Coles County

Coles County – State’s Attorney Brain Bower neglects his duty to the public –

Coles Co. (ECWd) –

When a County’s top Law Enforcement officer, the State’s Attorney, refuses to represent the people when all evidence points to them being right, it’s time for a new State’s Attorney.

Rex Dukeman and Robb Perry sent a request for Quo Warranto action to the State’s Attorney and Illinois Attorney General in regards to the illegal contracting of a private person to perform work on behalf of the Office of Supervisor of Assessments. You can read in this article why that action is in violation of the law.

Either the Attorney General or the State’s Attorney has the power to take the case on behalf of the people.  If both offices refuse to file the action in circuit court, then Dukeman and Perry can move the case themselves or through their attorney.   While they await a determination from the Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who we suspect will do nothing, State’s attorney Brian Bower has responded with this letter and refused to bring the action and his reasoning is beyond belief in light of all the evidence.

“I decline to file a Quo Warranto action pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/18-101 et seq. In arriving at this position, it is my
belief that the determination of employment vs. independent contractor is not conclusive and remains a question of fact for a judge to determine.”

Determination of employment vs. independent contractor is not conclusive?  Seriously? 

As has been exposed in numerous articles, one who submitts invoices for payment is not an employee.  One who receives a “nonemployee” 1099, is not an employee.  One who has no office, no work hours, no time cards, or employee benefits, is not an employee. Never mind that County Board Chairman Stan Metzger stated on video that it was a contract and even advised his state legislators of the contracting of a private person.  We exposed most of the fact in the video below, which was also part of this article.

How State’s Attorney Brian Bower can take the position that this employment/contractor determination is not conclusive flies in the face of all facts, all of which were provided by the County.

We do agree with Bower that a Judge needs to make this determination, which is why the people asked for a Quo Warranto action to be brought forward.

We contend State’s Attorney Brian Bower needs to resign from office.  This position is based off a laundry list of failures but this one issue in particular.

According to former Attorney General William Scott, who cites case law in regards to a State’s Attorney’s obligations under the law, it is our opinion State’s Attorney Brian Bower is neglecting his duty, which is, to determine who is right and represent them!

“State’s attorney has three statutory clients: the people, the county board, and the county officers. The interests of these clients could often be in conflict and disputes could arise among them.  The People ex rel, Courtney v. Ashton 358 Ill. 146, was a case in which the state’s attorney brought an action against County officers to restrain them from paying out funds belonging to the county and to the people. One of the points discussed in the court’s opinion was whether a state’s attorney who has the duty to defend the county and its officers could bring a suit against the officers. The court pointed to numerous cases where the state’s attorney has represented the people against officers or the county board.”

“Courtney v. Ashton, supra held in effect, that in a case involving a possible conflict between the people’s interest and a county officer’s exercise of his power, the state’s attorney must: determine which position is correct and represent that party. This implies that his office is not required to act in a dual capacity and provide counsel for the opposing party.”

“it is a logical extension that the State’s Attorney, while the interest of the County Board and County officers conflict, must determine which position is correct and respect the party with such position or interest.”

All indications are that Mr. Bower has no interest in making a determination as to who is right in this matter, thus he has failed to meet the standard outlined in established case law.  This opinion is based on his reasoning for not moving the action forward.  It should also be noted that he makes no claim of a conflict of interest or that he must represent the County in this matter.  No, instead he simply confirms what we already know, a Judge has to make the determination.  The quo warranto request was in fact so that he could take this case forward and have a judge make the ruling.  He has failed the people by refusing to make a determination as to who is right and represent them.  This case has all the evidence pointing to the people being right, not the County or its officers.

We challenge the County to produce one shred of evidence that supports Bob Becker was hired as County Employee!  

Additionally, at a minimum, Bower could have recused himself since he was a party to the mess created. Such a recusal could have allowed outside representation to make a determination on taking the Quo Warranto action.

All of these failures point to one solution as it relates to the employment of Brian Bower, it should end with his immediate resignation in our opinion.

Regardless, Dukeman and Perry fully intend on prosecuting this action if Lisa Madigan ignores the request.  We support their efforts of holding their local elected officials accountable.

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