Coles County – Will violations of law be self-corrected or is another lawsuit on the horizon?

Coles Co. (ECWd) –

In just about every public body we get asked to look into, we know within the first few Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests if there is a problem.  Coles county is not new to us as it relates to illegal acts and failure to hold people accountable.  In fact, almost 2 years ago we wrote this article exposing a litany of wrong-doing and to date, those violators have been protected.  In that article I asked:

Where is a person to turn when a State’s Attorney can selectively ignore felony crimes being committed by the top law enforcement person in the county, the Sheriff? 

All we have ever asked is that our laws be followed and enforced accordingly. When we were contacted regarding the recent assessment problems, John Kraft filed a FOIA for key assessment related records and the County refused to provide the records.  That was the first red flag.  After Kraft filed suit against the county for not providing the records, the county finally provided some of the records and I understand that Kraft is awaiting a response from the State’s Attorney on that matter.

We encourage you to read each of these three articles in sequence, here, here, and here, as to better understand the big picture in Coles County. At is evident in the responses to problems exposed in the County, they are able to correct them and in some cases did so quickly.  We appreciate that, which is how it’s supposed to work. When you identify you’re not following the law, take corrective action and follow the law moving forward.

What does that have to do with this series on the assessment problems?  What if we told you the assessments were never done?  What if we told you there was never a legal contract to have the assessments done? Does it matter the contract entered was breached?  What if we told you the pickle they are in on this assessment mess can, in fact, be fixed?  We will lay out the answers to each of those questions and then the County Board can determine if they are going to correct the wrongs and follow the law or ignore it.  If they choose to ignore it, well more on that later.

What if we told you the assessments were never done? 

As we laid out in this article, assessments are to be done by certain public officials, or contractors hired by the Township in which the assessments are taking place.  That was not done in the case of  Coles County as it relates to commercial assessments.  The County is under the belief they hired a contractor to do those assessments.

What does it take to enter into a legal contract at the county level?  First, it takes statutory authority for the contract in question.  As we outlined in previous articles, the County has yet to provide any statutory authority to contract out duties of the Supervisor of Assessments. All that aside, action to approve a contract must appear on an agenda with sufficient information to inform the public as to what “actions” the board intends to take during a meeting. Let’s follow their own paper trail and expose violations of law.

The Coles County Officers Rules Committee agenda for April 6th, 2015, lists under Old Business, “A. Commercial appraisal proposal“. One might, with a stretch, interpret that item to be possible action item although it does not specifically say any action is going to be taken.

The minutes from that meeting reflect action was taken.  In fact, the action taken was quite telling. “After much discussion, Mr. Weber moved to table this proposal until the next meeting, seconded by Mr. Metzger. MOTION CARRIED: A YES: Unanimous (6) NAYES: None (0)”

So it is clear, matters pertaining to the appraisal proposal was tabled until the next meeting, which would be the next meeting of this committee.  What ended up happening appears to be troubling as a pattern is beginning to be identified.

The next county board meeting, May 12th, 2015, agenda reflects no action item of any kind related to the commercial appraisal proposal.  In fact, the reference of “Proposal re: Commercial Appraisals”, is found on the agenda under the heading of Committee Reports.  That tells the public those items under that heading deal with reports.  Reports are not action items and action taken under such a heading may constitute an Open Meetings Act violation.  The average citizen who may have an interest in attending a meeting where action on a contract would take place would look at this agenda and see that no action is being taken outside of approving minutes and appointing members to a Fire District.

So the question becomes, how does a tabled committee item, tabled until their next meeting, end up on the full County Board agenda in the first place.  Looking at the minutes from that meeting, the picture becomes even clearer.

The County board not only took action on a Commercial Appraisal item listed under reports, but they took action on every item listed under Reports.

Now is the time for the State’s Attorney to do his job and represent the people.

The people’s right to be informed on actions their officials are taking has been violated and there is plenty of case law on this type of matter to support such a position.

We are asking the State’s Attorney to nullify the action taken at this meeting, declare it null and void, as in void ab-initio, and place such action items properly on a new meeting agenda so that the public is properly informed on what actions are being taken by their public officials, provided such action is supported by law.

In the event the State’s Attorney is unwilling to take that appropriate action and fix the clear violation internally, we will file a formal complaint under the Open Meetings Act asking him to prosecute the case in accordance with the provisions in the law, which states;

(5 ILCS 120/3) (from Ch. 102, par. 43)
    Sec. 3. (a) Where the provisions of this Act are not complied with, or where there is probable cause to believe that the provisions of this Act will not be complied with, any person, including the State’s Attorney of the county in which such noncompliance may occur, may bring a civil action in the circuit court for the judicial circuit in which the alleged noncompliance has occurred or is about to occur, or in which the affected public body has its principal office, prior to or within 60 days of the meeting alleged to be in violation of this Act or, if facts concerning the meeting are not discovered within the 60-day period, within 60 days of the discovery of a violation by the State’s Attorney or, if the person timely files a request for review under Section 3.5, within 60 days of the decision by the Attorney General to resolve a request for review by a means other than the issuance of a binding opinion under subsection (e) of Section 3.5.

If the State’s Attorney is truly focused on doing the right thing and following the law, as we want to believe, we should expect nothing less than him taking action to rectify this problem.  Taking the appropriate action, declaring the contract void ab-initio, means from day one it did not exist, thus the assessments in question were never done, or at a minimum, done without any legal authority. If you’re going to raise people’s taxes you had best ensure the person doing the assessments was authorized to do those assessments, both by statutory authority and legal action under the Open Meetings Act.

In addition, any future agendas for this public body needs to inform the public with sufficient information when action is going to be taken on an item.  This has not been happening for some time in Coles County.

We look forward to a response from the county officials on this matter.

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Former Sheriff Darrell Cox, whining about getting caught grabbing breasts and illegally selling guns –

COLES CO., IL. (ECWd) –

The former Sherriff of Coles County, Darrell Cox, who was publicly outed during his campaign (by the Edgar County Watchdogs – not by Phillips) for illegally selling guns in violation of State Law and in violation of Court Orders (WTHI article here), has decided to chime in and urge people to vote for Kaye, who has had his own bouts with the law.

Cox was also publicly outed for conducting business between his own private company and the Coles County Sheriff Department (article here) – a criminal conflict of interest.

Cox was caught lying under Oath, drinking prior to shift as a Sherriff Deputy, withholding information (article and pdf), conspired with others to cover his tracks, and sexually assaulted a co-worker by grabbing her breast and even betting that he could get away with it, bad behavior with progressive discipline over 17 years, tried to hide public records but we got them anyway (click here for that massive embarrassment), lied about his budget (HERE and HERE),

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (“ATF”) is currently investigating the situation with Darrell Cox – it is not over for him yet.

We are still gathering data from Cox’s time as Sherriff and will post that article in a few months when we finish gathering all of it – it is worse that anything we have written on him so far.

After his failed election run, the Coles County State’s Attorney sent out a letter to all law enforcement in Coles County warning them that it is in fact a violation of law to continue to sell guns. (click here to read the letter) He tells them it violates State Law, just as we wrote about prior to that election. He is not the only Sheriff we wrote about that was illegally selling guns.

Cox talks about the “court history” Reggie Phillips has, and we covered all that in 2014 (HERE) noting that it was all civil cases and in the normal course of business. But Cox failed to mention that in his letter to the editor.

Darrell Cox’s letter to the editor – click to enlarge:

Darrell-Cox-Letter

Every single thing we published about Darrell Cox is true, the public records obtained thru the Freedom Of Information Act and the Circuit Court are included in the articles, and it was us that did it, not Phillips. Cox accuses Phillips of communicating with the Liberty Principles PAC, which Cox lied about, but he doesn’t care, he is still sore from the beating he took at the last election where he thought he won and was in the process of celebrating at the local bar, only to find out he was given the wrong information (what a party-killer that had to be LOL) and actually lost.

We are not here to tell you who to vote for, but we do ask that you please research the history of Darrell Cox before you believe anything he has to say as there is nothing worse than supporting a candidate based on lies told by a law breaker himself.

Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
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coxPic

former Sheriff Darrell Cox




Owner of Charleston’s Sun Elite Gymnastics temporarily barred from participating in USTTA/AAU events – –

Charleston, IL. (ECWd) –

The Executive Director and National Chair of the U.S. Tumbling and Trampoline Association, and Second Lt. Governor of the AAU Central Illinois District, Mrs. Patti Lingenfelter, has confirmed that Lawson, the owner of Sun Elite, has been barred from participating in events temporarily until more information is known about the ongoing State Police investigation that we wrote about (here). She did not state what the investigation entailed, or how long it would take.

Disclosure News Online has more information available at this link (here).

lawson-zac

Image from Zac Lawson’s facebook page

 




Laws matter…..even for the law enforcers!

COLES CO. (ECWd) –

As our regular readers know, the outgoing Coles County Sherriff is no newcomer to violating the law, and to date has never been held accountable, other than a letter telling him not to do it anymore.

When a person puts on a badge and has the task of ensuring our laws are followed, most of us expect them to follow it themselves.  Sadly yet again we see in Coles county that is not the case.

Democrat Greg Voudrie is seeking the voters’ support to become the Coles County Sheriff.  He is running against Republican Jimmy Rankin.

After reviewing both candidate’s D-2 Forms filed with the State Board of Elections, Mr. Voudrie’s D-2 forms contained some disturbing things that jumped out at us.  Disturbing because some of the campaign expenditures are paid to Lakeland Community College.

What’s the problem?

Utilizing a public body to print his campaign material may well be deemed as a form of electioneering on state property but more importantly he is utilizing a taxpayer funded public body to print his campaign materials which violates the law.

Public bodies are not permitted to use public funds for private purpose.  It is clear, public funds were used in order to fill the order placed by Mr. Voudrie.  More interesting is the fact no sales tax was collected.

Many will say this is a Lakeland Community College problem not a Greg Voudrie problem, and for the most part I agree.  However, people need to realize Lakeland is not asking for your vote to enforce the law on the citizens of Coles County.

How does it make you feel knowing the very person asking for your vote has no problem engaging in what I would call a purchasing scheme that utilizes our tax dollars to create campaign material for any candidate, let alone one wanting your vote?  Or the fact that he is spending his money with a public body who is participating in an act not permitted by law and in direct competition with local businesses?

Click here for D-2 information

COLES




Bank Robbery – Oakland, Illinois –

COLES CO. (ECWd) –

UPDATE:

From WCIA-3:

Update: 10:40 am, 8/20/14, Wednesday
COLES COUNTY — Authorities are asking the public’ help identifying a bank robbery suspect. The man hit the First Farmers Bank, in Oakland, Tuesday.

He’s a white man, slender build, with a fair complexion. Investigators say a dark-green to green-colored older model vehicle, possibly a Chrysler or Plymouth, with some rust on the body and Indiana state license plates may be involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.

Coles County Crime Stoppers
1 (866) 345 – 8488
Text: “crimeleads” + info to CRIMES (274637)

Continue reading on Illinois Homepage dot net…

 

Also – listen to live radio traffic from Coles County Police, Fire EMS, and EMA: http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/3831

 




Sheriff Darrel Cox – Records Destruction Update!

ECWd’s – Coles County Sheriff

 

You may recall previous facts shared on Darrel Cox and his habit of requesting record destruction authorizations. (Click here for previous article).

As always, anytime we fail to report accurate information we always provide an update or correction to set the record straight.  I had previously reported that as Sheriff, Darrel Cox had requested to DESTROY records 4 times in 7 years as the elected Sheriff!

I WAS WRONG! 

Recently received documents from the Local Records Unit has now established that what was reported to be a single request to destroy records by the Coles County Sheriff was actually 4 separate requests! I apologize for the inaccurate reporting.

(Click on each bullet to view requests)

Looking at the dates it appears a purging was taking place the more we dug into the operations of the Coles County Sheriff who was running for State Representative.  This purging took place just months and in one case, less than a week before the primary!

What do you suppose the urgency was?  

Was it related to the Wrongful death law suit?  Some of those items being purged like daily activity logs and security check reports might have told us key information leading up to the death of an inmate.  Why purge records that were only 2-3 years old?

Was it related to the illegal gun sales?  With administration files being destroyed that were barely a year old it has to raise questions. Is it possible that the so called “missing records” for some of those guns are now truly missing because they have been destroyed?

Yes, I raised some questions without solid evidence to support the implications made.  I did so because with the past practice of the Coles County Sheriff’s office and his deceptive and inaccurate responses to clear wrongdoing I think they are questions that should be answered.

It should bother every citizen in this state to see the volume of record destruction requests coming from this particular office.  This recent enlightenment to the additional request now reflects that Darrel Cox has set a new standard for destroying records while holding office!

In just over 7 years of serving the people he has requested authorization to destroy records 7 times! 

Will the Illinois State Police follow up with an investigation or will this be another example of how Sheriffs are exempt from the law, which was the case in Edgar County with former Sheriff Tim Crippes who was selling guns with filed off serial numbers.  (Click here for Edgar County Fast & Furious article).

Our Republic is failing because we allow wrongdoing to go on with zero accountability!

Enforce the law or get rid of them!

 




Sheriff Cox Violated Court Orders!

ECWd’s – Coles County

 “No one can seem to come up with the right answer” WTHI News anchor March 17th, 2013

We came up with the right answer and although we didn’t need any more proof of that fact, we have once again been vindicated by recent legislative action!

We have exposed several Sheriffs violating state law as it relates to weapons and even when the facts are clear as a bell, Sheriffs will justify their actions to reporters by claiming they can in fact sell seized weapons.  Many reporters take their word because they are the Sheriff and surely they know what they can or cannot do.

When we reported on the Coles County Sheriff’s violation of state law he took the position that we were working for his opponent in the 110th District race, which was a lie but no one followed up to make him back up his words.  Why not?  

He also took the position that we are not a credible news source.  That may be his opinion but we have a very simple question for Sheriff Darrel Cox:  If we are not a credible news source then can you explain why your campaign chairman contacted us in an effort to get us to report on claimed federal law violations by one of your opponents, which by the way turned out to be a false accusation?   

You see this is typical behavior from those running for office who lack any foundational principals of right and wrong.  We were credible enough to them in hopes of getting negative information about an opponent broadcasted to the public but when negative information exposes themselves we are all of the sudden not credible.  Most refer to this behavior as hypocritical. 

After last week’s votes in the House of Representatives I think we can put this issue of selling seized weapons to rest.

It’s illegal to sell seized weapons!

State Representative Brad Halbrook was the Chief Sponsor of a bill to provide an additional option for judges in their decision on how to deal with seized weapons that are no longer part of criminal proceedings.  That additional option would allow them to be sold through public auction just like other property in their possession. (Click Here for NRA report on the legislation).

Had it ever been legal to sell seized weapons, as Darrel Cox has claimed, there would be no need to pass legislation to make it legal!  That being the case, its clear Darrel Cox violated state law when he sold and or traded seized weapons. 

Now with pending legislation I don’t suspect he will be held accountable to the illegal acts for selling the guns if the bill passes the Senate and gets signed into law by the Governor, however that doesn’t mean he is off the hook.

Court orders are the key to this whole issue and when the court orders weapons to be disposed of and instead they get sold, those doing the selling are violating court orders.

Looking at the numerous court orders issued to Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox, it’s clear to see that in most cases the guns were to be disposed of.  A few of the orders do permit his office to to use them as permitted by law, however many of the guns he sold were not even allowed to be used by his office, thus he violated court orders by selling them. (Click here to read all the court orders).   

What happens to the common citizen who violates Court Orders?

Just as we correctly reported years ago, the sale of seized weapons is a crime and upheld as a prohibited act by the Appellate courts.   We appreciate the legal minds in Springfield who clearly agree with our interpretations and thank them for taking steps to allow the sale of those weapons.  It’s a revenue stream that I think most agree can help fund our local government offices.

We do ask that the States Attorneys start doing their job and enforce the laws being broken by their own law enforcement officers, as allowing them to break the law only continues to erode the public trust. 

In the case of Sheriff Darrel Cox, he should be facing Official Misconduct charges, not only for violating court orders but for his documented Conflict of Interest by submitting invoices from his private business to his own elected office for payment.

If our Sheriffs are allowed to break the law with zero accountability can we allow them to enforce laws on the rest of the citizens?




FOX News Reports Local Watchdog Investigations –

(ECWd) – Race for the 110th –

Recent articles published and a joint investigation by Illinois Watchdog and Edgar County Watchdogs have resulted in FOX News picking up the article on Darrell Cox, current Coles County Sheriff and candidate for State Representative, selling and trading dozens of seized guns.

Read the FOX article here…with link to watchdog.org.

CoxOnFOX (WinCE)




Darrell Cox: IL Sheriff Seizes, Sells Guns…Bills Self for Repairs…

CHARLESTON, IL. (ECWd) –

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Dozens of guns taken from crime scenes and accused criminals in Coles County have been sold or traded.

That much is clear.

ISN’T TALKING: Sheriff Darrell Cox won’t answer questions about seized guns, says it’s political.

But ask whether the sheriff had the power to make those deals, and things get murky.

A joint investigation by Illinois Watchdog and the Edgar County Watchdogs looked into the sale or trade of weapons seized by Coles County Sheriff Darrell Cox.

But Cox wouldn’t answer our questions.

Illinois Watchdog repeatedly reached out to Cox, who made it clear he would not comment on his department’s seizure policy, because he thinks the issue is political.

Cox is running for state representative in the 110th District.

Coles County Chief Deputy Kerry Whitley hung up when Illinois Watchdog tried to clarify the dates surrounding the seized and sold weapons.

“This is all political,” Whitley said in a brief phone call Monday. “We don’t discuss politics.”

But there’s more to the story.

Information uncovered through Freedom of Information requests show that, on Aug. 20, 2012, the Coles County Sheriff’s Office traded 11 pistols, shotguns and rifles to Kaskaskia Firearms for two AR-15 rifles.

Records also show the sale of 37 other guns, but there is no data to indicate…(CONTINUE READING HERE)




Jimmy Rankin – Candidate for Coles County Sheriff –

CHARLESTON, IL. (ECWd) –

There has been considerable chatter in reference to Jimmy Rankin, candidate for Coles County Sheriff. Most of it centered around people claiming he was never in the military.

We have obtained several documents (HERE) that verify he was in fact in the military and more documents are on the way thru FOIA requests. What is interesting with this is we obtained these documents in less than 48hrs with a single e-mail request yet a person tipping us off on this matter was of the opinion he was never in the military and was confident of that.  That confidence apparently came from those he is close to who are spreading the false rumor.

Below is a copy of his Honorable Discharge from the US Army, his Army photo, a copy of The Quarter Master General Certificate, US Army Quartermaster School Certificate and a picture of Jimmy in his Air Born Jump Gear at Ft. Bragg NC.

Deputy Rankin was the Deputy that found the error that the Coles County military men were not getting differential pay.  Something that is noted in county audits.  Is that another failing of the current Sheriff Darrel Cox?.

Deputy Rankin was also the Deputy who implemented the DUI Restitution and Article 36, he did this on his own time not on duty, and this has reportedly  raised over $250,000.00.

In December he did a business proposal to the chief and sheriff for raising money for the DARE Program.  The calendars, ads and personnel have been outsourced for years, Mr. Rankin brought the calendars to be printed at a local print shop in Charleston, the leg work, ads and his idea reportedly brought over $13,000.00 to Coles County Sheriff’s Department.

Mr. Rankin didn’t take the money for the DARE Program, he had already raised over $7,000.00 for that program. Mr. Rankin saw a need for another area that was struggling at the department, the K9 Section.  Mr. Rankin had all the receipts deposited in this account because it was struggling.

Download (PDF, 559KB)




Darrel Cox, the truth eludes him!

ECWd’s – 110th State Representative Race

If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times, zebras don’t change their stripes. When a judge can see that 17 years of progressive discipline has had no effect, is it any wonder that the same person still has a problem with telling the whole truth, even while asking for your votes? 

During the recent farm bureau meet the candidate forum the candidates for the 110th State Representative race each got 2 minutes to introduce themselves.  Sadly, the farm bureau refused to allow public questions and asked that if you have a question you ask it later when the candidates mingled with those present.

The stripes of Darrel Cox have not changed and his own words prove yet again, the truth evades the mental capacity of this man.  While making claims about his 3 Billion dollar budget, which I think he meant to say $3 Million, which is also incorrect, he took pride in his management skills pertaining to that budget and stated:

 “I’m proud of the fact I’ve balanced that budget 6 out of 7 years”

Is that so Darrel?

What do the facts reflect Mr. Cox? Since the 2013 audits are not complete let’s just look at his terms in office and see what the truth reflects.

Original budget numbers vs. Actual expenditure numbers taken directly from the Coles County Audits that were received through a simple FOIA request and reflect over budget numbers.  I make referenced to the term “original” because budgets can be amended when more money is placed into the budget, which is still spending more than originally budgeted. Looking at the Coles County Audits you can see by simply comparing Original Budget to Actual and the difference being either over or under budget.

Realizing that the 2006 budget was probably set by the previous Sheriff we won’t include that in the results. He referenced a balanced budget 6 out of 7 years. 

  1. 2007 $180,563.00 Over Budget! (Page 26 of 100)
  2. 2008 $14,896.00 Over Budget! (Page 28 of 108)
  3. 2009 $64,877.00 Under Budget (Page 28 of 108)
  4. 2010 $129,018.00 Under Budget (Page 29 of 116)
  5. 2011 $9,588.00 Over Budget! (Page 32 of 121)
  6. 2012 – $18,170.00 Under Budget (Page 31 of 118)
  7. 2013 – Audit not complete yet

So the truth of the matter is, Mr. Cox’s claim of having a balanced budget 6 of his 7 years in office clearly does not hold water! At best, 4 of his 7 years in office reflected a positive budget and possibly only 3 of those 7 years depending on the results of the 2013 audit. 

How is it that people can look you in the eye and make a statement that is completely false and not bat an eye?  Are we seeing yet another politician who says whatever he needs to say to get your vote in hopes no one will check up on his statements? 

Even looking at his own published 2012 annual report we can see massive discrepancies in what he tells the public directly versus what the auditor’s report.

He states on page 3that his budget was $2,808,123.00 however on the very next page he tells us his budget number is $2,848,123.00.  Now I am not any rocket scientist but his own financial report to the public, which I downloaded here, does not match what the Coles County Audit (page 31) states, which is $2,914,123.00, which is $106,000.00 more than he tells the public!

Looking at his claim of $5,571 .97 surplus on page 3 one can only assume he either didn’t read the financial numbers on page 4 because that number reflects $853.01 surplus or he just throws numbers together hoping no one will check it.  Granted, its a surplus but if this is the best this guy can do with numbers right in front of him, isn’t that a sign that he has absolutely no business trying to manage billions of your tax dollars in Springfield?

Even more bizarre from this guy is his comment used when he introduces himself.  He states: “I got in this race because I felt like we needed a representative from the District to represent us in Springfield”.  

 News Flash Mr. Cox

Anyone running in this race is from the District because you can’t run in the 110th District if you’re not from the district.

Would you vote for a candidate that had no problem giving up discipline records on certain deputies but refuses to give up his own?  Stay tuned for that one as its a whopper!

From part of a file that the State’s Attorney approved release of:

“Darrel liked to be “One of the Boys” too much. This interfered with his capacity as Sgt. at times. Low Output. Capacity to be excellent officer but does not apply himself enough.”

Stay tuned for more exposure to include everything from, illegal gun sales to Conflicts of Interest as this guy pays no attention to the law and the documents prove it. 

Cox Article on budget balanced




Breach of Union Contract – Sheriff Darrel Cox

ECWd’s – 110th State Representative Race

Short, sweet and to the point!  Elected officials who breach the law and ignore contract obligations have no business in public office!

Sheriff Darrel Cox, who has the most amazing laundry list of wrong doing is actually wanting your vote in the 110th State Representative race.  From misconduct to what most law enforcement officers would call sexual assault, Darrel Cox has covered all the bases.

Most would agree that a drug testing program for our law enforcement is a good thing, and one would conclude that is the case in Coles County under the leadership misguidance of Sheriff Darrel Cox.

According to the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) contract, the Coles County Sheriff is required to do mandatory drug testing of at least one bargaining unit member each quarter.  That would mean a total of 4 members a year are to be tested!

Section 27.3 – Drug & Alcohol Testing

“There shall also be unit-wide random drug testing conducted on a quarterly basis. The Sheriff and the FOP shall agree to a selection process whereby all bargaining unit members’ names or social security numbers are eligible to be selected on a random basis each quarter. One bargaining unit member will be randomly selected and tested each quarter”.

So has Sheriff Cox enforced the contract within his office?

NO!

On November 26th, 2013, I submitted the this FOIA to the Coles County Sheriff.  Specifically I wanted a copy of the quarterly random drug testing results and the payments made for those test for the last 6 years.

Most people with any management skills would be able to manage 1 random drug test every quarter and the paperwork that goes along with it, however, the records reflect that not to be the case with Darrel Cox.  Not only could he not manage gathering documents for only four tests each year, he had to default to the records that the hospital kept and for the sake of saving time I agreed to narrow my request to those records the Hospital had.

In 2011 the report reflected only 2 tests performed, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt since they were counting on the hospital records to get the information as Mr. Cox didn’t keep digital records way back in 2011 and the Hospital only had records from the middle of 2011.

In 2012 he managed to comply with 3 of the 4 mandatory drug tests.  I guess that term “mandatory” has a different meaning for the Sheriff.

Where it gets real interesting is looking at the 2013 results.  Up until my FOIA request there was only 1 person tested in 2013, then two days prior to his office providing the requested records a second test was performed.  Did it take a FOIA to bring a 25% compliance track record to 50%?

So what we have is the top Law Enforcement Officer in Coles County, who wants you to vote for him to become a State Representative, yet he can’t manage his own office within the guidelines established by contract!   He has failed to comply with mandatory drug testing outlined in that contract and the testing he did have done represented a whopping 50% of the requirement for last year….only after receiving a FOIA for the results! (Test Results)

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that none of the testing in 2011, and only one in 2012, had any witness to the testing.  By Design?

For more history on Darrel Cox don’t miss the past reporting on his candidacy:

Upcoming articles to include:

  • Official Misconduct
  • Illegal Weapons sales
  • Sexual Assault/misconduct
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Violations of Department Policy

 

Cox Article on Drug Testing




Deputy Price (Coles Co.) Gets 6 Months Suspension For DUI –

COLES CO. (ECWd) –

Coles County Deputy Joe Price received 6 calendar months of unpaid suspension as a result of a recent DUI. The Court ordered other items that can be seen in the jg-tc.com article.

What makes this interesting to us is that Sheriff Cox, candidate for the 110th Representative District, had indicated to the press that he would not disclose the length of the suspension.

I had to get that information through a Freedom Of Information Act request, and it can be seen below…he should have been fired!

Why does it take a FOIA request to get this information when it should have been revealed.

Download (PDF, 1.05MB)




Sheriffs – Laws don’t apply to them?

COLES-EDGAR-EFFINGHAM –

The overwhelming consistency we see with County Sheriffs, is the disregard for the law when it gets applied to themselves.   This is part one of what will become quite a series of exposing unlawful acts by those in charge of not only enforcing our laws, but actually took an oath to uphold our laws, which also  apply to them!

This limited coverage will relate to Effingham County Sheriff John Monet, Former Edgar County Sheriff Tim Crippes, and Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox, who happens to be running for higher office………..for now!

The pattern of behavior appears to fall into 5 basic categories, of which some of those would be felonies if ever prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office, which we all know is lacking in possessing any testicular fortitude in most counties.

  • Official Misconduct
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Illegal weapons transactions
  • Incompetence
  • Mismanagement

Official Misconduct and Conflicts of Interest are pretty simple to understand and all public officials are subject to compliance with those laws, however, due to the close political nature of our local officials, few are ever held accountable and especially a County Sheriff.

Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox used his Gunsmith business, Darrel Cox Gunsmithing, and then turned invoices in for payment for work done on guns within his control as Sheriff (transaction history).  That is a prohibited act by statute and is Official Misconduct because his actions constitute a clear conflict of interest as outlined by law! Couple that with selling confiscated weapons, and we have ourselves yet another Fast & Furious, except now it’s Coles County style! Lots more to come!

Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet gave public property away, which costs the taxpayers!  Many consider the act of giving public property away to be theft.  Sheriff Monet thinks it’s OK to give a gun away to a deputy who retired(proof).  Why not give him his squad car?  A Sheriff is not permitted to give away public property, let alone keep the money from sales of public property.  Those funds are required to be turned over to the county treasurer, however, by all indications from documents we have in hand, such did not happen with the sale of a police car until after questions got raised about the missing funds! Lots more to come!

Former Edgar County Sheriff Tim Crippes used his own vehicle repair facility to work on vehicles in his control at the Sheriff’s Office.  That is a prohibited act by statute and is Official Misconduct because his actions constituted a clear conflict of interest.  Couple that with his gun-running and it’s clear, he should have been charged with Official Misconduct! (Previous Tim Crippes articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Incompetence & Mismanagement

Coles County Sheriff budget – Worst year in office we have identified, $133,000.00 over budget!  Most interesting comments as they relate to his budget? (Sheriff Darell Cox was informed that federally mandated military deployment pay has been miscalculated over the past few years in the amount of $197,090.00.) That would be a $197,000.00 oops!

Effingham County Sheriff Budget – Worst year identified so far $78,865.00 over budget. Most interesting comment from the auditors?   (The Sheriff’s department opened a bank account in the County’s name without the Treasurer’s knowledge.  In addition, the Treasurer and County Clerk were not authorized signers on the account. The Sheriff’s Department misunderstood that the awards are county money and should be reported in the county’s financial statements).

I wonder if this is related to the approximate $170,000.00 of confiscated drug money in a secret fund and spent without proper oversight?

Does anyone believe that an elected official doesn’t understand that he has to report all revenues to the treasurer of the county?

Former Edgar C0unty Sheriff Tim Crippes – Worst budget year – $157,351.00 Over Budget.   How much of that over budget expenditures went into his own pocket through work being done in his own business garage?

How bad is it?  This is just a taste of what is yet to come out as it relates to Sheriffs in this article.

  • Sexual Harassment (confirmed court records)
  • Illegal gun sales (supported by public records)
  • Lying under oath (confirmed with court records)
  • Failure to follow county policy (supported by public records)
  • Failure to follow FOP Contract (supported by public records)