Charleston

Coles County contracting assessment work violates settled law.

Coles Co. (ECWd) –

We have continued to demand accountability to the law from the Coles County Board and to date, have been ignored.  One thing they cant ignore for long is the law and case law to support the very point we have made from day one.

The County is not allowed to contract a private assessor.  Doing so gives sanction to the giving of public funds to private use for the performance of duties which the law imposed upon the Supervisor of Assessments.

Applying the same logic the high courts applied in Ashton V Cook County, it is clear, what the county did violates the law.

“The law is well settled that when the constitution or the laws of the State create an office, prescribe the duties of its incumbent and fix his compensation, no other person or board, except by action of the legislature, has the authority to contract with private individuals to expend public funds for the purpose of performing the duties which were imposed upon such officer. (Fergus v. Russel, 270 Ill. 304; Stevens v. HenryCounty, 218 Ill. 468; Hope v. City of Alton, 214 Ill. 102.) The contracts of employment under which appellants claim were ultra vires and void.”

The laws of the state created the office of Supervisor of Assessments, prescribe the duties, and outlined the fixing of their compensation.  That being the case, just as the courts have said, no other person or board, except by action of the legislature, has the authority to contract with private individuals to expend public funds for the purpose of performing the duties which were imposed upon such officer.

Additional key information from the above-cited case law is directly on point for those that make the common rebuttal of Dillon’s Rule, “the law does not forbid it”.  We contend it does forbid it based on both Dillon’s Rule and well-established law.

“They come within the principle of law that where the legislature has withheld a power it is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited by law.(Continental Ill. Nat. Bank and Trust Co. v. Peoples Trust andSavings Bank, 366 Ill. 366.) To permit recovery of compensation in these cases on a quantum meruit would, in legal effect, give sanction to the giving of public funds to private use for the performance of duties which the law imposed upon the State’s Attorney and for which he receives the salary fixed by law.”

The legislature withheld the power to contract for assessments, which is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited by law.

This same information has been provided to Representative Phillips and Senator Rightor in hopes that they will take appropriate steps to ensure the people of this state are being represented by those who follow the law, not violate it.

The County Board should take this as notice that we intend on assisting appropriate legal action to stop this private contracting and recover all funds spent in violation of established law.

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Categories: Charleston, Coles County

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