Criminal

Accountability – and why it is important!

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Over the past three years we have time and time again identified why it is so important for the citizens to get involved and properly vet their candidates for elected office, as well as hold them accountable when they get into office. 

This article is a case and point justification as to what happens when you fail to do that.  You can never take your eyes off of those in office, even if you did vet them initially!  I say that because I was one that supported the person in this article and it didn’t take long to realize the very actions he was taking were completely against anything I could support, and in some cases direct violations of the law, and he was a law maker!  

This will be the first of many articles to come relating to candidates for office.  We are going to expose EVERY detail we can get our hands on about them so the people are informed with facts, not a bunch of talking points from a stage.  The truth has no agenda and I promise when we are done exposing a few candidates running for office, both locally and at the state level you will realize the importance of getting involved and demanding accountability!     

This article is on Roger Eddy, a former State Representative.  Future articles will cover those running for that same seat and I promise you will not believe what we have uncovered, from Strip Clubs to Criminal Charges and Abuse of power, it will blow you away when you read the public records available to anyone willing to ask for them! 

Part 1 of Many!

 Threat to Illinois Transparency Law

Illinois Association of School Boards & Roger Eddy

BACKGROUND

WHO IS THE ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS (IASB)?

From the website: “The Illinois Association of School Boards is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening the public schools through local citizen control.” Official IASB legislative positions found online, here under section 6.21.  

– IASB is a private association, not a government entity. But, entity is funded by taxpayers. – Between 2006-11, IASB collected $9,000,000 ($9 MILLION) from dues paying Illinois school districts. Click here to review the payments database of approximately 800 member school districts.  Just our little school of Kansas District 3 was being charged almost $4,000 a year. They terminated that relationship two years ago and helped strip “some” funding out of the hands of the IASB!

– Receives an annual $250,000 federal “Targeted Achievement Grant” (TAG) to train school boards in underperforming IL school districts. Source: HB 326/P.A. 97-59 – Mission is to communicate “best practices” school governance to all IL school boards. – Charged with mandatory training of all Illinois school board members under the Public Act 097-0008 created by SB7 as of June, 2011.

 – Allowed access to the government Teachers Retirement pension system (TRS). Taxpayer guaranteed pensions for private entity. No taxpayer veto or check on IASB salary amounts. IASB has offices in Springfield and Lombard.

 WHO IS ROGER EDDY?

 – Former Superintendent of Hutsonville Community Unit School District #1 (1998-2012);

– Former State Representative District #109 (R-Hutsonville) (2003-2012) rising to House Republican Legislative Spokesman;

– Adjunct professor at Eastern Illinois University (EIU), teaching “School Law Seminar” class (2011):

 EDDY’S 3 GOVERNMENT JOBS COST TAXPAYERS $300K

Total compensation worksheet put Eddy’s annual cost at $289,078. MISSING from calculation is Eddy’s health insurance cost as state representative- the FOIA was rejected; and MISSING from calculation is the Adjunct professor work at EIU, as Eddy wasn’t disclosing the EIU income on his ethics statements. See EIU paystubs here. An amount over $300,000 is approximately 10x the average annual wage in this rural eastern Illinois district.

Since July 1, 2012: New Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Boards with advertised salary of $200,000. Eddy’s teacher pension could spike over next four years from $70,000 to over $140,000. Read Chicago Tribune Editorial, “Lawmaker Hits Pension Jackpot”.

 IASB PROPOSED THREAT TO ILLINOIS TRANSPARENCY LAW

 IASB OFFICIAL POSITION:

CURTAIL CITIZEN ABILITY TO ACCESS PUBLIC INFORMATION

 – IASB convention delegates passed a model resolution to severely constrict citizen rights to public information under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). – IASB Resolution 6.21 Freedom of Information Act Changes; reaffirmed November 2011-2012. – Spotlighted in IASB September, 2012 “Report to the Membership” mailing.

 Summary:

First, under the proposed changes, citizens would have to wait twice as long for government to even acknowledge a FOIA request. Second, expanding the “undue burden” exemption, government could reject more citizen requests. Third, if rejected by government, citizens would have fewer options to enforce the laws in court. Fourth, a steep fee hike before government would even approve a citizen request.

IASB Position Statements, click here for website. January, 2012

 6.21 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT CHANGES

The Illinois Association of School Boards shall support legislation to modify the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to facilitate school districts’ compliance with the Act and to remove unnecessary burdens on units of local government. The legislative changes should:

  • Increase allowable FOIA response time from 5 business days to 10 business days.
  • Exclude official school breaks in business day response time.
  • Allow denials for commercial purposes.
  • Allow denials for any request that is unduly burdensome.
  • Clarify language that would allow a request to be denied if it is unduly burdensome to the public body if the public body deems compliance with the request would result in excessive response costs.
  • Allow the imposition of reasonable fees regardless of the number of pages being provided rather than just Sangamon or Cook Counties.
  • Remove the balancing test between the public’s interest and the employee’s right to privacy in the privacy exception.
  • Expand the evaluation exemption to cover all school employees.
  • Exempt employment applications to protect the privacy of individuals that apply for high profile employment positions.
  • Delete provisions requiring public bodies to write a virtual legal opinion as to why they are claiming an exemption.
  • Delete provisions requiring public bodies to prepare a virtual legal pleading before being challenged for a denial.
  • Limit public bodies’ liability by limiting a court’s inquiry to violations of the FOIA Act and not the content of information provided.
  • Force the Public Access Counselor to defend its decisions before a court of law if a public body is sued.
  • Allow public bodies to seek review of a binding opinion of the Public Access Counselor in the county in which they are located

(Adopted 2010)

IASB & ROGER EDDY: WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?

New Executive Director of IASB Roger Eddy has a recent history of questionable school district governance as superintendent; unethical or alleged unlawful conduct as a lawmaker; and alleged violation of the spirit, if not letter, of the “Illinois Revolving Door Act”.

ROGER EDDY EMPLOYMENT AND GOVERNANCE HISTORY

 I. SUPERINTENDENT OF HUTSONVILLE CONSOLIDATED UNIT SCHOOL DIST. #1

Hutsonville CUSD 1 is located in East-Central Illinois in the Wabash River Valley near Indiana. In 2011, the school district had approximately 390 students in full enrollment. In the elementary- junior high school, 50% of the 265 students are classified as low income. In the high school, 40% of the 99 students are classified as low income. There are 29 teachers employed in the district earning an average of approximately $42,172 per year.

Who approved Roger Eddy’s 2011-2014 superintendent contract? See it here.

Who approved Roger Eddy’s 2006-2011 superintendent contract? See it here.

Both contracts were signed off on by: Hutsonville Consolidated Unit School District #1 School Board President Tina Callaway and Board Secretary Fred Clatefelter.

DEEP CONFLICTS OF INTEREST BETWEEN ROGER EDDY & SCHOOL BOARD LEADERSHIP

Eddy’s multiple and flexible Superintendent contracts were approved by school board President Tina Callaway and Secretary Fred Clatefelter.

 – Tina Callaway, President of Hutsonville Consolidated Unit School District #1 School Board: Tina Callaway and her family own Farmers & Merchants Bank through Hutsonville Banc Corp. Tina Callaway is President of Farmers & Merchants Bank in Hutsonville, IL and receives lucrative Hutsonville school district banking business.  From 2007-11, Farmers & Merchants Bank was the top vendor at Hutsonville schools. Farmers & Merchants bank also received property rental payments from Roger Eddy’s state representative district office legislative allotment. Tina Callaway was personally the Treasurer of People for Eddy campaign fund and received “contract” payments from the campaign fund.

Although disclosed as contract payments at the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Callaway via email denied having a “contract” with the campaign fund.

– Fred Clatefelter, Secretary of Hutsonville Consolidated Unit School District #1 School Board: Clatefelter was a top State Rep Roger Eddy district staffer and earned $147,000 plus state government pension credit since 2005. Clatefelter was paid out of state rep Eddy’s district allotment, here. Clatefelter was also the immediate past Chairman of People for Eddy campaign fund.

ROGER EDDY’S SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT WAS EXTREMELY “FLEXIBLE”

During 2006-11, Eddy claimed “working days” of 920, but only 543 were when the children were present. These numbers were compiled by comparing Eddy’s working day “worksheets” vs. the official school calendar. Review Eddy’s worksheet by year: 2010-11; 2009-10; 2008-09; 2007-08; 2006-07.

Eddy self-reported attendance of only 60.6% of the school days when children were present (895). Is your local superintendent missing nearly 40% of children’s school year? If Eddy wasn’t working on official school days, when did he claim “work”?

During 2006-11, Eddy “claimed working days” on weekends (89 days); school holiday- institute days (91 days); and during school summer vacations (198 days).

In FY2008-2009, Eddy officially claimed 175 working days, but “double counted” four of those days. Since Eddy’s contract mandated 171 “working days” per fiscal year, Eddy had to claim “working days” on Christmas Eve 2008, New Year’s Eve 2008, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Casmir Pulaski Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Veteran’s Day 2008, Memorial Day 2009 and 24 Saturdays and Sundays to “fulfill” his contract obligation!

LACK OF SCHOOL BOARD OVERSIGHT AND AUDITING OF ROGER EDDY CONTRACT

From 2006-11, Roger Eddy “double counted” 9 extra “working days” on his payroll worksheets at Hutsonville Consolidated Unit School District #1. Eddy also claimed four days where he simultaneously worked as superintendent in Hutsonville and as a state rep in Springfield.

A. Eddy double counted nine “working days” on his Hutsonville employment worksheets (2006-11)- one day of work, counted twice. Eddy even “double counted” July 4, 2007- claiming work on July 4th twice that year.  Eddy added four extra days in June 2009; one extra day in April 2011, January 2010, November 2009, and September 2009.

B. Eddy claimed four “working days” as superintendent in Hutsonville and also claimed “per diem” on roll call as a legislator in Springfield. This should be investigated as a possible violation of state law. Dates: May 16 & 19, 2008; May 27, 2010; May 20, 2011.

 EDDY “WORKED” LOTS OF LEGAL PUBLIC SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

For instance in 2009-2010, Eddy claimed “working days” on Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln Birthday, and Casmir Pulaski Day. Then in 2010-2011, Eddy claimed the exact same “working days” on Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, and Casmir Pulaski Day.

LACK OF STATE ETHICS STATEMENT DISCLOSURES- STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTEREST

Reviewing the official Illinois Statements of Economic Interest filings, none of the relationships delineated in Point A above were disclosed.

Required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, the penalty for filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment in a penal institution not to exceed one year.

FRED CLATEFELTER:

 Hutsonville School Board Statement of Economic Interest 2002-2011: Click here to review the official denial from Crawford County showing NO RECORD of ever having been elected to school board since 2002- much less an Ethics Statement.  How does a person sit on a school board when the county has no record of him being elected?

 – TINA CALLAWAY: Hutsonville School Board Statement of Economic Interest (2007-2012): Click here to review.

– ROGER EDDY: Superintendent Statement of Economic Interest (2002-2009): click here to review. State Representative Statement of Economic Interest (2003-2011): click here to review.

After 2004-2005, Eddy didn’t even disclose his double dipping on either of his superintendent or state rep statements of economic interest filings. Eddy didn’t disclose his third government paycheck either: hired as an adjunct professor at Eastern Illinois University to teach a class called, “School Law Seminar”.

ROGER EDDY (R- HUTSONVILLE) – STATE REPRESENTATIVE (DISTRICT #109) A. TAXPAYER MONEY — USED TO FUND ROGER EDDY’S CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE

City of Paris $405 donation- city money, taxpayer money- to People for Eddy campaign fund. Please review link to Illinois State Board of Elections website. We first exposed that in this article.  The Illinois State Board of Elections ruled that the Paris donation was in the jurisdiction of law enforcement, not their jurisdiction. Please review the Illinois State Board of Elections (Chicago) transcript: page 2-3 talks about city donation as a criminal matter and violation of law. Our exposure of this led to the recovery of those funds to the taxpayers of Paris.  Read article here.

COUNTRY CLUB CAMPAIGNING

Roger Eddy’s campaign fund, People for Eddy, spent $108,524 at the privately owned, local Robinson, IL Quail Creek Country Club. Click here for link to State Board of Elections Website.

TOP CONTRIBUTORS TO: PEOPLE FOR EDDY CAMPAIGN FUND

The “sponsors” of Roger Eddy were the teachers unions plus the administrator and management groups: Illinois Education Association (PACE) $147,992; Illinois Federation of Teachers $19,500; Chicago Teachers Union $7,900; Alliance PAC (Illinois Principals) $14,130; Illinois School Administrators $11,375. Total: $202,897 Source: Illinois State Board of Elections, People for Roger Eddy D2 filings from 2001- 1/17/12

STATE OFFICIALS & EMPLOYEES ETHICS ACT “aka REVOLVING DOOR ACT”

(2009) In 2009, Roger Eddy voted “yes” on the “Revolving Door Act”. The Act prohibits “revolving door” activities, or instances where former legislators obtain jobs with entities a legislator regulated or did business with during his term of office. The Act specifically prohibits former legislators from accepting employment, fees or compensation for one year. 5 ILCS 430/5-45(h)

The following sequence of events is prohibited:

(1) a former legislator;

(2) accepts employment or compensation within one year prior to the legislator’s termination was either: (a) a party to a state contract involving the legislator with a value exceeding $25,000, or (b) subject to a licensing or regulatory decision involving the legislator. The legislator need not participate personally and substantially in the award of the state contract(s) or the regulatory or licensing decision.

DID STATE REP ROGER EDDY VIOLATE THE “REVOLVING DOOR ACT”?

Only nine months after chief sponsorship of legislation endorsing IASB as the new mandatory trainer of all Illinois school board members, Eddy accepted the Executive Director position at IASB. Read Roger Eddy’s timeline admission in this local newspaper article.

Did Roger Eddy violate the letter of the law or just the spirit of the law? Ultimately, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is charged with enforcing the “Revolving Door Act”.

EDDY HELPED PASS LEGISLATION EXTREMELY ADVANTAGEOUS TO IASB:

Roger Eddy was the Chief Co-Sponsor of SB7 in the Illinois House which created a new mandate requiring four hours of training for every single Illinois school board member. Click on link to the Public Act here. IASB is the only association under Article 23 of the Illinois School Code authorized to conduct the training.

From the Illinois State Board of Education website: PA 97-03578 effective June 13, 2011 added Section 10-16a to the School Code (105 ILCS 5/10-16a) which establishes training requirements for school board members. The law requires that the training be conducted by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) or other entities that the State Board approves in consultation with IASB

IASB IS THE “ASSOCIATION” REFERRED TO IN SB7.

Not only appearing on the Illinois State Board of Education website as cited above, confirmation was received by email that IASB is the single source mandated trainer of all school board members- here is the email exchange.

IASB is the association to provide “leadership training” and was the provided “association” to execute the training and to “approve” competition on equal footing with the Illinois Board of Education.

Copied below is the section of the public act from SB7 that created the mandatory “leadership training” and provided for “an association” to execute the training and to “approve” competition on equal footing with the Illinois Board of Education.

(105 ILCS 5/10-16a new)

Sec. 10-16a. School board member’s leadership training. (a) This Section applies to all school board members serving pursuant to Section 10-10 of this Code who have been elected after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly or appointed to fill a vacancy of at least one year’s duration after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly. (b) Every voting member of a school board of a school district elected or appointed for a term beginning after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly, within a year after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly or the first year of his or her first term, shall complete a minimum of 4 hours of professional development leadership training covering topics in education and labor law, financial oversight and accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member. The school district shall maintain on its Internet website, if any, the names of all voting members of

the school board who have successfully completed the training. (c) The training on financial oversight, accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities may be provided by an association established under this Code for the purpose of training school board members or by other qualified providers approved by the State Board of Education, in consultation with an association so established.

HOW DOES ROGER EDDY BENEFIT? LAWMAKER HITS PENSION JACKPOT

July 1, 2012: New Executive Director of Illinois Association of School Boards Roger Eddy began position with advertised salary of $200,000. Because IASB has gained access to the Illinois State Teachers Retirement System, Eddy’s teacher pension could spike over next four years from $70,000 to over $140,000. Read Chicago Tribune Editorial, “Lawmaker Hits Pension Jackpot”.

View more articles on Roger Eddy from this link.

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