By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD — The Rockford Area Economic Development Council employee suspected of financial misconduct is the vice president of operations, spokesmen announced Thursday.
Leilani Hillis, who’s been with the organization for almost two decades, is suspected of misappropriating $500,000 over a 10-year period.
“We are disheartened and disturbed by this discovery and are committed to doing everything in our power to maintain the trust and respect of our public and private investors, partners and community,” RAEDC CEO Nathan Bryant said in a release.
The alleged misconduct was announced Friday, April 27, although the organization did not name Hillis. She’s since been fired.
As vice president of operations, Hillis, 59, oversaw financial services, human resources and facilities, among other duties.
No criminal charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.
The RAEDC is a nonprofit that collaborates with businesses on the local, regional and national levels to help the local economy. It is funded by private and public dollars, including $150,000 per year from the City of Rockford and $100,000 from Winnebago County.
“We appreciate the quick action by the RAEDC board and staff in informing their investors and the public in a timely and transparent manner,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said. “RAEDC plays an important role in this community, and we’re confident they will remain focused on their work while this investigation is underway.” R.
This story has been updated.