Former Beloit official hired by Janesville officials
Dave Botts began his new job Monday. He will be paid $99,000 a year. Botts replaces Dan Lynch, who retired last year.
Florence Haley, Beloit director of human resources, said Botts “was allowed to resign” as public works director after an inverstigation into thefts by Tim Kosier, a former Beloit water supervisor.
Kosier earlier this month pleaded guilty in federal court to theft and conversion of government funds. He is accused of stealing between $400,000 and $1 million between 2009 and 2011 by buying items with city money for his own use and for his residential heating and cooling business.
Kosier will be sentenced May 9 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution to the city of Beloit in an amount to be determined before sentencing.
Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said previously that Beloit's purchasing policy required department heads to approve purchases over $50, but that wasn't being done in the water resources division.
Janesville Manager Eric Levitt said he is convinced Botts will do a good job in Janesville, noting Botts' 20 years experience in Beloit. Kosier did not report directly to Botts, and the thefts appeared to be related to controls on purchasing, Levitt said.
"My personal belief is, after talking to him and checking his references, if any mistakes were made as far as oversight and control over procurement, you learn from those," Levitt said.
Janesville officials talked to Botts' references extensively about the incident and determined that otherwise Botts was a good employee who has skills and knowledge Janesville needs, he said.
Janesville has different purchasing regulations than Beloit, Levitt said. Botts will report to Public Works Director Carl Weber, "who has a fairly tight control system for procurement," Levitt said.
"I think he is an excellent employee from everything I've heard," Levitt said of Botts. "He was our top choice."
Botts said he is looking forward to working in Janesville.
He had been seeking a seat on the Beloit City Council but withdrew because he will be moving to Janesville.
Botts said he believes was a good employee who gave Beloit residents good customer service. He was public works director for 13 years after working as assistant director and project engineer.
Botts said Kosier was a supervisor using the city's purchasing system for his own use, and the thefts were not caught by auditors or the city's accounting department.
"But that's how the system was set up, and it worked that way for years," Botts said.
Arft said he wishes Botts the best and said Botts would bring many capabilities to the job.
Janesville officials contacted Beloit officials about Botts, Arft said.
"We felt very comfortable with his application," Arft said. "We think he will be very successful in managing the utility for the city of Janesville.
"Something got away from him here," Arft said. "It was something big, it had to be addressed. But he's a great guy, and he will be a great asset to the city of Janesville."