Thornton Township subpoenas reveal Tiffany Henyard is target of criminal investigation

FOX 32 Chicago has obtained copies of the two federal subpoenas served Friday on Thornton Township, and there are two big takeaways: Tiffany Henyard is clearly a target of the criminal investigation, and also that the investigation is growing.

"Overall, it tells me that the investigation is expanding. It's not just focusing on the City of Dolton," said Ross Rice, former FBI agent.

Rice says the subpoenas reveal the burgeoning scope of the federal criminal investigation into Thornton Township Supervisor and Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard.

One subpoena focuses entirely on Henyard, including two businesses she owns: a restaurant and a property management company, as well as Henyard's political fund and the charity bearing her name. It asks for all records including personnel files, wage and tax statements, time and attendance, records of work performed, contracts, and checks written to "cash."

"The mayor and the Township Supervisor, who are one and the same, appear to be the primary focus of the investigation," Rice said.

The second subpoena requests a kitchen sink of township records, including financial reports, budgets, payroll records, and ordinances covering credit card purchases, expense reimbursements, security details, and use of vehicles.

FOX 32 Chicago has reported extensively about Henyard's use of a police security detail, which police said has hampered their ability to fight crime.

The subpoena also asks for payments and credit card expenditures for a number of township employees, including Henyard's top lieutenant Keith Freeman, some township trustees and Henyard's boyfriend, who runs the township's youth violence prevention program.

The subpoena also focuses on township travel, including a story first reported by FOX 32 and the Illinois Answers Project about a trip Henyard took to Springfield in 2022 with Dolton and Thornton Township employees, ostensibly to raise money for a cancer charity in her name.

FOX 32 wondered who was paying for all of this, and so are the feds, who asked for "records of municipal resources being used on behalf of Friends of Tiffany Henyard—her political fund—and charitable organizations, including the Tiffany Cares Foundation." — which includes a $10,000 donation of taxpayer's money made by the township.

"It's very broad in scope. It's very broad in the number of people and entities they're asking for records on. So there must be some serious allegations of wrongdoing that they're trying to get to the bottom of," Rice said.


It's the second round of federal subpoenas. On April 20, four FBI agents served a pair of subpoenas on the Village of Dolton, asking for the personnel files of 29 employees.

"I was pleasantly surprised," said Stephanie Wiedeman, a former township employee turned whistleblower who has been helping the FBI in its investigation.

Over the weekend, she took part in a rally of Thornton Township residents calling on Henyard to resign.

Wiedeman said the latest subpoenas are a welcome sign.

"I hope that the township finds a way to be able to recoup the damage that has been done. But I hope the people that did the damage... I mean there's repercussions for making bad decisions," Wiedeman said.

Through a spokesperson, Henyard declined to comment about the subpoenas. The township has until May 20 to turn over all those records to a federal grand jury that's been empaneled to investigate.