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July 24, 2024

1 Year OLD !

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 31, 2012

On the 1 year anniversary of the Edgar County Watchdogs, I would like to extend our gratitude for all of the citizens who provided tips to us and those who visit our website. Without you none of this could happen. We would also like to extend an invitation for everyone to attend their local public meetings, no matter which side of the isle you are sitting on. Public participation is the key to an open and honest government.

Some accomplishments:

Our busiest day on the website was June 15, 2012 with 2,559 page views

Our current all-time views to the Edgar County Watchdogs webpage are over 197,000 – that’s more than 17,700 views per month since we switched to a WordPress site! Not bad. I can remember celebrating our first day with 100 views.

Exposed the past sheriffs use of jailers for private roofing jobs

Exposed the past sheriff for violating Economic disclosure laws

Stopped the spending of 911 money on Christmas Gifts and Dinner parties

Stopped the spending of 911 money on Rent to the county

Laid the ground work COUNTY WIDE to establish PROPER posting of meetings

Over 2 dozen OMA and FOIA request wins from public bodies that thought they could ignore the public

Exposed the county board for using Highway levy money for things not permitted

Forced the ETSB to hold proper voting in their meetings instead of blind ballots

Exposed the private use of the public credit card by ETSB and it has now stopped!

Exposed County Board Chairman for taking out a county loan with no knowledge of ANY board members

Forced the first ever audit of ETSB

ETSB now has a budget, something they never had until we exposed the corruption

Exposed the ETSB for passing things without majority of the board approving

Exposed the ETSB questionable use of petty cash, they no longer have a petty cash fund

Exposed that the transfer station is NOT owned by Marlin “Scott” Ingrum and that neither Marlin “Scott” Ingrum or Ingrum Waste Disposal Inc. were not (and are still is not) paying property taxes on the Transfer Station property as required by law. This is just one of many examples of why YOUR property taxes are rising at historical rates

Exposed the Triple Bankruptcy filing of Kevin Garner who ran for State Rep

Exposed TORT funds being used illegally by School District

Exposed extravagant dinners by the school board

Let the public know about the civil law suit of which two of its deputies LOST!

Exposed the illegal gun running and sales, by 2 Former Sheriffs and Chief Deputy, to their deputies

Exposed the meth material found in the jail

Exposed and stopped the handover of the Edgar County Animal Control to the Edgar County Humane Association

Exposed the (alleged) embezzlement from the Edgar County Health Department by Kami Smith and her daughter in law

ETSB canceled their vehicle lease

ETSB canceled cell phone reimbursements

Exposed a local non-profit allegedly stealing dogs, they were investigated by the Il Dept of Ag and they received a written reprimand

Exposed the ETSBs illegal hiring of an attorney, who was then fired

Exposed a conflict of interest with a multi-township assessor also serving a deputy county assessor. Individual resigned as multi-township assessor

Exposed Roger Eddy – he resigned from the Illinois House of Representatives within 21 days of the start of our investigation. He is currently under investigation by the Illinois Election Commission for illegal campaigning, using public funds and facilities to campaign, and accepting campaign donations while in a public building

Exposed Roger Eddy – Illegal use of campaign contributions

Exposed Roger Eddy – Illegal acceptance of campaign contribution from the City of Paris

Exposed City of Paris for election interference – illegal campaign contribution to the People For Eddy Campaign using public (your) funds

Secured refund of illegal campaign contribution from People For Eddy to City of Paris

Exposed the illegal campaign contributions by Southern Illinois University to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce PAC. SIU verified our suspicions and obtained refunds from the IL Chamber PAC. SIU did what we have been asking the government bodies in this county to do, acknowledge the problem once presented with it, and fix the problem. Thanks again to SIU for taking ownership of the problem, without being asked, and for putting steps in place to ensure it does not happen again.

Exposed Dee Burgin, too much to list here

Helped bring the Disclosure Newspaper to Paris, Vermillion, and Kansas

Exposed a systemic problem in the reporting of exempt properties and the collection of property taxes

Exposed the illegal use of MFT funds by townships to chip and seal private driveways, convinced them to send invoices to property owners for payment

Informed the Public of State and Federal investigations into embezzlement at the East Central Illinois Mass Transit District

Exposed the Ambulance “sale” by the county and the fact it appears to actually be an “Ambulance Gift” – still working on this one

Exposed to the parents and grandparents of the Shiloh School District the person their school board had hired as superintendent

Currently exposing a series of articles on the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District

Exposed the City of Paris Batting Cages were “still in the care of the city” and they were brought back from where “they were in Indiana for a short period of time”

Gathered enough signatures to put a BINDING QUESTION on the ballot on whether the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District Trustees should be elected or remain appointed

Exposed the fact that 3 trustees on the East Central Illinois Mass Transit District Board are forbidden by law from holding a seat on the board

I know we forgot to list some, and there are many more we are working.


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