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February 23, 2024

Dignity? Part II

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 29, 2012

Dignity?  Part II

 Can anyone honestly claim former Sheriff Tim Crippes should not be charged with official misconduct in relation to the attempted cover up of the jailers who were later convicted?  Yes, cover up!  The record stands on it own!

 (720 ILCS 5/33.3) (from Ch. 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 he 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. 

Fails to perform any mandatory duty as required by law, Intentionally OR recklessly!

 June 15, 2010 Roger Hopper outlines on a Detective Status Report that himself, Shane St. Clair and Jail Administrator Terry Weger were advised by Nanette Beals that a call came into the jail about an inmate using a cell phone and laptop. 

June 21, 2010 Illinois State Police interview reflects that the call was made directly to Roger Hopper and that it was this very person that brought the Jason Ball and Kent Rhoads incidents to light?

At the top of Roger Hoppers report it lists Case Name: Jason Ball & Kent Rhoads – Offense: “Official Misconduct”

Questions?  If the call reported an inmate for using a laptop and cell phone is what began an investigation why on this report does it list Jason Ball & Kent Rhoads?  Why was the header on the  report Official Misconduct instead of inmate contraband?  What else was really said on that phone call to the jail? 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see from reading the ISP interview that more than just a cell phone was raised in the discussion.  Is that the reason the report listed the investigated offense as Official Misconduct?

The questioning of the inmate outlines clear violations of the law had taken place if supported by the evidence, which they confirmed the finding of the cell phone as it was produced, as was a second phone from another inmate.   

Continued interviews list allegations of an ongoing sexual escapade with two inmates and Jailers Rhoads and Ball to include a laundry list of contraband being brought into the jail, from needles to liquor. 

June 15, 2010,  Tim Crippes has a letter asking the State Police to assist in an internal investigation regarding two correctional officers and advised them to contact Roger Hopper.  The letter was supposedly faxed however the copies we have received reflect no fax transmission data on the page, anywhere.  The cover sheet for the fax was signed by Shane St. Clair.

 June 16, 2010, Tim Crippes advised the State Police Jason Ball and Kent Rhoads have been placed on paid administrative leave due to allegations of official misconduct.  Reports that the officers were notified at approximately 2:30pm on June 15th, 2010.  Again, documents reflect no fax transmission data on either the cover sheet signed by Shane St. Clair or the letter.

 June 17th, 2010, Tim Crippes advised the State Police “that the two correctional officers have come forward and confessed to breaking department policy and have resigned their positions effective todays date.  Thank you for your time, but we will no longer require your assistance in this matter.  Again, thank you.”  And again, the documents we have reflect no fax transmission.  (sheriff letters)

Department policy?  Bringing a laundry list of contraband into the jail and having sex with the inmates is “breaking department policy”?  No, it’s multiple felonies.  In fact, this is a copy of all the charges that Tim Crippes, Shane St. Clair, and Roger Hopper KNEW about and did NOTHING other than have them resign!  (Ball Charges)  (Rhoads Charges)

The very next WRITTEN report on this investigation from the Edgar County Sheriff’s office was dated September 15, 2010.  Shane St. Clair reports that he and Hopper visited the two jailers on June 17th 2010 and in Shane’s report it reflects they “told” them about the cell phones and laptops being let into the female cell blocks and that the Sheriff wants them to resign their positions!   (Shane REPORT)

Roger Hopper also wrote up a report on that same day and reports basically the same thing as Shane’s report other than he does include the matter of them having sex with inmates.  (Hopper Report)

Why would any law enforcement officer wait 3 months to write a report on an incident?

Why would the Sheriff and his Chief Deputy and his lead detective find validity in the claims was enough to ask the two jailers to resig but not charge them with a crime?  Most everyone knows the word was, let them quit and it all goes away, as that was the past practice with Karl Farnham. The paper trail supports letting them get away with these crimes but there are a few problems. 

Every investigative report from the Illinois State Police report reflects one very interesting fact and it’s on every interview they did.  At the top of those pages it states:

 “On Monday, JUNE 21, 2010 at approximately 3:40pm, Zone 5 was requested by Edgar County States Attorney Matt Sullivan to investigate a custodial sexual misconduct case in Edgar County.  The victim inmate, Courtney Utterback and Loretta Sawyer had sexual relations with correctional officers Jason R Ball and Kent A Rhoads while they were confined in the Edgar County Jail.  On Thursday June 17, 2010 Ball and Rhoads resigned from their employment with Edgar County.”

Does anyone else find it very odd that the ISP doesn’t make one mention of Tim Crippes contacting them to investigate this matter in any of their reports and in fact they spell out each and every interview that it was Matt Sullivan who requested the investigation? 

Four days after resignations are submitted the State’s Attorney asks for an investigation?  State’s Attorney asks for an investigation……………..keep that thought!

Why not an investigation on why the Sheriff and his officers failed to turn this case over for prosecution?  Let’s not forget it was an election year and this wasn’t exactly a popular item for the Sheriff, especially when the record reflects he IGNORED the crimes!  

Official Misconduct?

Intentionally and Recklessly FAILED to perform any mandatory duty as required by law!

The Sheriff, as well as his deputies took an oath of office to uphold the laws of this state and they IGNORED THEM!  They FAILED to perform their mandatory duty as required by law and reading their own documents its clear they intentionally ignored their obligations and protected their own!

Where is the Justice? 

Where is the Dignity?

Where is the States Attorney?


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