Video is below, our comments are below the video:
The first action was to remove the requirement to state your address during the public comment period.
I commented on the fact that they should not pay a $3000 per month rent payment when the rental agreement is for $1 per year. I believe this is the second meeting where they have not paid the (usual) rent payment.
A citizen read a prepared statement on the public comment policy of the ETS Board, you can download the complete letter here.
The ETS added an agenda item to negate an item on their public speaking policy.
Kirk read a portion of the statute pertaining to the False Claims Act and recovery of funds.
Prior minutes were approved.
The chairman then read a prepared statement relating to questions asked at previous meetings. Here are the point he raised:
County Credit Card Use
Edgar County 911 Board Chairman Dee Burgin took some interesting positions during this month’s 911 board meeting. On behalf of the board, or at least we assume that since the other members sat silent, Mr. Burgin reported that their 911 Director did not use the Illini FS gas card as her personal line of credit. Wrong Mr. Burgin. In fact, you even confirmed that if she used more than the approved limit she paid for it. If she used the card over the approved limit then she was using it as her own personal line of credit and spending more than authorized. This is an act that can be considered a felony under our state constitution as you are not permitted to use public funds or credit for personal use and you were informed of that in a public meeting yet you now go on the record not only confirming the action but apparently condoning and/or defending it. Sadly for Mr. Burgin it would be best for him to first actually read the credit card statements before taking a position that appears to be a means of protecting their director. Especially since we have gas purchases for a number of gallons that is greater than her county provided vehicle is capable of receiving. Yes we caught the cute wording that there is no way for them tell if the use of that fuel was for business or personal but Mr. Burgin, we are neither stupid nor naïve. Public funds were used for unauthorized expenditures and that is illegal.
Mr. Burgin also claimed that in 2006, 2007, and 2008 the 911 Board approved the spending of $100 for incidentals however a complete review of all the minutes provided under our Freedom of Information request has nothing in the minutes to support such a claim. Even more telling is the fact that taking this position confirms what we have said all along, 911 money is being spent on things that are not permitted under state law and to date no one is being held accountable for the improper spending of the people’s money
Christmas Presents with the People’s Money
Mr. Burgin went on to make the amazing claim they did not get receipts from the recipients of gift cards. Well of course not Mr. Burgin! Why would you get a receipt from the recipient of a gift? You are required BY LAW to have a receipt for an expenditure of the public’s money so the receipt you should have demanded from your Director is a receipt from the store where the goods were purchased. Do we really need to spell that one out Mr. Burgin? How ironic Mr. Burgin failed to mention the fact that the dollar figures spent versus the dollar figure of the gift cards don’t match up! This was a point raised at the previous meeting. Silence speaks volumes! Did we mention that over $11,000.00 of 911 money was spent on Christmas presents?
As if these events are not amazing enough Mr. Burgin continues to take positions of fact when the record does not support the claim. Mr. Burgin claimed Christmas gifts, or whatever they try to call it, were fully authorized each time? That is a totally false! Numerous years no mention of any approval took place and the minutes prove that fact. Too bad for Mr. Burgin he is listening to the person who spent the money illegally as the record does not support his claim. Even sadder is the fact that again Mr. Burgin has gone on the record acknowledging the spending of 911 money for items that are not allowed under the statute. One would think that would make the board responsible for repayment of those improperly spent funds.
Double Dipping by the 911 Director
Anyone ever take a sick day? Most honest people take sick days when they are sick. Amazingly Mr. Burgin thinks it’s OK for their director to take sick days so she can get paid not only for being sick but while she gets paid to work as a dispatcher for the county. We have a former Paramedic who is now the 911 Board Chairman and a full time Edgar County Deputy who clearly does not see a problem with a person who is sick taking time off and getting paid for it and going to another job dispatching emergency medical calls when she’s sick.
In an effort to cover the basis for the allegation of double dipping by their director he also claimed she took Comp time to work that other job. Wrong again Mr. Burgin! Comp time is something that must be approved by the board. No one person on that board can arbitrarily approve comp time and you know good and well no such approval ever came across the table for a vote with the 911 board. At what point does someone say enough is enough. If these people can’t even figure out the lies and deception of a single employee then how are they ever going to run anything with any level of public trust? It can’t happen. I would say they all should resign for incompetence and the Director should be charged for the laws she has broken and be forced to reimburse the public.
Next best hope was vacation time to justify that their single employee was not double dipping as we claimed. Sorry again Mr. Burgin. You see it’s always best to review the record instead of listen to words. Being aware of the phrase “if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen” is one that we know Mr. Burgin knows holds up in court. You see as a medic that is a phrase every instructor is teaching. The goal is to ensure accountability in the patient care reports. The same standard of reporting applies to the public however it appears Mr. Burgin rather take the word of what appears to be a liar instead of actually looking at the record. Sadly all he had to do was demand that I prove what I stated at the previous 911 meeting as I had all the records to support my claim in hand. Instead they sat silent and took over 2 months to come up with an excuse for her actions, all while never reviewing the evidence in hand. Records we have directly conflict with what he claims and considering he has acknowledged to me his single employee told him this I don’t know what else to call it. A lie is a lie.
Ironically Freedom of Information requests have been submitted and their single employee has not been able to produce the days of vacation taken. How convenient to claim you took vacation time to work another county job yet you can’t prove it. If it isn’t written down it didn’t happen!
The last ditch effort wasHolidaytime. We again, as seems to be the norm, challenge Mr. Burgin to come up with proof to support his position. You see our records are in order and we already knew the answers to our questions before we asked them.
In the name of public interest, Mr. Burgin, would you take the position that it’s OK for your single employee to use that car to go work a second job? Is that proper care of the people’s money? Anyone care to be honest about the personal tax factor of all these unreported benefits?
If you review the video at the above link you will also find that Mr. Burgin provided the duck and cover for their employee who hired people and paid them out of petty cash. Maybe the Board Chairman, Dee Burgin should review the job description for his one employee again. Nowhere is she authorized to hire anyone, regardless of how they get paid. All that aside, no payroll tax filings took place for either person that was hired illegally by their single employee.