Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum [Submitted]

On a late August morning last summer, the state’s Office of Executive Inspector General received an odd tip: an employee of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was in the process of sawing a wooden desk into pieces and disposing of the parts in a dumpster in the parking lot of the museum in Springfield. 

Upon receiving the call, investigators looked out their 14th floor windows and spotted the man using a machine saw to cut apart some sort of decorative wooden wall. They took photos of the scene. The tipster said the desk had once been in Springfield’s old Union Station, and may have had historical value. 

The incident set off months worth of interviews and an eventual conclusion that the desk had indeed been purchased a decade before for $22,600 and its destruction was both a violation of state law and a missed opportunity for revenue to the state in a little-known program that brings in a few million dollars for Illinois every year.

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