Dear Editor: Shining a light on our hometown economic disaster is the recently published, "Foxconned: Imaginary Jobs, Bulldozed Homes & the Sacking of Local Government" by Lawrence Tabak, which reveals the depth of unaccountability in Mount Pleasant, and how the syphoning of public money by various consultants is still taking place in spite of the project's universal failure.
In a chapter devoted exclusively to village project director Claude Lois, Tabak recounts Lois’ involvement in the development of a tax incremental financing district (TIF) in Illinois for a golf resort and housing development which spectacularly went bankrupt, forcing the FDIC to foreclose, shutter a local bank for illegal lending practices, and sent two business colleagues to prison for conspiracy and fraud. Tabak’s book also shows how Lois personally billed the Illinois village for hundreds of thousands of dollars as a consultant long after the project had failed.
To date, Claude Lois has been paid over $1.23 million dollars by Mount Pleasant since August 2017. He takes home four times the salary of the Racine mayor and double the salary of the Wisconsin governor. Lois has no job description and no performance benchmarks. A recent WPR article has revealed major discrepancies between Lois’ calendar of activities and his billed hours. While the project is at a standstill, Lois consistently takes home $25,000 a month.
In order for history to not be repeated, an independent audit of the Foxconn TIF must be commissioned immediately by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Accountability is long overdue.