AG: Edgar County ETSB Violated FOIA, Twice –

Edgar County, IL. (ECWd) –

FOIA Officer stipend for Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Board: $1500

Number of FOIA complaints resolved in her favor: Practically NONE

ETSB, please demand your money back, it isn’t working.

The ETSB Coordinator failed to justify withholding public records again…not that there was any realistic justification to begin with.

A FOIA request was submitted for radio/telephone traffic of an incident involving a Sherriff’s Department employee, and the request was denied.

The AG’s Public Access Counselor had to issue two separate violation letters to the same FOIA request.

On February 9, 2017, the PAC issued a violation letter to the ETSB and asked them to provide the records. Instead of complying, they denied it again for other reasons.

She tried saying it involved an ongoing case, and that excuse failed. Several other excuses were tried, they all failed.

This most recent violation letter explains how the new reasons for denial fall short of the law, and once again the PAC asked Nanette Crippes, ETSB Coordinator, to provide the records requested back in September of 2016.


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Edgar County 911 violates the law once again – agreement with Sheriff declared invalid

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –

The Edgar County Watchdogs thanks Edgar County 911 Director Nannette Crippes, as she is one of the primary reasons this organization started back in 2011.  Once again she proves we can count on her for continued violations of the Freedom of Information Act as the designated FOIA officer for our 911 Board.  Sadly, even after 5+ years of exposure of wrongdoing, those who she answers to, the 911 Board, have done nothing to correct the failures of their only employee.

“For the reasons stated below, the Public Access Bureau concludes that the response by the Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Board (Board) to Mr. Kirk Allen’s September 30, 2016, request Violated the requirements of FOIA.”

I sought records pertaining to certain communications related to a potential domestic battery case involving a relative to the dispatcher, an Edgar County Corrections Officers.  That corrections officer has since been charged and we wrote about it in this article.  Proof that our request was in fact tied to a public interest as it is no secret this county has a very problematic history when it comes to corrections officers.

Director Crippes denied this Freedom of Information Request for those records, to include pointing out she deserves a vacation as a justification for not complying as outlined by law.

“I am entitled to vacation days per my contract and we do the best we can with this situation.”  (See PAC further review document)

Her response confirms yet another failure. This one of the 911 Board who has appointed this failure as the FOIA officer and provided a stipend of $1,500.00 a year, all while not ensuring a backup is in place to ensure compliance with the law. Using multiple PAC opinions as confirmation of the FOIA officers failure to comply, we can only wonder why they continue to provide additional pay to this person, let alone keep her under their employ.

More importantly, the current AG PAC ruling has exposed an orchestrated plan to avoid the release of public records by Sheriff Wood and Director Crippes.  A plan that was put in place after a prior violation confirmed by the AG PAC office in 2013.  This plan was put in play the first day her cousin took office as Sheriff.  You can see that document here.    How interesting to find the 2013 failures of compliance match almost perfectly to yesterday’s ruling, which points to a total disregard for the direction provided by the Attorney Generals PAC office. 

Of special interest to this recent rulings is the fact the PAC declared that such an agreement is not valid, as in the agreement Director Crippes entered into with her cousin, the Edgar County Sheriff.

“A public body cannot create laws to avoid disclosing public records to the public or otherwise absolve their obligation to comply with the requirements of FOIA.”

“A public entity cannot enter into enforceable promises of confidentiality regarding public records”

“The confidentiality clause contained in this agreement is void as against public policy to the extent that it conflicts with the text and purpose of the Open Records Act. A public entity may not enter into enforceable promises of confidentiality regarding public records”.

“Thus, the December 1, 2014, agreement between the Board and the Sheriffs Department does not supersede the disclosure requirements of FOIA. Because the Board’s efforts to locate records did not include searching for recordings in its possession of the Sheriff’s Department’s phone lines and radio channel, this office concludes that the Board violated FOIA by failing to conduct an adequate search for the records Mr. Allen requested.”

“In accordance with the conclusion expressed above, this office requests that the Boards search for and disclose to Mr. Allen copies of any non-exempt responsive records maintained on the shared recorder.”

What we have here, based on the history of prior FOIA violations, is a willful disregard for the direction provided from the AG PAC office over the years and a disregard for the rule of law.  We now await the records requested almost 6 months ago. The PAC opinion can be viewed/downloaded below.

None of this is surprising to the residents of Edgar County who have seen their public officials operate outside the law and with immunity to the prosecution of the laws. Thus, Edgar County is the home and founding county of the “Edgar County Watchdogs”, now a nationally known organization that is helping people all over the state in the exposure of malfeasance by public officials. Thank you again Nanette Crippes.

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Forbes continues shining the light on our work.

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –

Freelance Reporter Amanda Robert for Legal Newsline published her article on Forbes that shines the light on our work.  We appreciate her reporting on our work and hope that more people come to understand the importance of getting involved and holding local government accountable, to include exposing wrongdoing of local businesses doing work with those government agencies.

“One organization, the Edgar County Watchdogs, points to state officials and government entities that it says have failed to be truthful or transparent, but also to the media, which, the group believes, has failed to hold wrongdoers accountable.”

The full article can be viewed at this link.

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Edgar County Sheriff Department conveniently missing video footage of incident –


We recently reported on a lawsuit (here) where an individual claims he was wrongly arrested and the handcuffs were placed on his wrists too tight, causing injuries.

After receiving what is purported to be all the video from the incident, it is evident the deputy did not keep the camera rolling … or the Sheriff’s Department did not provide all of the video we requested under the Freedom Of Information Act.

What good are cameras if they can be turned off or do not record the entire incident?

Virtually useless videos provided to us:




Link to the radio traffic audio files provided – which has none of the interaction between the deputy and the alleged victim.

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Dale Barkley resigned from Edgar County Airport Advisory Committee –


During the Edgar County Board meeting this morning, we learned from Karl Farnham that Dale Barkley had submitted his resignation from the Edgar County Airport Advisory Committee.

In other business, the Board approved purchasing of a new software package for use with assessments and tax levy purposes, among others. This package comes with a savings over software currently used of about $5,000 annually.

William McCord was appointed as Trustee of the Metcalf Fire Protection District.

After closed session discussions on litigation, the Board voted to pay its legal fees ($5000) for the lawsuits filed by me late last year/early this year. Both cases filed were settled with mutual stipulation(s) to dismiss.

The Board authorized an increase in payments to the ETSB for dispatching. the new agreement is $114,000 per year, compared to $100,000 last year.
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County Board Member Farnham says Nancy Zeman misquoted him in article –

Edgar County, IL. (ECWd) –

After talking to Edgar County Board Member Karl Farnham this morning prior to the December County Board Meeting, he stated that Nancy Zeman misquoted him in PP article we wrote about last week entitled “Farnham Makes Things Up, Prairie Press Prints It“.

Farnham says that his quote was actually “The majority of the county board members and ETS board members feel the Sheriff was a resource to the board“, not as was quoted in their article as “the vast majority of county residents” thinking so…

The two quotes make a great deal of difference when you look at 14 or so board members instead of approximately 18,000 residents and claiming a vast majority of either of them.

On another note, if the county board feels the Sheriff should be on the ETS board, they need to have it addressed thru the legislature, the same way a county board member as ETS member was addressed and have it added to the applicable statute.


Karl Farnham Makes Things Up – Prairie Press Prints It –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Karl Farnham came up with some pretty good excuses, the problem is they are not true.

Well, one thing was true, that a lawsuit would have been filed if Sheriff Wood would have been reappointed to the ETSB board.

Other than that, everything else is false. Farnham was quoted as saying “the vast majority of county residents” feel the sheriff was a good asset to the ETS Board – which we know to be false, since it cannot be proven to be how the “vast majority” felt about it when Farnham made the statement. He obviously doesn’t care about a unanimous vote of the county board saying they are not authorized health insurance – but he now makes a false claim about how the “vast majority” of county residents feel about the ETSB members?

We have submitted a request for records to support the statement about how a “vast majority” of the county residents feel – but we already know there is no such proof to be had.

“The AG Opinion was non-binding” – wow. What a fool he is for that statement. It is well-known the AG opinion was written as a legal opinion, and that a binding opinion was never requested from the AG, which is duty bound to provide legal advice to the States Attorney when asked, which they did. Are we to believe Karl knows more than all the attorneys at the AG’s Office, since he then stated he believed there was no conflict with the Sheriff on the ETS Board?

He’s only voting on money controlled by his department, not personally” was the next quote by Farnham. Why did Farnham change the story line now? The last articles written quoted him and the 911 Coordinator saying something completely different about how the money was controlled.  The fact is, Farnham’s statement is one reason it makes it a conflict; the sheriff was voting on “money controlled by his department“…while serving on the board of another department (votes on the amount of compensation to provide to his other department)…meaning he could not give impartial faithful service to both, no matter how much he thinks he could.

Farnahm is one of the same board members that didn’t think disgraced former Chairman Chris Patrick selling concrete to the county was a conflict. We all know how that turned out for him.

Farnham is the same board member that when exposed for selling guns illegally during his time as Sheriff responded with “its past the statute of limitations”, which basically was an admission with no regard for the fact it was illegal, other than he can’t be held accountable for it now.

Well prior to the actual re-appointments to the 911 Board, Kirk Allen provided a simple solution to the Sheriff sitting on the 911 board being a conflict.  County Board Chairman Voigt was told they could still have the same input from the county sheriff even if he was not on the board. Sure, he wouldn’t be allowed to vote on things, but if what the ETSB honestly wants is input, they can have that without the sheriff being on the board and serving in a conflicted position as is clearly pointed out by the Attorney General.

Previous article from us on this subject Sep 21Sep 21Oct 29

Karl-Farnham (WinCE)

Sheriff Wood Cannot Serve On ETS Board – Prairie Press Editorial Fails On Facts –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

With absolute disbelief that any person, or group of people, could be so wrong, I read the editorial in this week’s Prairie Press on their assumption that “There is no conflict” in Sheriff Jeff Wood being on the Edgar County ETS Board.

We published a previous article on this conflict of interest (here).

So now we have Nannette Crippes, 911 Coordinator, saying on the record that the Illinois Attorney General doesn’t know how things operate in Edgar County, to a local “newspaper” parroting the same line with “[the AG opinion] is based on a faulty assumption“. Really?

Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate people questioning their public officials, but this seems to defy all common sense – AND – they “forget” to mention the most damning part of the AG’s Opinion.

First, let’s look at their statement towards the end of the opinion,

The local 911 system nearly suffered a collapse during a previous administration when the Sheriff failed to attend ETS Board meetings and communications broke down.

There was never any “near collapse” or anything resembling a collapse – problems were manufactured to elect a new Sheriff, who happens to be the cousin of Nannette Crippes.

A previous Sheriff, Crippes, was on the ETS Board, who ended up in an affair with Nannette (his subordinate and employee), breaking up two marriages, and now they are married to each other. That worked out great for Nanny as she was then able to work two county jobs, at the same time, during the same hours of the day, and get paid for both of them, all while distributing over $11,000.00 in gift cards with no records of who they went to.

Karl Farnham says he has no problem with her stealing public funds in that fashion, while ETS Board member Troy Eads jokes about how Nannette “..could always raise her skirt and f##k with Karl or f##k with the Sheriff..” (yes, that is a quote)

Dee Burgin (who still owes the county $100,000.00) was on the Board when they all voted to say they were OK with her filing false reimbursement claims for payments for attending two year’s worth of meetings that never happened – yes, they were just fine and dandy letting her steal more money from you, the taxpayer. These are some of the incestuous relationships currently running our 911 system.

Sheriff Motley realized there was a conflict with the Sheriff serving on our ETS Board and decided to not participate in conflicted actions. The failure of communications was all on Nannette Crippes, who demanded to be moved into the basement of the courthouse almost immediately after her husband lost his bid for re-election.

The original formation of her position clearly reflected she was to answer to the Sheriff, however, she would have no part of that after her hubby got beat.  No, instead, she moved her office into the basement of the courthouse at great expense to county taxpayers.   The entire manufactured problems prior to this most recent election with the 911 system disappeared the instant the new election results were published. That should show there was never any danger of the collapse of our 911 system. It was a bought and paid for “crisis” under the guise of news. Thanks Karl, you were very helpful in perpetuating those lies.  Of special note, if ETSB was in danger of “collapse” where was the news coverage of such a newsworthy matter?

The AG Opinion:

The AG Opinion, states several things creating the conflict with a Sheriff and/or Deputy Sheriff as ETS Board members.

  • That the position as Sheriff (and Deputy) creates a conflict in the fact that the Edgar County Sheriff Department if being reimbursed by the ETSB for services employees of the Sheriff’s Department (dispatchers) are performing. The Sheriff, as a board member, negotiates the level of reimbursement and votes on the level of reimbursement to his own department.
  • The position of Sheriff, also includes the statutory Office of Supervisor of Safety [55 ILCS 5/3-6035] which is incompatible with service on the ETS Board. He could be called upon as Supervisor of Safety to act or vote on certain safety measures/contracts [55 ILCS 5/3-6036] that may conflict with his duty to the ETS Board – OR his voting on ETS matters could conflict with his duties as Supervisor of Safety.

Powers of the ETS Board

The powers of an ETS Board are in its statute. Among those powers are certain items they can expend funds on, and no other.

They are authorized to expend funds to reimburse employees of the Sheriff’s Department for performing duties as 911 operators. They do not have the power to pay into the county general fund for those reimbursements. The dispatchers are employees of the Sheriff’s Department, that is where the reimbursements are to be sent. No exceptions. Our county is again violating the law when it comes to the ETS Board expending money.  In fact, the AG points to that very concern on page 5 as footnote #6, but I guess the Prairie Press would have had to read that to know it.

The Prairie Press is simply wrong on their assumption that neither Wood nor the Sheriff’s Department directly benefits from the ETS payment for dispatching services. First, there is no requirement to have a “direct” benefit in order to have a conflict. The term used is generally a “direct or indirect” benefit – or may be called upon to act or vote on things in which he could not faithfully, under every circumstance, protect and serve both positions. Second, there is a direct benefit due to the fact that the ETSB can only send these payments to the Sheriff’s Department – not to the county general fund.

The total focus of Nannette Crippes and the Prairie Press appears to be on questioning the financial conflict with complete disregard for all the other key points.

If the sheriff or a deputy sheriff were to serve simultaneously as an ETS board member, he or she would be placed in the untenable position of balancing the interests of the sheriffs  office and the ETS System. Because the sheriffs or the deputy sheriffs duties to the county and to the System would conflict in these circumstances, the sheriff (or a deputy sheriff) is necessarily precluded from also serving as a county ETS board member, unless another provision of Illinois law expressly permits such simultaneous tenure.”

So even when all the money issues raised and excuses are made, the Prairie Press once again fails to even mention the other conflicts pointed out by the Attorney General.  Conflicts that we pointed out years ago, as did the former Sheriff, who instead of serving in a conflicted position, removed himself from it. In the past, people would be praised for doing the right thing, however, in Edgar County this local paper casts dispersion on those who do that while creating new straw-man arguments to defend violations of law.

As far as the Prairie Press claiming that county policy appointed the Sheriff, we must once again expose the failings of the self proclaimed hometown news.  Had they done a shred of investigating before stepping off in it, they would know that you can’t pass a policy that is inconsistent with law, and more importantly, a policy that is passed and consistent with law is a legislative act and binding by law.

That being the case, how convenient the Prairie Press left out the fact the original resolution creating the ETSB only authorized that board to hire a “temporary” employee.

“Hiring, on a temporary basis, any staff necessary for the  implementation or upgrade of the system.” (original resolution)

Nannette Crippes is and has been the only employee of Edgar County ETSB, and her hiring and being given full time benefits like no other county employee, is done in direct violation of the very policy that entity is bound by, but of course the Prairie Press failed to mention that policy.  In light of their position pointing to policy as the guide-line, are they going to demand she be immediately terminated since she has far, far exceeded any “temporary” basis?

Additionally, Nannette and the ETSB, in a colossal effort to deflect all responsibility for failure to obtain state licensing, has publicly stated, as has the Prairie Press, that the 911 belongs to the Sheriff’s Department who is the only person responsible for its licensing. Thus, no need for her “temporary” employment with the ETSB – unless past statements are no longer politically expedient.

I think the conclusion from the AG tells us all we need to know as they did not state the reason the two positions are in conflict based on any financial issue.  No, in fact they specifically tied it to the absence of express statutory authorization.  We have said for years, you only have the power granted by statute and when it’s silent you can’t do it.  I guess the AG agrees with Dillon’s Rule as well!

Conclusion: “Based upon the facts that you have provided, and in the absence of express statutory authorization, the offices of Edgar County sheriff and Edgar County deputy sheriff are incompatible with the office of Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Board member. Accordingly, one person cannot hold both offices simultaneously.

I guess we can count this as yet another colossal failure in reporting by the Prairie Press.

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Edgar County Board out of control!

Edgar Co. (ECWd)

It has been reported in the local paper that the county board plans on reappointing the entire ETSB (911) board.  If they do that, it once again shows this county board has no interest in ever holding anyone accountable for the criminal actions and outright malfeasance that has taken place within this 911 board since its inception.

For starters, Merl Clark and Cindy Belt have been on this board since day one.  The laundry list of illegal actions taken while they have been on this board is enough to justify their removal.  Before we go into that list,  let’s not forget what happened the month before the Democrat controlled board under the misguidance of Jim Keller did several years ago.

Jim Keller drafted up a resolution to reappoint the entire 911 board for 3 years.  When that happened the three Republicans on the board were fuming as they claimed it was time for change, but everyone knew this was done to protect Nannette Crippes, who was supposed to work for the Sheriff – yes, it has always been in the Resolution that she works for the Sheriff, the forged document produced claiming otherwise is in itself a crime.

When the old guard was voted out there was a push to remove some of these corrupt 911 members and it was blocked by the State’s Attorney, with the claim the law does not permit them to be removed because it only claims they have the power to appoint, not remove.

We took the matter to Springfield and a new law was enacted with a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and the Governor’s signature.  That law allows for the removal of any board member for  misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office.  There is no question any one of those three reasons can be substantiated.

Fast forward to this month, and we have Karl Farhnam leading the charge to keep the status quo of corruption in place. He disagreed with what Keller did years ago yet now wants to do the same thing with basically the same people.  Only in Edgar County!

A perfect example of wrong-doing exposed, and nothing being done about it can be viewed in the video below.   I encourage everyone to watch the video, specifically public comment, to better understand why these people must be removed from office. My presentation began at the 5 min:54 sec mark and went through 17 min: 10 sec mark.

Click here – ETSB Meeting corruption exposed

Below are the reasons why no less than Merl Clark, Cindy Belt, and Troy Eades should be removed from the board.

  • Allowed Nanette to draw TWO county paychecks while working the same hours.  One from ETSB and one from her husband’s budget, former Sheriff Crippes. (Exposed in the above video)
  • Illegal pay raise provided to Nanette – failed to get majority of the members to vote yes, yet they gave it to her anyway. (Article here) and (Article here)
  • Over $6,000.00 spent out of petty cash without ANY receipts, of which over $900 went directly to Nannette Crippes. (Article here)
  • Illegal contract issued to Nannette by secret meeting over the phone (Article here)
  • Attempted to mislead the public with public comment rules that had nothing to do with the OMA statute (Article here)
  • Authorized the spending of money on radios for fire departments which is in violation of the law.
  • Fabricated lies regarding the authorization of pagers for county fire departments and refused to provide the same to Kansas Fire.(Click here for that article)
  • Authorized the spending of money on DUCKS for the Paris Lake duck races. (gambling with public funds)
  • Was a party to fraudulent documents pertaining to parties held by the 911 board. Minutes properly reported them as parties, however, the claims turned into the county reflected they were for planning sessions. No planning session records have ever been produced, nor did any planning take place at those parties. (Article here)
  • Allowed Nanette to file false claims to be paid for meetings that never took place. (theft)
  • Illegally hired a private attorney with 911 funds that were later recovered because of our exposure. (false claims) (Article here)
  • Failed to move forward on ISO matters that would help save property owners on their insurance.(Article here) and  (Article here)
  • Took action in closed session meetings authorizing a vehicle for Nanette.
  • Authorized travel pay to Nanette to come to work and go home because she lives in Chrisman
  • Pushed for a 4 year contract to protect Nanette, and never put the contract out for bid. (We now have case law that reflects that action was illegal! )
  • Allowed Nanette to push her duties onto the Highway Department as they put up the signs for her, which proves her claim that she needed a car was a lie because she claimed she needed it for putting up signs.
  • Allowed 911 to never be licensed by the state until just recently.
  • Allowed dispatchers to dispatch medical calls without having been certified for at least 6 years. (Minutes prove they knew they were not trained) (EIU News covered it)
  • Claimed our 911 system was “Enhanced” which requires no less than 2 dispatchers to be on duty, which is not the case most of the time in Edgar County.
  • NEVER had a budget until we forced that issue
  • Banking done with bank Merl Clark worked at prior to them firing him.
  • While working at same bank, Merl Clark allowed illegal loan to be taken out by former County Board member Jim Keller that put the county $300,000.00 in debt for the Ambulance building for Burgin’s benefit. (Article here)  (And here)
  • Secret ballot votes that the AG forced them to redo.
  • Giving compensation (gifts) to board member Cindy Belt (Exposed in the above video)
  • Over $11,000.00 spent on gift cards yet no record of who received them.  Nanette and Merl claimed they were given to the deputies and corrections officers yet many deputies said they NEVER got anything like that. (Click here for that article)  (Also exposed in the above video)
  • Petty cash disbursements to family and friends (Click here for that article)  (Also exposed in the above video)
  • Tax evasion – failed to report income tax for hired family member and friends of Nannette Crippes. Paid from petty cash. (Also exposed in the above video)
  • Authorized the cell phone plan for Nanette and her whole family.
  • Allowed the use of county credit to purchase fuel in amounts that exceeded the capacity of the fuel tank in the car provided, which means other tanks were getting filled.
  • Failed to pay the monthly balance on the card and paid numerous late fees, all on charges created by Nanette
  • 9 months of refusing to give up records only to be forced to by the AG – (article here)
  • Numerous confirmed FOIA and OMA violations.

All of these things having taken place under the watch of Clark, Belt, and most of them while Eades was on the board, yet not one example of any accountability can be found.  Their position is, we stopped it, so let’s move on.  They should all be removed from public office as it is clear they don’t know what they are doing and have no interest in protecting the taxpayer dollar.

This county board wonders why things are percolating to the surface and legal actions moving forward need wonder no more.  When they refuse to hold anyone accountable for such a laundry list of wrongdoing it is time to hold them accountable.

Both action and inaction have consequences! 

Karl Farnham, Edgar Co. Board, raping the taxpayer –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

For the past several years, as far back as the records I have will show, that County Board Member Karl Farnham has been stealing receiving compensation far in excess of what he is lawfully entitled to receive.

Every month, at least back to December of 2012, Farnham has been stealing receiving county health insurance benefits in direct violation of a) the county employee policy, and, b) the counties code, and, c) the county board resolution setting county board member compensation, and, d) Article VII, Section 9 (b) of the Illinois Constitution, and, e) Article VIII, Sections 1 (a) and (b) of the Illinois Constitution.

He signed the resolution, he knows it is wrong, he has been informed for over three years that it is wrong, and yet it continues. It continues because the Edgar County State’s Attorney, Mark Isaf, does not have the backbone to put a stop to it.

During the past 3+ years, this board has been deliberately avoiding the subject, and now I believe I know why…because it affects their pocketbooks. Farnham didn’t want any opinion or questioning of his excess compensation because it would cost him extra money out of his own pocket in order to obtain his own health insurance. To keep stealing receiving this “perk”, it was better to just say nothing.

Saying nothing stops today.

Look at the Edgar County Resolution setting compensation for county board members below – incidentally, Farnham SIGNED this resolution on November 23, 2011. A detailed breakdown is below the pdf.

He cannot claim ignorance, he signed it.

Here is what ALL county board members are authorized…and nothing else:

  • $1200 per year for board member
  • or $1320 per year as board chairman
  • $25 for each meeting attended
  • $10 travel allowance for each meeting attended
  • Additional mileage per meeting attended

***Does anyone see anything mentioned about health insurance?***

Does anyone see anything about free life insurance? He’s getting that also…

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What did Farnham get IN EXCESS OF the lawful amount? (proof on pages 18-24 in this pdf)

These numbers quoted below are our “best estimate” based on the premium per month minus the employee’s cost. So while there could be a minor difference on each payment, the total amount is pretty close to what Edgar County actually paid for his insurance, and also includes the $5.99 per month paid for his life insurance.

From Oct 2012 – Oct 2013 he received $396.79 each month in excess of what he was authorized to receive. That amounts to screwing the taxpayer out of $4761.80 for that year.

From Oct 2013 – Oct 2014 he received an excess of $426.79 each month for a total of $5121.48 for that year.

From Oct 2014 – Oct 2015 he received an excess of $461.99 each month, for a total of $5543.88.

Grand Total for the past three years? $15,426.84 of compensation over and above what he is authorized. If this were anyone else, with any other State’s Attorney, they would have already been charged with felony official misconduct and theft thru deception.

As you can clearly see, Karl Farnham has stolen received excessive compensation of over $15,400 from the taxpayers over the past 3 years…and nobody does anything about it…because “that’s the way we’ve always done it“…

If you are wondering why the county is still over half a million dollars in debt, maybe this is one of the reasons why.

More articles on health insurance on their way…

Karl-Farnham (WinCE)

The 3-1/2 year Conflict of Interest Battle – Sheriff/ETSB –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

The issue with the conflicts of interest on the Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Board started over three and a half years ago when we first became aware of the situation. At that time, Sheriff Motley and Deputy Burgin were both on the ETSB board, and both were employed by the Edgar County Sheriff Department.

Update for clarity: In Edgar County, the 911 dispatchers are on the Sheriff’s payroll. The ETSB reimburses the Sheriff’s Department for an approximate amount of their salary commensurate with the percentage of duty performed as 911 dispatch. This reimbursement is continually reevaluated and was last set at $100,000 in August 2015 payable in quarterly installments of $25,000 each quarter. This negotiation involved the ETSB board, ETSB Director, and the Edgar County Sheriff – no different than previous years. With this, the agreement could have been unduly influenced by the ETSB and its Director based on facts not relevant to reimbursement – like they find this Sheriff more agreeable to their political thinking…and past lower reimbursement levels and lack of cooperation due to personality problems harbored by the ETSB Director could have been influenced negatively by their dislike of the Sheriff at that time (which is evident in news articles prior to the election and recent statements made by Farnham). A classic conflict of interest finally dealt with.

The issue was brought to the attention of the Edgar County Board just prior to April 2012, and to the ETSB Board in April of 2012 (here).

On May 16, 2012, Edgar County State’s Attorney, Mark Isaf, sent a letter to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan requesting an opinion on whether or not there was a conflict of interest with the Sheriff and Deputy being on the ETSB, and even asked about various other emergency services personnel on the board. He followed up with a status request on September 27, 2012 and May 12, 2014 (letters here).

In June of 2014, we wrote an article critical of how the AG’s office was treating this request for an opinion from a State’s Attorney (here). In December of 2014 we wrote another article critical of the AG’s handling of the request (here).

During the December 10, 2014 county board meetign, at 5:57 in the video (here) I asked the county board about the conflict of interest. After this county board meeting I explained the issue to Sheriff Wood about a Sheriff on the ETSB and told him we had been waiting since 2012 for an opinion.

The history of this situation is important so our readers can understand how long it takes to get an opinion to correct a wrong, and so they can realize how broken this system is when a State’s Attorney cannot even get an opinion from the Attorney General in a timely manner. Additionally, this should also show our readers that this issue has nothing to do with who the Sheriff actually is, but that the position of Sheriff is incompatible with a seat on the ETSB.

We learned this morning during the county board study session that the AG had finally rendered an opinion, and we are waiting for a copy of it thru FOIA.

Video of this morning’s study session is below – there is general discussion of the Edgar County Special Services Area Ambulance tax levy and other things of interest:


Edgar County Sheriff Wood cannot serve on ETSB (911) Board –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Conflict of Interest – More news you heard here first, and most likely nowhere else

Edgar County Sheriff Jeff Wood cannot serve on the Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Board (“ETSB”) or (“911 Board”) due to a conflict of interest between that board position and the Sheriff Department he was elected to oversee.

The issue comes with how our systems were set-up. In Edgar County, the ETSB pays public funds to the Sheriff Dept for their portion of the 911 dispatch services. The dispatchers work for the Sheriff, and by the Sheriff sitting on the board, it creates the conflict of interest by having the opportunity to discuss, negotiate, and vote on the level or reimbursement the ETSB will send to the Edgar County Sheriff Dept.

This became more evident in the recent passage of an agreement in August for ETSB to pay $100,000 per year to the Sheriff’s Dept for dispatching services each year.

This issue was discussed at the County Board Study Session this morning and there is an AG Opinion on the subject.


Edgar Co. Sheriff not answering FOIA requests – hires secretary –

Edgar Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Early in April we received word that the Sheriff had conducted interviews for the open secretarial position due to the retirement of the previous secretary.

In the interview process, the Sheriff invited Nanette Crippes, Edgar County Emergency Telephone System Director, “ETSB”, and Nancy Zeman, part-owner of the Prairie Press weekly paper, to assist in interviewing the candidates.

Nanette Crippes and the ETSB have no connection with, and is not employed with, the Edgar County Sheriff’s Department – which makes me wonder why she was part of the interview process.

Nancy Zeman, is not an employee or officer of Edgar County, and in my opinion, and especially as part-owner/writer for a local weekly paper, should never be part of the interview process for the Sheriff’s secretary. In her response to my questions, Nancy responded with “I was asked to join the interview process based on my experience as a business owner and longtime resident of Edgar County. Sheriff Wood was seeking to make the interview process more open, which I fully support.”

So this creates somewhat of a conflict with the “unbiased” reporting they have claimed in the past, but became apparently biased during the run-up to the November 2014 election cycle with the reporting of obviously manufactured disagreements between the ETSB and the Sheriff’s office – which vanished into thin air after the election.

Additionally, in order to determine exactly what went on during the interviews, I requested those records from the Sheriff’s office. The FOIA request is past the mandatory 5 day response time with no acknowledgement of when they will respond.

FOIA Issues

The Freedom of Information Act specifically addresses issues with non-officers and non-employees of public bodies and their access to records in Section 3(a). It states that “Notwithstanding any other law, a public body may not grant to any person or entity, whether by contract, license, or otherwise, the exclusive right to access and disseminate any public record as defined in this Act."

This applies in this situation where they have, thru not answering the FOIA request, granted Crippes and Zeman exclusive rights to access and disseminate those records involved in the interview process. Additionally, the Illinois Supreme Court has already determined that when a record is provided to any party outside the public body, it automatically becomes a public record under FOIA (unless another law specifically prohibits its release).

I will exercise Section 11 of FOIA next week and file a lawsuit in Edgar County Circuit Court to obtain access to those records.

Who was hired?

They hired as the secretary, Jamie Sturgell. She is the daughter-in-law of Terry Sturgell who writes a column on the Ag page in the Prairie Press and she is also the mother of Kathy Rhoads’ granddaughter. As Chamber director, Kathy Rhoads (former employee of the Paris Beacon News) makes it very apparent that she supports the Prairie Press. It just seems like the person they hired has a lot of ties to the Prairie Press, with the help of Zeman, which would make it hard for them to say that anything they report on regarding the Sheriff’s Department was unbiased. Additionally, she is the daughter of Keith Trogdon (Dist 4 school board) and niece of Kevin Trogdon (former Edgar County Board Member).

Please do not confuse this article as attacking Jamie Sturgell, because that is not the purpose of this article, it’s merely to point to what I consider flaws in the hiring process within Edgar County government and to inform the general public as to what they can most likely expect related to reporting on Edgar County Sheriff Department issues in the future..


Edgar County Board members fail the public…again…

Edgar Co.(ECWd) –

To the good citizens of Edgar County, we owe you an apology for thinking we could give your public officials a longer leash to operate from.  It has become clear, once again, that Edgar County officials, specifically county board members this time, simply have little ability to comprehend the law and apply it.  It is also evident that the Prairie Press (PP) is not going to lift one finger to fact check things they hear at a meeting and report to the public.  The danger in that type of reporting is people read and believe what is in the paper without any supporting information.

In today’s PP it was reported that County Board member Jeff Voigt stated “failing to charge a fee (for dispatching) to Edgar County Special Service Area Ambulance could be construed as taxpayers further subsidizing a profit venture.”

They quoted Alan Zuber stating he “questioned the need to charge ECSSAA a fee and not the other two ambulance services operating in Edgar County”

Then, they quote Karl Farnham’s brilliant words with this: “Clark County 911 does charge a dispatching fee to the city police, fire companies, and the ambulance services.  He added a for profit ambulance in Vermillion county is also charged for dispatching by that 911 operation.

In an effort to once again educate these county board members, as this is not the first time I have had to explain this, I will expose how bad things really are in Edgar County leadership!

Let’s start with that first foundational principal of our constitution,  We the People.  In this case, We The People would be the taxpayers in the 7 township area that VOTED to be taxed for an ambulance service. Those people voted to “subsidize” an ambulance service with their money in the form of a tax.  A service that the people wanted and the county board contracted with in order to meet the will of those people.

According to the PP, Voigt believes when 911 dispatches the ambulance for an emergency dispatch it could be construed as taxpayers further subsidizing a profit venture.”

“Subsidy” defined: A subsidy is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (or institution, business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy.

When our 911 center dispatches an emergency call to the ambulance in question, is there a single person on the PLANET that can identify a financial aid or support that is extended to that ambulance company?

The fact that they get dispatched by 911 IS NOT subsidizing the ambulance!  It is not providing a single penny to them in any fashion and to imply that the process of dispatching an ambulance to an emergency call is somehow subsidizing them shows either total ignorance of what a subsidy is or is an attempt to unjustly charge an entity for a services (dispatching) that is mandated by law! An attempt to justify it because they are a business points to an agenda of some kind.

Zuber’s concern brings in another interesting perspective from our county leadership.  A perspective of, let’s make sure we charge them all not just one.

How about we first identify what the law is? 

The law mandates the County to operate a 911 Dispatch for Emergency Services.  A mandated service that IS subsidized by every tax payer and owner of a phone in this county.

Mr. Zuber, you are not allowed to charge any emergency service agency, for profit or non-profit, for emergency dispatch.  It is the obligation of the county to provide that service and maybe it is high time you and others start reading the statutes and stop listening to the fossils who think they run things in this county, which brings me to Karl Farnham’s reported comments regarding Clark County charging for dispatching.

I would suggest to Gary Henry, pick up the phone and check with Clark County Sheriff Jerry Parsley to fact check information coming from Karl Farnham.  It took me all of 1 minute to confirm, Clark County DOES NOT charge for Emergency Dispatch to Police, Fire, and Ambulance agencies.  THEY DO NOT, yet the PP reported they do according to Farnham! 

They do charge police for NON EMERGENCY dispatch but please, don’t take my word for it, call him yourself.   He will be happy to confirm the information.  The reason they can charge for non emergency is because the use of an intergovernmental agreement is established that uses county 911 assets to assist in non 911 operations handled by the police.

When it comes to Fire and Ambulance, if you call those agencies, it better be for an emergency because that is what they are for, emergencies!

It’s evident in this county, our 911 operation is not fixed as we have been lead to believe because even after years of hammering the law into their head they still do not comprehend the most basic principal of our form of government.  A principal of limiting powers.

Mr. Voigt, Zuber, and Farnham, the law does not provide you with any language to charge for dispatching emergency calls to police, fire, ambulance or any other emergency service operation.  You simply can not do it without violating the law. (ETSB Statue)

But I digress!  This is Edgar County and the law means nothing, much like terms such as ethics, integrity, and honesty.  Case and point is the fiasco with the Airport Manager who LIED on his employment application.  Yes, he lied, but since those lies, or “misrepresentations”, as certain board members like to call it, were not related to his duties that he was hired for so they are not worried about it.   More on that in a future article.

Over two years ago we were asked to figure out a way to remove 911 Board Members because Isaf doesn’t have the backbone to defend their removal. We stepped up and got the law changed and even though they now clearly have the power to remove those members, no steps have been taken to fix the problem, which is failed leadership.

If you want 911 fixed they are going to have to remove no less than three members, Eads, Belt, Clark!

If you want accuracy in news, keep reading the Paris Beacon and Edgar County Watchdogs!







Naperville – Your 911 tax went where?

Naperville, IL. (ECWd) –

updated for clarification…

Did you ever wonder where the “surcharges” on your home phone and cell phones go? Look no further…

In Naperville, the city has its own ETSB, or Emergency Telephone System Board, with the duty of managing the city’s 911/E911 system, or Emergency Telephone System. Part of that duty includes determining where the surcharges raised from citizen’s telephone service is spent, as a matter of fact, they have exclusive authority over those funds.

The Emergency Telephone System Act

According to the Emergency Telephone System Act, one of those pesky state laws we have to operate under, the ETSB Board has the following duties that include but are not limited to:

– Receiving all surcharge funds

– Placing all funds into a separate interest-bearing Emergency Telephone System Fund account

– Ensuring all interest earned stays in that account

– Ensuring no money is paid out except upon direction of the board by resolution passed by a majority of all members of the board – and only for authorized expenditures

– Ensuring that expenditures only go to pay for the 10 items listed in Section 15.4(c) of the Act, and for no other item

Naperville ETSB

We found it quite unusual that each quarter, the Naperville ETSB would transfer lump sums from the surcharge account straight into the General Fund of the City. I’m still trying to figure out how they know where the money is going if that is their only “expenditure” of these restricted funds. The appearance is that the city is trying to get around this restriction by simply transferring  all of the funds in the account to the general fund to use how they wish, but that is not how it works.

So I asked for more information, and one of the items that jumped off the page were payments to a consultant (see one example on page 9 of this pdf), which is in violation of the law even if he is acting as a financial consultant.

Consultants such as Marquette Associates, Inc. are not one of the ten items listed in the Act’s authorized expenditures.

I have requested further information on these payments and expect to hear from the city by the end of this week.

Edgar County Board Meeting 2-11-2015 –


Below is video from the Edgar County Board Meeting held on February 11, 2015.

Public comment starts around the 2:20 mark with Kirk Allen speaking about the ISO rating and lack of Illinois Department of Public Health Department licensing for the county’s ETSB (911), John Kraft spoke about several unfinished items and an upcoming deadline for splitting overpopulated precincts, Rob Bogue spoke about insurance at the airport and other issues, and another person (I can’t hear her name) that thanked the board for supporting the fight to keep the power lines out of the county.

Edgar County 911 – It’s never her fault!

Edgar Co. (ECWd)

2011 – Nannette Crippes exposed for dispatchers not being licensed by the state of Illinois for as much as 6 years.

The response then: “It’s poor policing by the Illiniois Department of Public Health for them not letting her know of the lapse”

2015 – Nannette Crippes exposed for the 911 agency not being licensed by the state of Illinois…….EVER.

WTHI TV – Terre Haute News coverage

The response now: “She says the lapse in licensing could also be an issue from the state of Illinois.  I mean we’ve never been fined or said, why isn’t your system licensed by the state people,” Crippes said. “It’s just, there’s no policing it.

The very statute that proved she failed miserably as a 911 Director in 2011 has yet to be put into place as I begged them to do in 2011.

Now after being exposed that they are still not in compliance, it is once again the state’s fault.

 “Poor policing?” – “No policing?”

With these excuses and the acceptance of these excuses by certain 911 board members, is it any wonder things never get fixed with this agency?  At what point does someone stand up and say Ms. Crippes, IT IS YOUR JOB to police these matters as the Director of 911, NOT THE STATE’S! 

As an EMT myself I can tell you, as can any other EMT, it is my responsibility to maintain my license, not the state’s.  They have no obligation to ensure you operate with a license.  Much like your drivers license.  Does the police officer accept the excuse that the state didn’t police the fact your license has expired and let you get away with speeding?

The logic with these people is that of a 5th grader. 

Edgar County ETSB Center Operating without IDPH License –


During the Edgar County Emergency Telephone Systems Board meeting held February 9, 2015, a board member presented evidence that the 911 Dispatch Center had been operating without any license from the Illinois Department of Public Health since at least 2002.

April of 2013, the ETSB Director, Nanette Crippes was given the application for licensure, and as we are finding out, chose to do nothing about it and ignored it.

The statute is clear, the responsibility for licensing is the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB), and by default for being their only employee, not to mention the person in possession of the application, the fault of the ETSB Director.

Here is a link to the Paris Beacon News article (here) from February 10, 2015 – and a link to the WTHI-TV News story (here) on the same subject. (note WTHI-TV is incorrect on how long they have operated without a license as they have NEVER had a license)

This follows along the lines of this article from several years ago that is part of the very statute on this issue.  It also happens to be the very issue that started ECWd (video here) , where the ETSB let their dispatchers go with expired licenses for as much as 6 years.

The responsibility is not with this Sheriff or any previous Sheriff, it is with the ETSB. “If the dispatcher operates under the authority of an Emergency Telephone System Board established under the Emergency Telephone System Act, the protocols shall be established by such Board in consultation with the EMS Medical Director.”

Emergency Medical Services Systems Act (here) in conjunction with Section 5-15 of the Illinois Administrative Code has the details:

Download (PDF, 126KB)

Edgar County Board Study Session – ETSB’s Troy Eads contradicts himself –


Troy Eads, Chairman of the Edgar County ETSB (911) took this time to address the Edgar County Board on what Kirk Allen presented at the January Edgar County Board Meeting.

He begins by apologizing for some of the information provided at the last county board meeting not having all the truths. Then continues on by opining about facts, and suggesting that it is possible the inspectors visited the Sheriff Department under the former Sheriff and were refused information or given inaccurate information. So, he says he will talk facts, then states something that he does not know to be true – I can see how this is going…

Then talks about Mr. Allen’s first documented visit to the 911 board in 2011 asking them to buy some pagers and maintain them, and they declined. – and I thought this was about facts???

This is the same line the 911 board has used for years, and is an absolute lie. What that sentence had to do about the ISO rating, is something I’m still trying to figure out – except maybe to attempt to insert some type of doubt as to why Kirk Allen spoke at the last county board meeting.

At the 3:30 mark, Eads tells the board a brief history of the National Fire Protection Association but what is so telling is his comment at the end of that statement.  A comment that clearly is yet more proof this man should be removed from his position as Board Chairman for 911.

“and now, were finding out, telecommunicators I guess”.

Now your finding out?  You guess?  The 911 Board Chairman basically admits he had no idea NFPA had guidelines for telecommunicators.  Guidelines that are outlined in the very ISO inspection data that impacts the vast majority of property insurance policies.

At about the 4:20 mark, Eads said Kirk lied when he told the board he brought the ISO issue up to the current chairman. He said he has not talked to Kirk a half a dozen times on the phone in the past three years.

I can say Eads lied on that statement.

Most telling, and supportive of demands for his resignation, are Eads’ comments starting at the 4:32 mark of the video.  Kirk was on the phone with Eads, while on speaker phone and I heard it, stated he knew nothing about ISO and learned more in 30 minutes on the phone with them than he could imagine.  That admission on the phone is why Kirk stated he knew nothing about ISO, but now after being exposed, the language changes and he actually digs his hole deeper.

A claim that he has worked for a company for the last 15 years that is ISO certified.  Thank you Troy Eads for making the case you know nothing about ISO as it relates to the PPC program that is the forefront of this matter.

The “ISO” that Eads is talking about is this company, that has nothing to do with the “ISO” in this discussion, which is this company. That being the case, it is a safe bet Eads’ first comment that he knew nothing about ISO as it relates to our 911 system, is a true comment, just as Kirk stated.

When a person sits in front of a County Board and defends his so called “knowledge” on a matter by claiming he works for a company that meets ISO standards, of which has absolutely nothing to do with the ISO system in question, it is clear he does not know a thing about it, just as Kirk stated at the county board meeting.

As long as he has been on the 911 Board, and the fact he acknowledged, as Kirk proved, Kirk had spoken with that board in 2011 about ISO, it is time for him to go because his own words have proven he has taken zero initiative to learn one thing about the ISO system addressed with them in 2011.

Then Eads talks about how he is disappointed that his insurance company didn’t save him money when Hume’s ISO rating went down – repeating that it would not save ALL the people money.

Maybe Eads needs to find a difference insurance company?

Later on he talks about the Kansas Fire Department have the highest tax rate in Edgar County – conveniently failing to state they  also provide fire, ambulance and rescue services. So he did not compare apples to apples when making that statement. Eads talks again about Kansas providing their own service – and they wouldn’t need to keep checking on the county 911 office. Yet another example of why this person needs to be removed from his post.  The county 911 system was mandated by law and established by county resolution.

In one breath he points that it is the compiled statutes that they are bound by and in another he insinuates Kansas can provide their own service if they are not happy.  For a guy that prides himself on knowing the obligations of the 911 System that he is the Chairman of, maybe he needs to actually read the statute.

50 ILCS 750/10.2) (from Ch. 134, par. 40.2)
Sec. 10.2. The Emergency Telephone System Board in any county passing a referendum under Section 15.3, and the Chairman of the County Board in any county implementing a 9-1-1 system shall ensure that all areas of the county are included in the system.

“shall ensure that all areas”

Once again, Eads’ own words support his removal from the 911 Board.  For a Chairman to take the position that if you don’t like the county system you should provide your own in direct conflict with the Illinois Compiled Statutes that mandate that system shall ensure that ALL areas of the county are included in the system.  In short, Emergency services do not have an option to exit from the system as he claims, thus more supporting evidence he has no clue what he is doing.

The rest of his initial comments are simply excuses for why the ETSB’s score was so miserably low on the inspection. This is another example of instead of fixing the problem we are going to cast dispersions on those trying to help everyone possible with lower insurance rates.

At 18:50, Kirk gets his chance for rebuttal.

Watch the video below:


Still Trying – County Board meeting 1-14-15


About 5-6 years ago I asked the County Chairman, Jim Keller, if an effort could be made to work towards improving our Telecommunications as it relates to 911 and our ISO score attributed to that specific entity.  That scoring is directly tied to an audit that every fire department goes through about every 5 years. Those audits compromise of three categories: Fire Department, Water Supply, Telecommunications.   My initial request was because of the low score our Fire Department had received in the category of telecommunications, which we have no control over.  Jim Keller was the Chairman at the time and that request fell on deaf ears.

The same request and offer to help was made to former 911 chairman Merl Clark.  Again, it fell on deaf ears.  Additional discussions over the years have taken place to include discussion with the current 911 Board Chairman, and according to last night’s discussion over the phone he has no recollection of those discussions.

The Kansas Fire Protection District had just gone through another ISO audit near the end of 2014, and although they were able to lower the overall rating yet again by one point, from a 7 to a 6, the telecommunication score was simply unacceptable.  Considering 6 years ago we were an ISO 9 community we are pretty excited about a three point drop during that time frame and believe with proper education, training, and documentation the entire county could benefit from a better score out of our 911 system.

My concerns raised during the County Board meeting this week are based on the fact several categories with our 911 system received a ZERO score, which hurts everyone in this county. For those Fire Departments that are on the bubble for another point drop it is clear that a little effort from our 911 board might lead to a huge savings for everyone.  Such effort could save money for each and every property insurance policy holder; home, business, farm, etc. in the entire county with the exception of a few insurance carriers that use their own formula instead of the national recognized ISO system.  (Click here to see a copy of the Edgar County Telecommunications record and scores from ISO)

I would like to clarify my comment during the county board meeting.  I specifically called for a replacement of the entire 911 Board and should have qualified that statement.  I believe the ones that need to be replaced are the ones who have been on that board since day one, those who have participated in the illegal expenditures of our tax dollars exposed several years ago, and those who had no clue what ISO was, let alone the importance it plays in the County’s insurance rates, which happens to be the current Chairman.  Other than those folks, there are two maybe three that deserve our support at this time.

Video of the County Board meeting.

Lisa Madigan failing in her Statutory Duty –


THIRTY months ago, the Edgar County State’s Attorney sent a letter to the Illinois Attorney General asking for advice and opinion on a potential conflict of interest on a Sheriff and/or Deputy Sheriff sitting on the Edgar County Emergency Telephone Systems Board.

The issue came up when they were asked to vote and approve reimbursements from the ETSB to the Sheriff’s Department.

On May 16, 2012, Mr. Isaf sent his first letter the the AG. He later followed up with letters dated September 27, 2012 and May 12, 2014 (read them here).

I recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking a copy of any advice tendered.

Here we are, 2 and 1/2 years later, and no advice or opinion given.

So we have a State’s Attorney asking for advice from the Attorney General, who’s statutory duty is “consulting with and advising” the several State’s Attorneys, and she has so far refused to do that duty.

You can probably figure out where we are headed with this subject…

Previous articles on this subject here and here.

FOIA response below:

Download (PDF, 40KB)

FailingFourthDuty (WinCE)

Same meeting – Different exposure of the news

Edgar Co- (ECWd’)

Monday morning was yet another county board study session, however, this one actually had a very productive discussion with lots of solutions suggested as it relates to the current problems with our county 911 system, contrary to today’s reporting by the Prairie Press.

They titled the story “911 dilemma drags on”.  I totally agree with the title but the reporting simply fails to expose the truth of the matter yet again.

So there is no confusion, there are and have been some great dispatchers who take their job serious and go above and beyond.  Sadly though, one bad apple can give the impression that they are all bad and I assure you that is not the case in Edgar County.  By all indications the problems that some are making an issue over are no different than those I raised over 4 years ago.

May of 2011 Eastern Illinois News team did a story on the problems I and others had uncovered dating back to 2009.  They covered those problems in this news cast – EIU News on Edgar County 911.

What many don’t realize, it was Nannette Crippes who played a key role that laid the foundation for the beginnings of the Edgar County Watchdogs.  When public officials lie to cover up their actions they must be held accountable.  The events that lead up to the EIU news story began during the term of the former Sheriff Tim Crippes, who at that time was dating Nannette, the 911 Coordinator.

I took my concerns with dispatcher issues to the former Sheriff and was told Nanette is in charge of them talk to her.  I did and little got fixed.  When I went to my first 911 board meeting to address the problem again, which was after the last election, the story changed!  We went from Nanette is in charge of the 911 dispatchers, to it’s not my problem, you need to talk to the new Sheriff.

That was the day when the lies began.  Lies that dispatchers were certified when in fact the very 911 minutes proved Nannette knew they were not and even made a decision to have the infamous Dee Burgin civil rights violator, train them in house, which we all know is not compliant with state law.

Dispatchers who dispatch medical calls are required to be Emergency Dispatch certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Nannette and the 911 board allowed that to lapse for as long as 6 years.  Once exposed the new Sheriff immediately took care of getting that problem fixed.

During Monday’s study session the current 911 Board Chairman, Troy Eads, agreed with my comments that there are 911 board members who need to be removed because they simply are not doing their job, which is over-site of the system to ensure the current problems don’t continue without accountability.  Sadly Mr. Eads failed to acknowledge which board member he feels should be removed nor have we seen any requests from him to the county board for such removals.

My suggestion, every one of them that sat on the board during all the illegal activities by Nannette Crippes as well as those who allowed the dispatchers to perform their jobs without the proper certifications be removed!  Those would be Merl Clark, Cindy Belt, Dave McCrocklin and Troy Eads.  All played a role in allowing Nannette to simply get away with a laundry list of wrongdoing.

  • Allowed dispatchers to NOT be trained for 6 years! Direct violation of state law!
  • Drew TWO county paychecks during the same hours!
  • Illegally spent THOUSANDS of 911 money on gift cards with no record of who got them. Direct violation of state law!
  • Submitted false claims and collected pay for meetings that never took place!
  • Used 911 funds to gamble! (Duck Race at Paris Lake)
  • Used 911 funds on Christmas parties and LIED on the claims by stating it was  planning sessions yet no minutes of any such planning session available and minutes report it as a Christmas party!
  • Used 911 funds to have her mysterious flat tires month after month repaired at her husband’s garage.
  • Gave herself dispatch pay in violation of the Union contract with other dispatchers. She took the open seat instead of allowing the senior dispatchers first chance to fill that time.
  • ONLY county employee who has a NO BID contract for the position of Coordinator and receives 100% benefit coverage, unlike every other county employee!
  • Illegal use of County Credit month after month to include the creation of late fees and interest charges that were paid by the 911 board!
  • Placed her family on the cell phone plan and then her and the board tried to defend the action.
  • Hired her daughter to clean her office and paid her with petty cash and failed to comply with income tax withholding laws!

The problem is simple to fix with leadership.  It’s clear and the records support the fact the majority of this 911 board has no clue what leadership is.  They have allowed the employee to determine what will or won’t be done instead of telling her the way it’s going to be.

The paper reported that Clark and Belt stated Nannette has no authority to train or supervise Motley’s employees.  These two board members are the root of the problem!  If what they claim is true then they are to blame because they have been on the 911 board since inception and have allowed all this to happen!  They should be removed for neglect of duty, which can be done by law and they don’t have to be convicted of a crime to do it!

The original resolution that created our county 911 outlines that the Coordinator reports to the Sheriff!  Even Karl Farhnam has acknowledged that when he was the sheriff he turned over supervision of the dispatchers, little by little to Nannette.  We know that once Tim Crippes became Sheriff  he turned over ALL supervision to Nanette.  When Motley beat the past sheriff in the election, Nannette’s boyfriend at the time, she basically refused to cooperate or do what was required and the 911 board allowed her to have her way.

The county resolution outlines that she is supposed to work for the Sheriff.  If she refuses to follow the resolution then she should be fired.

The 911 board needs to do their job and establish required protocols for all emergency dispatching.  They also need to re-establish that the Coordinator works for the Sheriff as outlined by County Ordinance and if she doesn’t like it, find another job!

Sadly, the paper didn’t report a single thing I mentioned during the meeting so one can only wonder what agenda they really have in this.  The history is clear and the problems we are seeing with 911 today are no different than those that I exposed over 4 years ago and several board members acknowledged that fact!

Same people, same problems, but now they want to use their failures as a means to imply the current Sheriff is the problem, which all of us in the Emergency Service know is not the case.

The current 911 board members are where the buck stops. It is their job to ensure training is compliant, protocols are established and followed. It is their job to tell whoever the coordinator is, the county ordinance outlines you are supervised by the Sheriff, regardless who that sheriff is and if you don’t like it, find a new job!

For those that think turning over dispatch control, which includes more than just 911 calls, to the current 911 board is a good idea I can only say it would be a huge mistake considering the failures of these people over the last 10 years.

The problem is leadership, or in this case, lack of it.  When there is a verbalized refusal to hold people accountable for their actions those people need to be removed from public service!

Established protocols and consequences for failing to follow them is what is needed and it will fix the problem if, and only if, the people in charge have the courage to fire their neighbor when they fail to do their job as outlined.

Sadly, this is the same message I delivered for months over 4 years ago and here we are today with the same problem!

911 ECWD (Small)

Mike Heltsley can’t get anything right – re: resignations –


Another one of County Board member Heltsley’s comments came back to bite him – as they all do. It was no surprise to us, and probably no surprise to the majority of the County.

This one is about his repeated comments about the “tremendous turnover” of employees from the Sheriff’s Department since Ed Motley was elected in 2010 and spends half of his writing space devoted to that subject. He stated all this and then “wonders why” there have been so many, insinuating it was Motley’s fault or the fault of the Watchdogs that they resigned their jobs.  Did he forget he is a county board member and can look at resignations any time he pleases?

We will start from the top on this one and fully explain the personnel turnover non-problem.

1.  This first resignation placed the blame squarely on…..wait for it…. yes! – The County Board!

The key paragraph reads: “My resignation follows the recent statements and actions by members of the Edgar County Board that I perceive as a direct and personal attack, and a deliberate attempt to undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of the Edgar County Sheriff’s Office“, further stating “These moves [of the board] will not allow the Edgar County Sheriff’s Office to provide the expected and deserved level of service to the people of Edgar County.” He then states how proud he was to be part of the team – one that did not exist with the previous Sheriff.

So Heltsley wonders why people quit, when all he has to do is look in the mirror! There you go Mike, you were the cause of a resignation.

2.  Resigned to take a job at a different police agency in Illinois. Closing his resignation by stating “I would like to close by saying that I appreciate what you have done and are doing to make the Edgar County Sheriff’s Office the best department it can be. I believe that you are working to bring a high level of respect and honor to the department and I pray that you will never waiver from that mission.”

3.  Resignation to pursue her life in another direction, stating that “It has been an honor to work for a Sheriff who has restored dignity, trust, and integrity to the office.”

4.  Resigned to move to North Dakota and take a job offered to him there, stating “I appreciate the opportunity you provided and wish you and your office the best.”

5.  Resignation blaming a female coworker for creating a hostile work environment and saying the radios accentuated her breasts to the inmates. This is one of the former jailers that are under investigation by the Illinois State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor’s Office.

6.  Resigned to take a job with a different police agency. Stating “I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given here and I wish you the best of luck in the future.”

7.  Resignation from full time position with no reason noted, but did state he wished to maintain his part time position with the department.

8.  Resignation with no reason noted.

9.  Resigned to go work for the Paris Police Department stating he will miss the department, he was glad he had the support and opportunity to work there, and wishing the Sheriff and the Department the best in the future.

10.  Resignation, no reason noted.

11.  Resignation, no reason noted. Said he appreciated the opportunities he was given at the Sheriff’s Department and wished success in the future.

12.  Resigned claiming stress and health reasons among others. This is one of the former jailers that are under investigation by the Illinois State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor’s Office.

13.  Resignation, no reason noted.

14.  Resignation, claiming harassment and other items to numerous to mention.

15.  Resigned from part time, stating that he “appreciated the opportunity that the sheriff of Edgar County and the Sheriff’s Dept itself has given me to work with such a professional team.”

16.  Resigned from a part time position to take a full time job with the Westville Police Department, stating “Thank you for the opportunity…

17.  Announcement of retirement after 30 years at the Department.

18.  Announcement of retirement stating that she was “pleased to say I have enjoyed working for you, and the citizens of Edgar County.”

19.  Announcement of retirement after 42 years with the department stating that he “truly enjoyed working for the department and will treasure the many memories.” Also stating he would still like to work part time for the department if needed.

20.  Resignation after 27 years, saying he thanked you [Motley] and all the Sheriff’s he worked under…  (I think this might have been a retirement also)

21.  Another retirement.

22.  Another retirement after 25 years. He stated he would help with anything in the future if asked.

Copies of the resignations are below – read for yourself what an embarrassment Mike Heltsley has turned out to be:


Download (PDF, 332KB)



Edgar County Board Study Session 10-6-2014 –


There were several issues discussed during the Board’s study session this week, and among those were:

– During the public comment section, I repeated my call for correction of the “Note 12” from a couple of years ago. This “Note” in the audit wrongfully claimed that Mr. Dee Burgin has paid the county the $100,000 purchase price for the ambulance service and that he owed nothing to the county. I will do whatever it takes to correct that lie, even if it means going through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation department to file grievance against the license of those individuals responsible. This move is to correct the history of the county, and to ensure that he never ever runs for a county office unless he pays the county what he owes the county. A previous article from Feb. 2014 (here) and the county board admitting, a week later, that the auditors admitted it was not a correct statement in the audit (here).

– More talk about moving the 9-11 dispatchers under control of the ETSB Board and Nannette Crippes. I think it is a mistake and hopefully the board will do its due diligence in researching this issue prior to any changes. What they should do is enforce the original agreement, that is still binding, and place Nannette Crippes back under the Sheriff’s Department, and move her office back over to where it was in the beginning. It was the choice of the ETSB and their director to move into the basement of the courthouse – costing the county taxpayers several thousands of dollars in the process.

– Then we get to the levy for the ambulance service and the board still being upset because they failed to read the prior contract. Now that it renewed because they failed to provide proper notice according to the previous contract provisions, they want to screw the service providers out of money, claiming another provider would have done it for a lesser amount. What they fail to tell everyone is that the other provider’s bid proposal did not meet the minimum requirements of the contract and could never have been granted. This is simply more personal agendas of board members, instead of doing what is right.



Edgar County Board Study Session – 8-25-2014 –


The Edgar County Board held a study session on 8-25-2014 at the Highway Department.

Troy Eads, the ETSB Chairman, gave another presentation on what the ETS Board envisioned for the future of 9-1-1 services in Edgar County. From what I understand, the ETSB is wanting to put the emergency dispatchers under the operational control of the ETS coordinator. According to Eads, they would then contract with the Sheriff Dept. for radio dispatch services.

Some interesting tidbits came out during the meeting, and you can watch it on the video (below):

– They (ETSB and County Board) know they can eliminate the dispatcher union by going to a “Contractual Service” (11:15)

– Eads stated during the meeting that “it’s easier to hold them accountable when they aren’t organized” (1:26:10)

– The Sheriff is not in favor of this move, but acknowledges he will work with whatever the County Board decides to do (27:03)

– Twice, there was mention of $36,000 that was going to go towards “the bond” (22:08 and at 1:16:50)

– Security upgrades are going on at the Animal Shelter

– There is a vacant seat on the ETS Board that needs to be filled

– There was talk about putting more public records onto the internet for easier access by the public

– Voigt talked about the budget and said the county was on target to make the goal of budget reduction for the year



Attorney John Kelly Lies to Iroquois County ETSB Again –


We have now confirmed with Cook County that John Kelly, self proclaimed 911 expert and purported Assistant State’s Attorney for numerous county Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSB) has mislead the public again based on the most recent response received.

As outlined in previous articles, Mr. Kelley’s claim to have been an appointed State’s Attorney for several counties was a claim that had more holes in it than we have megabytes.

As a reminder, listen for yourself to the claims of who this man represents.

According to Cook County Clerk there is no such John Kelly acting as the Assistant State’s Attorney representing ETSB:

“I can inform you that the CCSAO does not employ an Assistant State’s Attorney named John Kelly. In addition, we have no documents to show that: (a) a court has appointed a John Kelly as a Special State’s Attorney or (b) that the CCSAO has retained a John Kelly as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney.” (Click here for letter from Cook County and see highlighted quote on page 2)

What is so exciting about this particular response is not just that it proves Mr. Kelley lied by claiming to be an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, but the fact the Cook County understands the process of appointing  private counsel, which only a court can do.

So in closing to the matters of John Kelly, and what county ETSBs he represents, I think we can say with confidence based on all the FOIA responses, he is not an appointed Assistant State”s Attorney for 5 of the 6 counties he claimed.

The sixth county would be where all this started, Iroquois County!  That’s correct, Iroquois county has NEVER appointed this guy as an Assistant State’s Attorney to represent the ETSB, nor have the courts.  In fact, during last weeks County Board meeting the Chairman made it real clear that this guy is not the legal council for ETSB or ICOM.  Considering the real State’s Attorney, Jim Divine, was sitting right there during those claims by the chairman and did not dispute them, it’s pretty clear he does not represent Iroquois ETSB either!

So, even if this group tries to pull more lies out of their hat it wont work.  The lie we suspect coming next is that the State’s Attorney told them they could hire this guy.  The reason I suspect that’s coming next is because that’s exactly what the Health Department said when we exposed they had hired council outside the boundaries of the law, which was a lie!  Note that Jim Divine stepped in and put a stop to that situation.

If the State’s Attorney confirms he told them they could hire this guy, then two concerns rise to the top of the pile!

  1. Allowing such an action violates state law and if the top law enforcer of the county disregards the law and is allowed to get away with it then all bets are off for future accountability in that county.
  2. If such permission was given, his silence during the County Board meeting creates a huge conflict!

You see you can’t sit and listen to a claim made by a County Chairman and stay silent if you had given permission for this guy to be hired.  Failure to dispute the claim made by Mr. Copas points to the truth, which is no such permission was ever granted, nor was this guy ever appointed.

We have here yet another ETSB board running its little kingdom the way they want with no regard to the law.  They should be removed from office, as once again, those in charge have bankrupted themselves by doing things their own way instead of the legal way!

Now is the time Iroquois County needs to claw back the $30,000.00 that was paid to John Kelly.  Those funds are in fact recoverable and if the state’s attorney refuses to do so one can only wonder what is really going on in that office?

Iroquois County, it is your money, go after it!

Previous articles:

Original article in this series (HERE)

Attorney John Kelly lies about Kankakee County (HERE)

Attorney John Kelly lies about Will County (HERE)

Attorney John Kelly’s strange, and possibly invalid, Kane County contract (HERE)

Attorney John Kelly not an ASA in Boone County (HERE)

Edgar County 911 – Double Standard – Part 2


When complaints of similar concerns obtain drastically different reactions, most would call it hypocrisy.  As referenced in Part I, the double standard must stop and people must be held accountable to the hypocrisy they institute.

Not only must we hold those in charge accountable, but the very boards they answer to as it is their leadership, or in this case, “lack of” that has yet again brought pen to paper.

I will say that I was pleased to receive a phone call from the current Chairman of the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) as it clearly outlined a failure in the system, which he stated that failure may need to be changed.

The failure I am speaking of is the protocols that have been long established by the ETSB and its Director, Nannette Crippes.  The protocols that recently lead to her sending a scathing e-mail to the Sheriff claiming a “serious” mistake was made by a dispatcher.

Now keep in mind, when I complained about no CPR instructions being given to a caller for a baby not breathing this same person did NOTHING.  Only after we exposed the dispatchers were not certified to dispatch medical calls did anything get done and even then she blamed the state for her failure.

A recent rant by e-mail from Nannette Crippes to the Sheriff shows the problems I speak of.  I will breakdown the e-mail in sections to explain the hypocrisy and failure of establishing sound protocols for emergency calls.  And for those wondering, Yes, I am more than qualified to evaluate such a thing.  I have worked in the Emergency Services for approximately 30 years and train Fire Departments nation-wide on a regular basis. I have worked with just about every type of dispatch system there is and have a pretty good grasp of capabilities, or in this county’s case, lack of, because of the current equipment and protocols.

Nannette Crippes e-mail sent to Sheriff Motley,

A serious mistake was made on a 9-1-1 call on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:52 am. The call came from xxx IL Hwy 133. The caller was a male subject saying that he thought his girlfriend had a heart attack and died; he said she wasn’t breathing and was cold to the touch. Dispatcher Donna Throneburg took the call. The address was verified and she dispatched Kansas Ambulance to the call. The first thing a dispatcher should do after obtaining and entering a physical address on the dispatch form is to click on the ESN button on the dispatch form.  This tells what emergency service agencies should be paged to respond to the address. By her own admission, she did not click on the ESN button. It is unclear why she didn’t do this, and made the decision on her own to page Kansas Ambulance.  Paging the correct responders to a 9-1-1 call is paramount. Had she done what she was supposed to do, she would have seen that Paris Ambulance and Brocton First Responders were the agencies to page to a call to this location.

For the sake of the family who lost a loved one, we chose not to upload the audio but it is available to anyone that wishes to FOIA it for confirmation of what is being reported.   As it relates to the first part of Ms. Crippes’ e-mail complaint, we find some interesting problems.

The initial complaint from Ms. Crippes is about who was dispatched and not dispatched.  Her contention is that the ESN button was not used, thus the system did not pull up Paris Ambulance and Brocton First Responders as the agency to be dispatched.

My first question would be, who in the hell programmed a Computer Aided Dispatch system that dispatches based on boundaries and not the closest emergency agency needed?   She acknowledges in one breath that paging the correct responders to a 9-1-1 call is paramount, yet how is paging Paris Ambulance initially on this call the right thing to do?  Yes, it is their contractual area but doesn’t it make sense to first call the closest agency before we worry about which district it is?

One of the key principals of the 911 system was to ensure this basic principal is followed and that is why this language is in the 911 statute! Anyone who set up the system based on boundaries instead of closest agencies either has no real emergency service background or have failed to research the law.

50 ILCS 750/14) (from Ch. 134, par. 44)
Sec. 14. The General Assembly declares that a major purpose in enacting this Act is to eliminate instances in which a responding emergency service refuses to render aid to the requester because the requester is outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the emergency service. Therefore, in implementing systems under this Act, all public agencies in a single system shall enter into a joint powers agreement or any other form of written cooperative agreement which is applicable when need arises on a day-to-day basis. Certified notification of the continuation of such agreements shall be made among the involved parties on an annual basis. In addition, such agreements shall be entered into between public agencies and public safety agencies which are part of different systems but whose jurisdictional boundaries are contiguous. The agreements shall provide that, once an emergency unit is dispatched in response to a request through the system, such unit shall render its services to the requesting party without regard to whether the unit is operating outside its normal jurisdictional boundaries.
(Source: P.A. 86-101.)

Is there fault for the dispatcher on this call?  Yes, if their protocol is as outlined, however, Ms. Crippes failed to tell the Sheriff the entire story!  Was “not” hitting the ESN button a “serious” mistake in this case?  No, with an explanation.  The actual closest ambulance to this location would have been Oakland,however, in order to dispatch them there has been proven to be up to 3 minutes of delay between contacting Coles County 911 (CCOM) and having them dispatch Oakland. I believe the initial action of contacting Kansas was spot on based on the caller advising his address was in fact Kansas, and the fact Kansas was the closest ambulance agency in this county.  I do agree Brocton first responders should have been contacted.  The dispatcher agrees as well.

What ambulance do you think the “system” should be programmed to contact first?

  • Oakland 6.6 miles from the scene (1-3 minute dispatch delay between counties)
  • Kansas 8.3 miles from the scene
  • Paris Ambulance 12 miles from the scene

As I told Mr. Eades during our phone call, of which he agreed, the current CAD system is flawed if it is not sending the closest agency to the call.  As it relates to Edgar County, the closest Ambulance to this particular call was in fact Kansas Ambulance. I find it hard to equate dispatching the closest agency to a “serious” mistake.

(e-mail continued)

It is of great concern to us that a dispatcher who has been doing this job for almost 13 years wouldn’t know to always check the ESN before paging. Eight minutes after she paged Kansas Ambulance, Eric Shaughnessy called the Sheriff Department to question why Paris wasn’t paged to this call; he believed that this was his call. He was right. (I understand that he contacted Chief Deputy Metcalf to complain about the handling of this call also.) At this time, Paris Ambulance went enroute to the address. It was said to me that the lady was already dead when responders arrived, like it was no big deal. That’s not the point, it is a big deal. This type of mistake is not acceptable. Eight minutes is an eternity when you have an emergency. According to Chief Deputy Metcalf, there was quite a mess at the scene, three ambulances showed up. None of that would have occurred had the dispatcher done her job correctly and paged the correct ambulance to respond in the first place.

This particular dispatcher does not have a single record of any disciplinary problems in her file which indicates to most she has done a good job performing her duties over the last 13 years.  Yes, she made a mistake but what exactly is Ms. Crippes claiming the mistake was really about?

It was about a false claim that since Paris Ambulance was not initially dispatched an eight minute delay in emergency response was caused.  That is a perfect example of either failing to report all the facts or pushing an agenda against a person who has done a fine job for 13 years and has spoken out against the clear lawlessness by this group of people.

Ms. Crippes FAILED to report anything about the “other” dispatcher involved in this call.  A certified dispatcher from what I understand.  A dispatcher that took MY phone call while I was on the way to this call well short of any eight minute delay!  A phone call that asked if both Oakland AND Paris have been dispatched.  How convenient to leave that part out.  To complain that three ambulances showed up shows us just how ignorant to emergency services Ms. Crippes must be.  I asked about Oakland and Paris because I knew it was going to be in one of those designated boundaries however I was still speeding to the scene to provide emergency service for two reasons.  It is the law and it is the right thing to do.

Kansas was the first to arrive at the scene.  Oakland came in right behind us, and then a few minutes later Paris Ambulance showed up.  Had Ms. Crippes done some homework before attacking the dispatcher and ranting about how things were handled at the scene, which has nothing to do with her, she would have rapidly realized all three units played a role in providing emergency service. In fact, had we taken the position of Nanette Crippes and only had Paris Ambulance on scene they would not have been able to provide the services that they did.  You see,we in this business know the importance of working together and not focusing on some boundary set up in a computer.

Even though I was the first EMT on scene Ms. Crippes did not get a single bit of information from me.  Had she, she would have known I drove the Paris Ambulance to the Paris Hospital which ensured two paramedics were able to work together for the patient.  Two people caring for a patient is far better than one!  Doing it the way this ETSB protocol is established and the way Ms. Crippes “thinks” it should be done is yet another example of failings in this county.

Anyone that has EVER been on a call where CPR is being provided knows the more people you have the better, contrary to the current 911 Director’s wishes that only one ambulance was needed.

What is needed is people in leadership that understand this business and know how to establish protocols and mutual aid agreements that bring us together to ensure better service and not one focused on boundaries.  A system that is patient focused!

(e-mail continued)

Also, the dispatcher kept the distraught caller on the phone for 12 minutes never once asking if he had attempted CPR or did she offer CPR. This should always be done for liability reasons when a person is not breathing. It is uncertain as to why she kept him on the line this long since EMD was not being done. He mentioned that he needed to call family and she told him he needed to stay on the line with her. As a result, he had to listen to her radio traffic; a 59-year-old female is not breathing and cold to the touch, several times. There was no point in keeping this poor man on the phone for 12 minutes.

When I raised concerns over no CPR instructions for a mother claiming her baby is not breathing I was met with lies and cover-ups.  Lies and cover-ups that ended up proving the dispatchers that this Director was in control of at the time were not compliant with State License requirements.  The very liability I was concerned with was ignored but now it’s an issue?  Is this possible evidence that what many called “attacks on them” 3 1/2 years ago is actually making a difference?

The caller believed she had passed and was cold to the touch.  What does the Emergency Dispatch protocol reflect for a caller with this information? According to information gathered the following day this person had passed hours before the call.

(e-mail continued)

The liability involved in a mistake like this dispatcher made, dispatching the wrong ambulance causing a long delay in response time, is huge. This is the second time in two months that this dispatcher’s mistakes have caused long delays in response times. The dispatchers have to be held accountable because mistakes like these can mean life or death. The supervisor of the dispatchers needs to understand the 9-1-1-computer system and dispatching protocols. From our viewpoint, it appears there is no accountability or understanding. I gave Chief Deputy Metcalf a copy of this call and all radio traffic related to it.

What liability would that be Ms. Crippes?  Please do tell us.  This statement is yet another example of the ignorance of the people in charge of our 911 system.  The dispatcher’s mistake was not calling Brocton and Paris.  You can’t ignore that she called the closest Ambulance but for the sake of legal liability concerns we must ask, what liability?  The person had passed away HOURS before the call and even if this person dispatched a different agency, there is no liability to the county under these circumstances.  Yes, corrective action needs taken, primarily new protocols, but the county does not face any liability when the dispatcher contacted the closest emergency service.

A mistake that is made in dispatching that faces liability, huge liability, is when that mistake becomes a contributing factor to the patients condition.  The mistakes Ms. Crippes references had nothing to do with the patients condition nor did it contribute to a worse condition for the patient, therefore there is no liability to the county.

Her reference to a delay in “response time” is a play on words.  Was there a delay in Emergency Services to the scene?  Let’s not confuse response time to actual services being provided.  The fact they get out the door faster (response), doesn’t mean they would be first on scene to provide services.

I totally agree with holding people accountable and it has to start with the leadership that established the protocols that are the root of the problem with this call. Protocols that fail to ensure the closest emergency agency is dispatched.  An accountability that applies to everyone equally, not just the person who speaks out against past actions of the ETSB and its Director.

I recall a couple recent fire calls that Kansas received of which neither were in our district.  We responded and in one case put the fire out before the appropriate agency was called.  In both those cases the “system”, if used, must have really failed because it was neither in our district nor were we the closest agency.  I don’t see Ms. Crippes jumping all over the Sheriff over those calls, yet some want to claim this recent action is not political?

Ms. Crippes’ claims the supervisor of the dispatchers needs to understand the 9-1-1 computer system and dispatching protocols.  To her, that is the answer. For those that live this business on the street regularly, that is not the answer.

Understanding protocols that fail to ensure the closest Ambulance is being dispatched does not ensure the citizens of this county are receiving the fastest service possible.  When we get a call that we know is not in our area we DON’T CARE!  We are treating it as if it was our area because it is about lives, not territories or boundaries.  When these things happen we contact the dispatcher and let them know which agency to send based on who’s district it is while we are on the way! We work the call as if it is our own and if the agency for that district arrives they take over the call. We on the street don’t have a problem with that!  I would rather have more people helping at the scene than not enough!

 (E-mail continued)

As I stated in an email that I sent on 4-24-14, this same dispatcher cuts herself off at the beginning of almost all of her 9-1-1 radio traffic. You can hear it on this call, she is still doing this. I put a memo out to all dispatchers and reminded them to pause between keying up and speaking on the radio. I would assume that you mentioned this to her when you addressed the problem with the call on 4-24-14. She has not fixed this problem.

Thank you for your time,
Nanette Crippes
Edgar County 9-1-1 Director

When the Federal Government mandated going to narrow band radios there was a wide spread switch to digital radios.  Most of those radios do in fact require a delay of a couple seconds from keying the microphone to actually speaking.  It has been an issue for numerous agencies.   An issue that only time is going to overcome as most of us know about it, but commonly fail to pause that 1-2 seconds.  The problem Ms. Crippes wants fixed is one that we are all dealing with.  The simple fix that will, over time, lead to the cure, let the person making the call know they did not get the first part of the transmission.  We have done that with several dispatchers, as they have done with us. When you have people that have used radios without the need for a pause for 10 plus years, and then change that norm, you are going to have these challenges.

I think this particular complaint is yet another opportunity for Ms. Crippes to pile on the complaints of this dispatcher in an effort to attack, not fix the problem.

You want to fix the problem?  Hold everyone accountable,  and remove some of the ETS Board members for neglect of duty and misconduct.  Hold a Director accountable for her illegal use of ETS funds.  Put people on the board that understand Emergency Services and understand how to draft protocols that ensure they are focused on the taxpayer, not some boundary line established for tax purposes.

The problem can be fixed and I believe the phone call I received over Part I of this series was the fist step!  The first step because Mr. Eads acknowledged the flaw in the CAD system that fails to ensure the closest agency is contacted!



Edgar County 911 Director’s double standard – Part 1 –


Continuing our exposure of Emergency Telephone System (ETS) (911) problems state-wide, it is only appropriate to bring things right back to Edgar County’s 911 system since that group was the very reason we started the Edgar County Watchdogs.

In fact, the first video exposure was with the assistance of Eastern Illinois University.  They substantiated every claim and accusation that I made regarding the failings of our ETS Board and its director, Nannette Crippes.

The purpose of covering this particular situation now, is because now the same Director is screaming for accountability and showing concerns of liability, etc., yet she fails to realize the very things she is complaining about over a recent call is exactly why I started exposing her and her illegal activities over three years ago in which she did nothing but blame others.

Initial Concerns

As an EMT I responded to a call for an 11 day old baby not breathing.  I put my life at risk driving at high speeds necessary to try to respond and save a life.  What we found upon arrival was a blessing as the baby was fine and crying quite loudly, which means he was breathing.

What I later discovered, as is outlined in the video by EIU, is the dispatcher and the Director of 911, Nannette Crippes, failed miserably in doing their job.  The dispatcher offered NO MEDICAL INSTRUCTION to try to save a baby who they were told was not breathing.  No CPR instructions at all!  NOTHING!  What did they do?  They hung up the phone after telling them the ambulance was on the way, when in reality it was not on the way yet since we had not even gotten to the Ambulance bay.

No Action – Denials

I complained about that dispatcher’s action to the ETS Board and not a single thing was done about it.   That failure lead to finding out that Nannette Crippes and the ETS Board knew the dispatchers were not certified to dispatch medical calls as their own minutes reflected that fact. None of the dispatchers were current in their certification and all but one had not met the qualifications to dispatch for over 6 years.

My concern was the liability to this county in the event a persons injuries or possible death could be tied to the dispatchers failings.  A valid concern that was met with cover up and lies by most of the current ETS Board and Nannette Crippes.

Shift in Responsibility

Fortunately for this county, the newly elected Sheriff at that time, Ed Motley, ensured that training was complied with.  It was during this time frame that the clear agendas began to show itself. An agenda of hatred towards the new Sheriff to include attempts to cast the blame on him.

You see during the rein of the criminal activities of Tim Crippes as Sheriff I was always told Nannette was the person we needed to talk to regarding dispatcher issues.  Each and every time an issue would arise it was the same story, Nanette is in charge.  Then after the election that Tim lost, who at that time was having an affair with Nannette, the new Sheriff is now to blame for the dispatcher’s shortcomings during the call in question. This very issue is well known by former Sheriff Karl Farnham as he confirmed these very past problems during a recent Sheriff Committee meeting.

Upcoming Election Playing A Role?

Why bring all this up again now?  Our next article will expose the hypocrisy of these same people who now are attacking a dispatcher for a recent call yet they did nothing but lie and cover up a similar problem several years ago.  The attacks are focused on a dispatcher that has been willing to speak out against their years of questionable activities and she just happens to support the current Sheriff.

Based on the actions of Nannette Crippes and a select few on the ETS Board, they don’t care about doing it right.  They just care about their little kingdom being protected and doing anything they can to imply it’s Sheriff Motley that is the problem when the truth of the matter is this select group known as the Breakfast Club is still fuming over the last Sheriff election results and have vowed to  do what ever it takes to cast a negative cloud on the current Sheriff, to include telling half truths.

This particular news story from EIU exposed the truth of what I uncovered several years ago and the current ETS Director, Nannette Crippes blamed others for the failing which was clearly hers based on all the facts.  To this day she has never been held accountable for any of the illegal acts she has been involved in to include drawing her salary as the 911 director while at the same time drawing an hourly wage to dispatch calls and get paid out of the Sheriff’s budget, who was at that time her boyfriend.

How many other county employees can draw two paychecks while working the same hours and get away with it?

Nannette Crippes, you can’t have it both ways!

Iroquois Co. 911 dispatcher risked lives!


What would you do if you called 911 and ask for the Fire Department for a Hazardous Material situation and found out they mocked your occupation level, experience, and failed to dispatch the very agency you asked for on the initial call? 

This is the first of several exposures to come as it relates to County Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSB), their directors, and the dispatchers on the front line as the key communication point to the public in need of emergency assistance.

Dispatchers use a computer-aided dispatch system, receive emergency calls from the public requesting police, fire, medical or other emergency services.   They “should” determine the nature and location of the emergency; determine priorities, and dispatch police, fire ambulance or other emergency units as necessary and in accordance with established procedures.

Clearly when a call comes in and the caller specifically requests the Fire Department for a chemical release they should dispatch the closest Fire Department at a minimum.

The dispatcher is not there to make a decision as to how bad the leak is or if the requested agencies are really needed.  They are there to dispatch the closest agency requested, and in this particular case they failed miserably and should be held accountable.

The opening question is exactly what happen in Iroquois County a few years ago and we have obtained a copy of all those communications for all to hear and judge for themselves.

Having worked in Emergency Services for 25+ years to include currently holding the position as Fire Chief and EMT responding to emergency calls regularly, I was floored when I listen to this particular call.  The person who took this 911 call would be fired in most parts of the country for this kind of a failure. The Director of ETSB should be relieved from her post for failing to establish sound protocols for the dispatchers to utilize for 911 calls.  That failure put lives at risk!  

Key points to know and listen for:

  • The caller, although a part time employee at the time of the call was actually the plant manager for 30 years and had recently retired and was filling in part time to help out.  (30+ years of experience!)
  • Dispatcher DID NOT call the Fire Department as requested
  • Dispatcher was told the plant was SOUTH of Cisna Park yet he reports later in the call it was NORTH of Cisna Park.
  • Dispatcher mocks the caller with implications that since he is a part time employee he is stupid.
  • Dispatcher brags about his knowledge of this type of chemical release and downplayed the risk involved.
  • The tank size was reported to us as a 30,000 gallon Anhydrous Ammonia tank.

Over a MILE of residents were evacuated because of this chemical release!

From our understanding, with divine intervention, no one was seriously injured in this chemical spill that was downplayed by the dispatcher who failed to provide the very emergency agency requested until much later in the call when it became clear he screwed up!  Note at the end of this communication it appears he knows there is a problem with his actions!

What was ever done to these people who failed the public?  If you know who the dispatcher was and what actions were taken please let us know for further reporting!

Iroquois Co. ETSB Attorney – Story not adding up!


After finally getting a partial response out of Kankakee County, we can confirm yet again, John Kelly is not an Assistant State’s Attorney for Kankakee County, contrary to his claim that he is.

“I represent Kankakee County 911 Board as appointed special Assistant State’s Attorney “

Another lie?  

As you can see from the document received from Kankakee, John Kelley’s name is nowhere to be found for the named Assistant State’s Attorneys.

We are waiting on Cook County to respond to the final FOIA request on this matter, but so far Mr. Kelley has been proven wrong 3 times.   Will, Boone, and now Kankakee Counties do not show Mr. Kelley as an Assistant State’s Attorney.

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