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Chicago Heights Parks Supt. Frank Perez Backs Out Of Interview With CBS 2 After Taking Buyout To Leave Amid Complaints About Handling Of Funds

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) -- With only days left on the job, the parks superintendent in south suburban Chicago Heights still is not talking to CBS 2.

Frank Perez was granted a $212,000 payout to walk away from his position.

The rare move was approved by the Chicago Heights Park District Board on Monday night, leading to outrage from residents and even some parks commissioners.

Parks commissioners Jessica Mangiaracina and Curtis Straczek were the only two on the board to vote against paying Perez to leave his job.

"This is just absolutely ridiculous to pay over $200,000 to walk away from a job," Straczek said.

Chicago Heights taxpayers will pay the remaining 18 months left in Perez's contract – including unpaid vacation and sick leave.

"He's trying to leave so he doesn't answer questions, and trying to take the money before he jets out," Mangiaracina said.

Perez's departure may be sudden, but it comes on the heels of CBS 2's reports on questionable spending at the parks division.

The concerns center around invoices the board approved, and to whom the checks were written.

Perez agreed to sit down with CBS 2's Jermont Terry to address concerns about those written checks and vouchers not adding up. Perez has said many of the discrepancies are clerical errors.

The superintendent backed out of the scheduled on-camera interview about the park's books and his payout.

His final day is Friday.

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