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July 17, 2024

Public Funds for Private Gain- Mayor Craig Smith

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 9, 2012


Update: We previously covered in detail, to include the entire record pertaining to Craig Smith’s use of public funds with the city credit card for a seminar that provided personal gain and was invoiced to his private law firm.  Past Article.

Considering the factual invoice was addressed to the Mayor’s private law firm and the second invoice for now sitting Judge Garst was addressed to the City of Paris we contacted the Illinois Institute of Continuing Education to find out why the two invoice’s we had reflected two different customer numbers, as the “customer” making the purchase and paying for it was the City of Paris!

The response confirms our suspicion that Mayor Smith did in fact use public funds for personal gain!

Q:  The two invoices you sent have two different customer numbers.  Both invoices were paid with the city credit card so we are wondering why the customer numbers are different.

A: Each person has their own account and own customer number to help identify them so we can properly credit CLE,


Why is it OK for the Mayor to use public funds to advance his own continuing education?

So there is no confusion, any attempt to imply he was not aware of the IICLE organization and its purpose and relation to his legal education requirements we need to remind everyone that Craig Smith has been a past lecturer of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education!  

He surly KNEW he was going to get private educational credit and did so with Public Funds.   The city has attempted to imply that since the seminar was related to Municipal issues it was OK.  I “might’ agree with that position to a point for Judge Garst, as he was the city attorney, provided it was part of the contract the city had with its attorney, but to make that claim for the Mayor makes no sense as he would not be the one representing the city on legal matters!

OK to make purchases with the city credit card and produce no receipts? 

OK to mislead what was actually purchased?

At what point do the Illinois Supreme Court Rules of Conduct, or what we believe is clear Misconduct, apply to lawyers who are public officials and use public funds for personal gain?



It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

[5] Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers. The same is true of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, agent and officer, director or manager of a corporation or other organization.

Is there any question the issues of implying public records were destroyed, knowing they were not, was at a minimum a misrepresentation of the truth?  Is there any question that telling me records had been destroyed, KNOWING they had not, is at a minimum deceit?  Is there any question that claiming the Mayor’s credit card purchases were for something entirely different than what they told me represents fraud ( a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain)?  Is there any question that there has been a clear case of dishonesty relating to the city’s attempt to suppress the truth?

Now the question is, does anyone believe that the Mayor had no knowledge of the responses being provided to me that directly related to his personal use of the city credit card issued to him?  When backed into the corner as to who was making certain claims the response provided regarding the Mayor’s knowledge of events was “The Mayor Does Not Recall”.   I’m guessing he learned that one from President Clinton who didn’t have sex with that woman!

A lawyer holding public office assumes legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens.  That is because they are trained in the law.  They KNOW BETTER!  Craig Smith should know better, yet even in his capacity as a board member for the Mass Transit we have found an abundance of illegal activity taking place, all under his watch and not until recent exposure of those crimes was anything taking place to hold anyone accountable.  When indictments come down in that case one must ask why a practicing attorney didn’t know what was going on in the very public body he was in charge of overseeing, or did he know and swept it under the rug as has been done in the credit card scandal of his City Commissioner, or best yet, in the case of his own use of public funds for personal gain!

I want to give special thanks to all those involved that helped provide such great information to expose the truth of what our public officials do with our money!

With Public Outcry and a little luck there will come a day when our State’s Attorney will demand an investigation into all the alleged crimes being exposed!


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