feature

Hancock County Board Member Lies to State’s Attorney

Hancock Co. (ECWd) –

Just about the time you think you have seen it all, up jumps the devil one more time!  Hancock County Board Vice-Chairman lied to the State’s Attorney regarding construction costs.  I say lied because once you read the document sent to the County Board by State’s Attorney James Pohren, I think you will agree there was no truth to the claim this project would be approximately $5,000.00

In the letter to the board, the State’s Attorney states, “At this point the County is in an awful legal position for the following reasons”, then lists 5 serious concerns however he missed the biggest of them all in our opinion.

Who are the players in this operation?

  • Tyler Wilson – Ambulance Coordinator
  • Dave Walker – Vice Chairman of County Board
  • Mark Huston – County Board Member

We know that Dave Walker directed the selection of the contractors to be used, which he has no authority to do without board direction,  and are working on confirming that Dave Walker just happens to work for Mark Huston.  The reason that is important is because we have been informed those two are working on this project in question, which may create another huge can of worms.

I contacted the State’s Attorney to address a couple other issues that he failed to point in his memorandum to the county board, however, as of publication no response from his office.

It does appear he is trying to get out in front of this scandal so for that we thank him!  It is rare to see a State’s Attorney hold their own board accountable to the law.

A couple of laws he may have overlooked in this case may prove quite interesting if it’s proven these board members were in fact getting paid for working on this project.

Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act:

(50 ILCS 105/3) (from Ch. 102, par. 3)
Sec. 3. Prohibited interest in contracts.
(a) No person holding any office, either by election or appointment under the laws or Constitution of this State, may be in any manner financially interested directly in his own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract or the performance of any work in the making or letting of which such officer may be called upon to act or vote.

Official Misconduct:

Sec. 33-3. Official misconduct.
(a) A public officer or employee or special government agent commits misconduct when, in his official capacity or capacity as a special government agent, he or she commits any of the following acts:
(1) Intentionally or recklessly fails to perform any mandatory duty as required by law; or
(2) Knowingly performs an act which he knows he is forbidden by law to perform; or
(3) With intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself or another, he performs an act in excess of his lawful authority; or
(4) Solicits or knowingly accepts for the performance of any act a fee or reward which he knows is not authorized by law.

You can read the Memorandum below and remember when you read this, this type of stuff is going on across this state and this is the FIRST time we have seen any type of proactive action by a State’s Attorney.  We do know he is a new State’s Attorney and may not be up to speed on all the applicable laws in this matter, but we would like to urge he immediately contact the Illinois State Police and have this investigated as a crime.  The reason for that is because if these Board Members violated the very laws they are required to follow, and made money in the process, they should be charged with Official Misconduct at a minimum.  They must be held accountable!

My hats off to the board members who had the courage to speak up on this matter!  Your service is appreciated! 

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hancock-County-SA-Letter.pdf” save=”1″]

Hancock County

Categories: feature, Hancock County

7 replies »

  1. Keep digging, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The county ambulance service has been used and abused by a bunch of cronies for years.
    Not a word in the local paper. Naturally.

  2. Mr. Walker and Mr. Huston need to resign immediately. They risked an awful lot for a county board position. Furthermore, a concerned citizen needs to contact either the Attorney General’s office or the FBI office in Springfield so these highly trained and competent professionals can do what they do best. I’d hate to see what more would be uncovered if someone came to Hancock County and started looking.

  3. Mr. Walker and Mr. Huston should resign. These two risked a lot for a county board position. Hopefully a concerned citizen will contact the Attorney General’s Office or the Springfield FBI office to launch a formal investigation. Mr. Pohren, because of ethical issues, cannot and should not investigate or prosecute this. An independent agency that will be fair and impartial is what’s needed. I’d hate to see what else would be dug up if someone came to Hancock County and started looking…

  4. We have been BLESSED with a great State’s Attorney. ..finally!! I guarantee he will get to the bottom of this. He’s got a long road though, as there are many problems and corruptions to deal with!

  5. They’ve known about this issue for some time. No preventative maintenance or other plumbing maintenance had ever been done. I don’t believe Tyler had a hand in it, he’s just trying to get things done. He’s got a lot on his plate recently. This happened with Mr. Walkers construction friends when they remodeled the ambulance barn a couple years ago, just no one knew…

  6. Dear Hancock County readers,

    This sounds very similar to what happened at the Vermilion County nursing home sewer project, except in Vermilion County they consider it OK that the county purchases all the supplies. Maybe it would have been OK, but the hand-picked contractor botched the job and our county paid for the materials and labor twice. I think the reconstruction and hiring to have project oversight to make sure the reconstruction went OK on the second attempt exceeded the Hancock project cost.

    There will probably be more details which come out about our little no-bid project sometime in the future. Both of our counties need to make corrections so that the legit contractors can competitively bid against one another so we can stretch the taxpayer’s dollar as far as possible. Our leaders need to stop trying to avoid the proper protocol. Whenever they take shortcuts (because of laziness or shortsightedness) it usually costs extra. This is just not worth the risk.

    Thank you Kirk and John for publishing these things. Maybe county leaders who read your articles can learn from the mistakes made by their unwise counterparts. This website is one huge amazing teaching tool. I wonder if there is a clarification which creates a solution about whether or not materials/supplies for a project is excluded from the total cost. What if a material provider gouges on small quantities of material things such as sand, concrete, pipe, etc? I think the materials should be bid on “per ton” or “per foot” basis each year if a county is going to have multiple projects completed by county staff. Otherwise, a well-connected trucking company could make a killing doing “special” projects for the county.

    Theodore P. Hartke, PE, PLS, President, Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc

Leave a witty comment