Corruption Defined – Edgar County –
November 16, 2014 ·
EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –
With the recent claim by Tay Smith with the Prairie Press stating: “Thus far, I haven’t seen any evidence of corruption in Edgar County today”, we have been perplexed how anyone, even only having lived here for a year and one month could honestly believe that, let alone put it in print.
Was his claim that he has not seen any evidence in the county “today” his wordsmith slight of pen? Or was claiming he has not “seen” any evidence because he has his eyes closed? He says “I haven’t been given any evidence“, so I guess that means he doesn’t have to look and since “he” wasn’t given any evidence, then it does not exist? Either way he can claim he told the truth with his statements even though the facts clearly show overwhelming corruption all around us.
To read previous articles on the subject of Public Corruption, click HERE and HERE.
- lack of integrity or honesty
- inducement (as of a public official) by improper means (as bribery) to violate duty
This list of corruption we have identified and exposed in the last 3-4 years, of which pretty much all of it was written about when discovered. To date your local State’s Attorney has only prosecuted one of the cases referenced.
- Jim Keller, Democrat County Board Chairman signs illegal loan for $300,000.00 placing the county in debt. Done it total secret!
- Merl Clark, authorized the above mentioned loan while working at the bank without any resolution paperwork from the county authorizing such a loan.
- 911 Board member voting on and receiving a gift for herself in violation of the law.
- Housing Commissioners using public credit cards for purchases for spouses.
- Housing Commissioner filing fraudulent mileage claims.
- Housing Commissioner attorney using public funds for his own travel.
- Bob Colvin with Francis & Associates claimed he was an engineer for the water district when in fact he is not an engineer.
- Bob Colvin with Francis & Associates billed the Water district for work NEVER performed.
- Bob Colvin with Francis & Associates tries to bill water district for bridge work done for Marshall. Mysteriously the paper trail disappears.
- Chris Patrick while in his capacity as Airport Chairman shuffled business to his own private company in violation of the law and without any board approval.
- Chris Patrick while in his capacity as County Board Chairman claimed statements made pertaining to Zimmerly Ready mix not having a certified mix were false. They were not false!
- Chris Patrick violated OMA by illegally removing person speaking from a public meeting.
- Edgar County Airport violates law by conducting secret ballot – then lies and tries to call it a straw vote.
- Chris Patrick and his son and step son falsified state paperwork claiming they had not been in elected office or family to anyone that was.
- Chris Patrick receiving two free chip and seal driveways at public expense.
- Chris Patrick conflict of interest as county board member.
- Chris Patrick while serving as County Board Member said “There is no CD” when asked about the secret airport CD that does in fact exist.
- Chris Patrick while serving as County Board Member said “Good luck” finding a copy of the secret CD at the airport that does exist – even though a local bank has been assisting in hiding the truth about it.
- Airport manager provided forged documents pertaining to the formerly secret airport CD on a FOIA response.
- Mass Transit Director steals thousands from the tax payer – currently in the hands of the Feds.
- County Board & State’s Attorney refused to listen when told the Mass transit dissolution was handled in violation of the law. 12 months later the county is $150K richer because of our efforts of demanding the law be followed.
- Two township road commissioners use public funds and property to oil and chip private driveways.
- Dee Burgin billed thousands of dollars of overtime and comp time without any legal authority to do so.
- Edgar County “sold” the ambulance service without bids, and to the county employee that ran it in to the ground.
- Edgar County gave away an entire Ambulance operation to Dee Burgin and never collected the $100,000.00 purchase price outlined in the contract.
- County audit contained fraudulent statement regarding the ambulance purchase.
- County Treasurer’s office computers “catching a virus” between a losing election and swearing in of new treasurer – additionally, no attempts made to recover lost data.
- Dee Burgin convicted in Federal Court for violating a girls civil rights yet still is allowed to carry a badge and a gun.
- Terry Rogers convicted in Federal Court for violating a girls civil rights yet still is allowed to carry a badge and a gun.
- Dee Burgin caught lying on a police report yet still is allowed to carry a badge and a gun.
- Former State’s Attorney using Cocaine during his term of office – confirmed in court records – still an attorney.
- Nannette Crippes using 911 funds to purchase Christmas presents (gift cards) but has no record of who got them.
- Nannette Crippes turning in claims for payment for meetings of which she never attended.
- Nannette Crippes placing her family on the cell phone plan and having the taxpayers fund her entire family phone service.
- Nannette Crippes hiring her daughter and friends and paying them with petty cash while never paying the required income tax to the state.
- Nannette Crippes using county credit outside her scope of authority.
- Nannette Crippes claims dispatchers are certified when in fact they had not been for as long as 6 years.
- Nannette Crippes draws two county paychecks while working the same hours.
- Nannette Crippes receives county benefits even though county policy mandates contract employee’s are not allowed benefits.
- Nannette Crippes uses county credit card for fuel in county vehicle – but pumps more fuel than will actually fit in the vehicle’s fuel tank.
- 911 board illegally authorized payments (after the fact) to director knowing they were fraudulently obtained.
- County elected officials receiving health insurance benefits in direct violation of county policy that states elected officials are not eligible for benefits.
- County Board attempts to give away animal control in violation of the law.
- County Board member Helstley routinely lies about matters.
- Illegal transfers of animal control funds to general fund.
- Tim Crippes selling guns, including guns with serial numbers filed off, in direct violation of both state and federal laws.
- Tim Crippes using inmates to roof houses.
- Tim Crippes using inmates to cut and stack firewood for citizens.
- Tim Crippes using his auto repair facility to repair sheriff vehicles while in the position of Sheriff.
- Tim Crippes issuing “covert investigator” letters to his friends, illegally circumventing concealed carry laws and putting the county at significant risk of liability. Mike Heltsley tries to get Ed Motley to issue him one, he refuses.
- Numerous deputies participating in sheriff sales, including gun buying, in direct violation of the law.
- Roger Hopper seized a vehicle and had it towed and repaired at the county expense and then purchased it for his daughter for less than the towing/repairing charge.
- Judge issues letter to State’s Attorney Matt Sullivan to ensure such illegal transactions don’t happen again – no accountability to the crime!
- Health department employee steals thousands.
- Corrections officers charged and convicted for felony crimes while former Sheriff wants them to “resign with dignity” and attempts coverup of crimes.
- Mayor of Redmond insisting he is still the Mayor even though he no longer resides in the community.
- 911 board at the direction of Merl Clark and Dee Burgin utilized funds to purchase equipment not allowed under the statute. How convenient Burgin was operating the Ambulance and didn’t have to spend his own money on radios he needed.
- Chief Deputy Assessor holding a position of Multi-township assessor in direct violation of the law. Took 9 months of effort before the State’s Attorney forced him to step down from Multi-township position.
- County Board using levied funds for matters not tied to that specific levy.
- County Board sitting on Mass Transit board in violation of the law. Months of badgering before the person resigned.
- Attorney Craig Smith acting as attorney for 911 board in violation of the law. Only after the notice of a pending law suit to recover funds paid to him and a letter from the States Attorney did he pay the money back.
- City Mayor Craig Smith used city credit card for his continuing education requirements as an attorney.
- City lied during the exposure of that information by claiming the purchase was for books of state statutes when in fact we already had the invoice proving otherwise.
- City of Paris “sold” batting cages, when questioned, and after lying about the disposition and condition of the cages, they sent trucks and employees to Indiana to recover, and bring batting cages back to Paris.
- City of Paris electioneering with public funds by illegally donating city funds as campaign contributions to Roger Eddy’s legislative campaign.
- City councilman using city credit card for vacation expenses, which is theft of city funds! Stayed on job as city councilman.
- City of Paris bid-rigging for city insurance – local newspaper congratulates them for saving money.
- City of Paris not bidding insurance out for fear of lower bids coming in.
- Airport Board hiding public money in secret bank accounts.
- Airport Board hiding Certificates of Deposit and donations.
- Airport Grant application fraud.
- Airport former Manager took out a $30K plus loan without any authority to do so.
- Public officials and employees of public contractors threatening local businesses who sold a newspaper or who advertised with us online.
- Local Bank manager threatens livelihood of local business for advertising with us.
- Water district employees using public resources in an election challenge.
- Kansas clerk caused the village to lose upwards of $80,000.00 by failing to do her job and bill for ambulance services.
- Edgar County Fair Grounds NOT owned by the County – even though county equipment and personnel were used maintaining the track and roads.
- Edgar County Fair Grounds non profit status revoked for upwards of 20 years yet they continued to operate as such, while at the same time collecting public funds from the State of Illinois under the understanding they were a legitimate nonprofit.
- City property was not being taxed even though is being operated by a for profit business. On top of that, the City if Paris lied on paperwork, with the County Assessor’s office assistance, that was sent to the Illinois Department of Revenue. IDOR saw through the smoke and mirrors and directed property tax be collected.
- State’s Attorney saying during a public meeting that he would certainly never prosecute Chris Patrick for conflict of interest.
- State’s Attorney using “prosecutoral authority” when given evidence of public corruption, while at the same time vigorously pursuing a minor traffic ticket for two years against a low income resident, while at the same time letting his assistant dismiss a speeding ticket against U.S. Congressman Tim Johnson. Makes one wonder what his priorities are.
- Lies and deceit in the asphalt paving of the parking lot at the private golf course – using public funds.
- Water District going more than 20 years without a single financial report submitted to the State Comptroller – it is an annual requirement.
Getting the message Mr. Smith? Quite the list for just one county isn’t it? Rest assured, there are more examples of corruption that we could list but figured since you are always on the lookout for it, this might give you a starting point. If you would like the facts to back all of these claims up just let us know, or simply search our web site because pretty much every one of these matters has been written about, with public records linked, and for the most part nothing was done about it nor was most of it ever published in your former paper.
The fact that nothing was done about most of these shows us how corrupt things really are in this county and coupled with the fact the paper refused to cover most of it as well, tells us all we need to know about those who operated the local paper at the time.
Sure there are some great people and great things about Edgar County, but the fact remains, it will always have a black eye for its failure to fix the problem of corruption. By all indications the same group of people are right smack in the middle of continuing the legacy of not covering the truth as it relates to corruption.
If it makes you feel better to attack the messenger for claiming Edgar County may be the most corrupt in the county then by all means go for it, but know this, your words fall on deaf ears because the facts listed above are real!
How can you expose corruption if you can’t even recognize it when it is right in front of you? I believe it might be wise for those in the media to get a better understanding of what the law states as it relates to public bodies. You see, understanding the statutes applicable to those public bodies would help in exposing the corruption.
By Kirk Allen