Illinois Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday they've taken "the necessary steps, including disciplinary action" to deal with at least one state worker who was found to be disposing of deer carcasses improperly.
The action comes after a Unit 5 / Better Government Association investigation prompted by a Northfield couple who discovered the remains while walking their dogs.
"One of my dogs kinda went off the path and I noticed a pile of deer carcasses," Peter Clark said, describing an early-November walk down a path not far from the Edens Expressway. "There were five large deer carcasses, one of the deer actually had its antlers cut off. ... It was quite the mess."
Clark said he immediately reported the discovery to Northfield police.
"I was upset because these are the deer that I see often running along here," Clark said. "Then, the more I thought about it, it looked like they had been dumped here."
It turns out Clark was right. Police setup surveillance in the area and said they caught at least one other IDOT worker who was dumping another dead animal; this time a dog. That employee is paid $73,000 a year to maintain roads and to dispose of dead animals by burying them.
The Better Government Association called the deer-dumping case one of laziness and insensitivity, all paid for by the Illinois taxpayers.
"IDOT is paid to clean up the roads, not make a bigger mess," said BGA investigator Andrew Schroedter said. "By dumping them, they saved themselves the work of digging a grave."
IDOT officials said the agency was "saddened and appalled" by the discovery and said correcting actions were being taken "to make sure this never happens again."
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