EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
"Mr. Allen: I have your new FOIA request and once again apologize that you were not earlier furnished the letters in question. Apparently an e-mail you sent on April 2 to Scott Lackey, Chris Greeson, etc., et al, prompted a review of your previous response and it was then discovered the letters had inadvertently been omitted."
That was the response I received after raising questions regarding an e-mail I got from the local IDOT office on Wednesday of this week. That e-mail contained two letters that mysteriously were, "inadvertently omitted" from my FOIA request.
Knowing quite well how the political game and legal wrangling has an impact in this county, it was no surprise to find out the local county officials, Chris Patrick and Mark Isaf, from what I understand, spoke with Senator Rose about the situation with IDOT holding back funds. It was pretty clear they tried to convince Senator Rose that Chris has done no wrong.
Why take the political pressure route on this? I would assume because the intimidation and legal wrangling by Craig Smith wasn't working. I say wasn't working because to date I don't believe IDOT has responded in any fashion to Craig Smith's letters.
I know if I were in their shoes, I would not have taken kindly to the accusations and level of what appears to be intimidation and threats. Mr. Smith even claimed IDOT was responsible for creating a "Riotous Situation" in Edgar County. Isn't it amazing that an attorney would deflect the fault to the ones trying to uphold the law instead of the one violating it.
If there was no conflict there would not be all this wrangling going on. What you are witnessing is the world of lawyers and how they operate with intimidation in an effort to force compromise. Nothing is black and white to them, it's all gray! Just look at Edgar County to see that!
I pray I am wrong, but I suspect, IDOT is going to move towards yet another form of a recusal letter for Mr. Patrick. I believe a total declaration that Mr. Patrick will not sell ANY materials to the county, contractors or otherwise would work, however we have said that from day one.
If another recusal is in the works, it's anyone's guess what it will outline. I know with implied threats from attorney's the message is often received that a law suit is coming if you don't do what we want. Avoidance of any legal action is typically the first path week people take. As our readers know, we don't take kindly to threats or attempts to intimidate from attorneys! I pray IDOT is the same way!
Please read the letters Mr. Smith sent to IDOT and feel free to comment on how you perceive them. I believe the intent is clear. Intimidate and threat is the course of action. That coupled with Political influence, and he might get his way, just like a typical spoiled rich kid.
The WHOLE PICTURE as to who you are dealing with?
1. Two Free Driveways on the county dime with no evidence he ever paid for it, not that that would make it right.
2. Over $7,0000 in payments to his company for Ready Mix from the Airport Account, which he was the Chairman of that board. No approval to order that Ready Mix can be found in ANY minutes. His recent justification was he also donated stuff but again, no proof. Kind of like his claim he bartered with Rock with the township for the driveway and can’t provide a shred of proof.
3. Sold Ready Mix to the County just two weeks after taking office and one of those sales was a DIRECT sale to the county for County Maintenance and DID NOT involve a contractor.
4. Violated his recusal letter 2 days after signing it. That led to a KNEW recusal letter that still doesn’t address state law. They are only focusing on Federal compliance.
5. Called for a vote to pay bills of which 3 of those bills were from his own company.
6. Accepted payment from the county, which those checks constitute a contract based on case law.
All of this points to Chris Patrick's lack of trustworthiness with the tax payer’s money and a total disregard for even trying to do the right thing.
I would encourage everyone to contact their representatives on the County Board and in Springfield and voice your concerns on this matter, regardless of which side of this issue you are on!