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June 18, 2024

Official Misconduct ?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On January 16, 2012

Sorry I Missed Getting MY House Roofed, Too!

Remember the good old days when not-for-profit organizations and government entities could get work done by the Paris Work Camp crews?  Of course there were rules and regulations and a prison guard accompanied them.  After the Work Camp closed, work crews from the Edgar County Jail were used in a limited capacity to help fill the need.  It was loosely organized – the inmates had to have already been sentenced, no jail staff came with them, and you picked them up at the jail.  They were even trusted by the sheriff to walk back to the jail unsupervised.

Did you know that if you needed your house roofed, you could also have Tim Crippes do it – using jail crews.  Yep – we have proof:

Can anyone PLEASE show us where in the statutes you can use prisoners in the Edgar County Jail to run a roofing business for a private residence? 

If this was a side business, it begs questions:

  1. Why is it not disclosed on his required Disclosure of Economic Interest? (See our November article:
  2. Did Crippes think that because the inmates are in civilian clothes that they wouldn’t be recognized as prisoners?
  3. Did Crippes provide this service for free?  If so, why?  Was it a political favor?
  4. They weren’t paid – great, that makes them SLAVE LABOR, and we learned early in grade school history class when that was outlawed.  Did these prisoners get any “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” special privileges?
  5. How is it that these three in the video who  are required to be in jail are out doing a private roofing job, not only in violation of the law but doing so WITH NO LAW ENFORCEMENT ANYWHERE!? 
  6. What would the judges say about setting a  sentence to serve time in the Edgar County Jail, only to have the inmate roaming freely in Paris with ZERO supervision? AND on a private job!

What did the Illinois Department of Corrections would have to say about this type of activity? At first, I suspect they’d think it has to be a fabricated event created as a spoof.  One phone call confirmed that this activity is clearly outside any guidelines of which they are aware.

We also have been informed of a firewood operation that the former sheriff was running.  He would ensure a local gentleman had his firewood cut and stacked – again by jail inmates. Sadly we don’t have any video of that.  We do know that the recipient had inquired to the new sheriff if he, too, was going to take care of his firewood needs. 

A blind eye by some, and assistance by others, to violations of the law has been the norm for too long!  We, The People, demand accountability to the law. 

Has nepotism, patronage and cronyism established its roots so deeply that  video proof of wrong doing by elected officials will be ignored? 

Is this yet another example of a potential inmate lawsuit for the county? 

 How is this not Official Misconduct?

(720 ILCS 5/33‑3) (fromCh.38, par. 33‑3)

    Sec. 33‑3. Official Misconduct.) A public officer or employee or special government agent commits misconduct when, in his official capacity or capacity as a special government agent, he commits any of the following acts:  

(a) Intentionally or recklessly fails to perform any mandatory duty as required by law; or

 (b) Knowingly performs an act which he knows is forbidden by law to perform;   or

(c) With intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself or another, he performs an act in excess of his lawful authority; or

(d) Solicits or knowingly accepts for the performance of any act a fee or reward which he knows is not authorized by law.

Anyone care to dispute that part (a) is clearly violated?  How about part (b)?  Now I understand (c) is arguable but if it turns out payment was made for this operation of any kind the part (d) would be yet another violation.

It’s Edgar County – you can’t make this stuff up!



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