the mayor’s financial activities was stalled by Henyard’s veto. But the Chicago Tribune reports that federal and state law enforcement officials are already in the early stages of investigating the mayor.

No charges have yet been brought. If crimes are alleged, Henyard says she’ll be found innocent.

It will be all facts, receipts,” Henyard told the board after being asked to step down.

Dolton Village Board Trustee Ed Steave said it’s time the mayor take accountability.

“The mayor can blame everybody for what’s going on. But she has to look at herself,” Steave said.

Dolton by the Numbers

Dolton is about 15 miles south of Chicago in Cook County, with about 21K residents. Nine in 10 residents are Black, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income is just $55K. More than 20% of the population lives in poverty.

Despite her constituents’ economic hardships, Henyard’s pay is around $270K per year, a total that includes her salary as a Township Supervisor. She’s recommended that the mayor’s pay be dropped to just $25K annually if she’s not reelected. Critics say the motion is to defer challengers.

The Henyard story, dubbed by herself as the “super mayor,” has been picked up on nightly cable news and brought much scrutiny to Dolton. Henyard isn’t taking credit for the headlines.

As you can see, our village, our community staff, myself, we are under attack,” Henyard declared. “It’s a shame that people can come to meetings and just tell one side of the story.”

Henyard was elected Dolton mayor in February 2021 with 82% of the vote. She was recalled during the June 2022 election. But the results were later deemed invalid by local courts.