The mausoleum set up by Roland Burris, the former Illinois attorney general named to succeed Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate by disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich, includes on a list of accomplishments the fact that he was the first non-CPA to be on the board of the Illinois CPA Society.
Burris was turned away by the Senate sergeant-at-arms on Tuesday when he tried to attend the Senate's swearing-in ceremony because he did not have the proper credentials. Despite his appointment by the governor, he has not been certified by the Illinois Secretary of State as the next senator because Blagojevich is currently under investigation by U.S. District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. Burris and his lobbying firm have reportedly donated $22,295 to Blagojevich's election campaign, according to Fox News, and Burris held a fundraising event for Blagojevich in his home in 2006. His firm has won $705,435 in state contracts.
Burris is challenging the legality of the Senate's action blocking him from joining its ranks, and on Wednesday he met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to negotiate. He has also received support from Rules Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Burris is very much alive, but he has already erected a mausoleum for himself that includes a list of his accomplishments. Those include the fact that he was Illinois's first African American attorney general and that he was the first non-CPA to serve on the Illinois CPA Society's board of directors.
According to Illinois CPA Society spokesperson Judi Kulm, the society's records indicate that Burris was on the board of directors from June 1, 2000 to May 31, 2002. The latest date of his involvement with the society was in 2004 when he showed up on a list of officers and directors in the Americas. "Beyond that, there's no activity," said Kulm. "He's what we would call an affiliate member." Affiliates are those who have an association with the accounting or finance profession, but are not necessarily CPAs. She added that Burris served on three different committees at the society.
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