Joliet Councilman Pat Mudron will be removed as the city’s liaison to the Rialto Square Theatre, one of the recommendations made in a report from the city’s inspector general that also alleges he violated state and city law when his firm provided an insurance policy to the theater.
The report also concludes that Rialto board Chairman Robert Filotto violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act when he signed off on the insurance policy without seeking approval from the full board until more than three months later.
There was no public request for insurance proposals.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, who appoints the council liaison to the Rialto, said Thursday that he will remove Mudron as liaison at the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday.
He said no decision has been made on what to do about the report’s conclusions that Mudron may have violated city and state law.
“The council has not come to any conclusion on that,” O’Dekirk said, noting the matter was discussed in a closed session after the Aug. 2 meeting. “I think what course of action we decide should be discussed in executive session.”
The report recommends that the Illinois Attorney General or state inspector general investigate whether laws were violated.
Joliet Inspector General Sean Connolly, a private attorney who works on an as-needed basis and reports to the mayor, investigated the Rialto matter and concluded that Mudron violated the city ethics ordinance and a state law prohibiting city officials from doing business with their cities.
Mudron has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Mudron did not return calls for comment.
The Rialto policy, with a $248,000 premium, is provided by Mudron Kane Insurance, a firm in which Mudron is one of the owners.
“According to Councilman Mudron, he never disclosed to the Joliet City Council that Mudron Kane signed a contract with the Rialto with an annual premium of $248,000,” the report states. “Further, Councilman Mudron stated he did not believe he had a duty to advise the Joliet City Council of the contract and that he did not believe it was a conflict.”
The Rialto is governed by the Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority. The authority board members are appointed by the Joliet mayor and the governor.
Connolly’s report notes that the Rialto has been defined as a component unit of city government in Joliet’s annual financial report. The accounting term is applied to other units of government that have the potential to provide financial benefits or impose costs on the city.
Joliet in 2022, provided the Rialto with a $375,000 subsidy for its operations.
Mudron previously said that his firm got involved in finding insurance for the Rialto after he was approached by Filotto because the theater faced the prospect of losing insurance on the building for because it does not have a sprinkler system.
Mudron Kane was able to get a $248,000 policy with Cincinnati Insurance, according to the report. Competing broker Brown & Brown quoted a policy at $450,000, according to the report. Both policies were up from the previous premium of $72,000.
Filotto said Thursday that he signed off on the Cincinnati Insurance policy because it became available on April 1, the day before the Rialto’s previous policy was due to expire. The competing policy from Zurich American Insurance did not provide full coverage, he said.
“We probably would have had to shut the theater down until we got a full policy from Zurich, or got full coverage from another insurer,” Filotto said.
Filotto did not present the Cincinnati Insurance policy to the full Rialto board for approval until July 27, after he had been interviewed twice for the inspector general’s investigation, the report said.
“Even if Mr. Filotto, as board chairman, had the legal authority to sign the contract under ‘emergency’ conditions, he failed to call a board meeting at the earliest opportunity to seek board approval or ratification of his actions,” the report states.
Filotto said he intends to address the matter at the Rialto board’s next regular meeting on Aug. 24. O’Dekirk also said he plans to be there to talk about the situation.