Circuit Clerk Josh addressed charges

By Tammy Sholer

Maureen Josh, incumbent candidate in the race for DeKalb County Circuit Clerk, responded to charges by a campaign opponent that she mishandled bond money by saying democratic opponent Linda Finn “doesn’t know the system.”

Finn charges that Josh has not followed proper office procedure by failing to deposit bond money received on a daily basis.

Josh said Illinois law has no requirement that bond money be deposited daily.

“The system in my office is a model for the State of Illinois. It is the system used by most circuit clerk offices around the state,” according to a statement by Josh.

“I believe these accusations are motivated by my opponent’s frustration with her own campaign and the wide-spread bi-partisan support that I am enjoying,” Josh said.

Jerry Gott, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts associate director, said not depositing bond money daily is not illegal.

Several years ago a certified public accountant developed an accounting system, which instructs Illinois circuit clerks to deposit bond money daily, Gott said.

It is not illegal not to deposit cash received on a daily basis, but “it is not consistent with the language in the instruction,” he said.

Bond money is deposited daily, but not necessarily when the money is received, Josh said. Money cannot be deposited until the proper records are completed, including receipts, ledgers, court documents and accounting entries, she said.

Josh said monies—bonds, fines, fees and costs—are balanced daily just as they are at a bank. Josh said she and her bookkeeper do not go home until books are balanced.

“Since I assumed office in 1984, the books have balanced,” Josh said.

Finn also accused Josh of bouncing personal checks cashed at The circuit clerks office. County employees have a privilege to cash personal checks of the office, she said.

Josh said she had a few checks returned for insufficient funds because of an error. She said that at the time she wrote the check sufficient funds were available in the account.

“Of course, when I was notified, I took care of it immediately. As (people) know, checks can be returned NSF where there is no intent to defraud,” Josh said.

She said about three checks are returned for NSF on a monthly basis. “I find a phone call to these people results … in the person coming in and taking care of the check.”