UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. — It’s payday in south suburban University Park. But when village employees checked their bank accounts Wednesday they found they had been stiffed.
Several told WGN Investigates that their calls to village hall, the village manager and mayor have gone unanswered.
Roughly 80 employees, including police and firefighters along with public works and other village staffers, may have been impacted. One village employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said village officials fired the person in charge of payroll several days ago.
“It’s no coincidence that this happened on the first payday after new Village Manager Elizabeth Scott wrongfully terminated the one and only employee who maintained the village payroll,” said Anders Lindall of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31 (AFSCME).
All 30 of the village’s unionized employees went unpaid, according to union reps.
“AFSCME is fighting to force village management to immediately pay our nearly 30 union members who work for University Park,” AFSCME representative Norm Neely said in an emailed statement. “What’s more, management should restore the employee they wrongfully fired so this never happens again.”
WGN Investigates reached out to University Park mayor Joseph Roudez III, village manager Elizabeth Scott and other officials for comment. No one responded to emails or phone calls. The village manager’s cell phone voicemail said it was “full” and not accepting new messages.
Ironically, the village’s Facebook page featured a post made Wednesday that said University Park is “now hiring” for a finance director, human resources coordinator and other positions.
University Park has approximately 7,000 residents, according to the latest census data.
Last year, WGN Investigates reported on residents’ frustrations that they been using bottled water since 2019 after the village’s private water provider found lead had seeped into drinking water.