EDWARDSVILLE, February 23, 2015 – Two Madison County officials are criticizing the actions of Treasurer Kurt Prenzler related to the premature selling of more than $41 million in Triple A rated bonds and the subsequent lawsuit brought by the treasurer against Sterne Agee, an Arkansas-based brokerage firm, over excessive commissions.

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This afternoon, Prenzler announced a settlement of the lawsuit with Sterne Agee agreeing to pay the county $340,000.  As part of the proposed settlement, Prenzler will admit the commissions charged by Sterne Agee were not excessive of illegal.

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Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said Mr. Prenzler chose to enter into litigation by prematurely selling the bonds at a loss of more than $365,000.  “The settlement comes up far short of what Mr. Prenzler expected to receive and what this issue has cost Madison County,” Dunstan said.

“The proposed $340,000 settlement does not begin to approach the monetary loss to county taxpayers,” Dunstan added.  “Mr. Prenzler never should have sold the Triple A rated bonds in the first place.  Madison County taxpayers incurred a loss when the bonds were sold, so the settlement does not even cover the initial loss,” Dunstan said.  “This whole issue has been a fool’s errand on the part of the treasurer.”

 Madison County Auditor Rick Faccin agreed the bonds should never have been sold by the treasurer.  “It is a simple matter of basic math,” Faccin explained.  “Mr. Prenzler incurred a loss of approximately $365,000 when he prematurely sold the bonds.  The opportunity loss is approximately $700,000, the amount of revenue the county would have received.  And through December, 2014, the treasurer has incurred more than $164,000 in litigation expenses and we think that amount will increase significantly as all charges are received.”

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