Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved.

April 22, 2024

Zimmerly Redi-Mix and the IDOT Compliance Issue –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 7, 2013


In a follow-up to the article in which we stated that Zimmerly Redi-Mix was not in compliance with IDOT as far as having an approved mix design, we submitted a FOIA request to IDOT requesting any approved mix designs for Zimmerly Redi-Mix.

Their response was just what we had expected, the approval for the Zimmerly mix design was dated the day after the meeting in which Mr. Patrick claimed that Zimmerly’s did have an approved mix design. This would mean that the day Redi-Mix was ordered from a different vendor for the project in question…and the day of the meeting where the public was informed of the situation…Zimmerly’s did not have an approved design, contrary to the claims of Mr. Patrick.

His attempts at intimidating the County Engineer failed. One can only wonder if this will be the new norm for doing business with the county – intimidating your way into contracts.

Below is the IDOT approved mix design, dated June 25, 2013 – and the June 24, 2013 video again, so that you can see Mr. Patrick making false claims about their mix design.

 Don’t miss the Monday Morning County Highway meeting!  Starts at 9am at the County Highway Department.  County Board Study Session to follow!

[gview file=””]


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print


  • James W. Parsley
    Posted at 09:38h, 07 July

    James W. Parsley liked this on Facebook.

  • Blake Stiff
    Posted at 09:38h, 07 July

    Blake Stiff liked this on Facebook.

  • Cheryl Gill
    Posted at 09:38h, 07 July

    Cheryl Gill liked this on Facebook.

  • Darlene Justice
    Posted at 09:38h, 07 July

    Darlene Justice liked this on Facebook.

  • old
    Posted at 11:20h, 07 July

    He may have gotten approved but will the state check every load? I’d lay odds he’ll cheat on the mix evey chance he gets, to make money. What will happen if one of his ‘bad’ mixes gets used in a high priority situation and someone gets hurt or killed because it wasn’t mixed right? Is he going to take responsibility for it or lay the blame on someone else and let them do prison or jail time and pay a heavy fine out of their pockets which could have devastateing after effects. He’s a person should not be trusted. If new company has passed state requirements for all this time as stated in newspaper then let them continue to provide services. Chris should h ave checked all his eggs before he was called on the rug. It’s like closing the gate after the livestock gets out of the pasture.

  • old
    Posted at 11:45h, 07 July

    No to using Chris, he knew there were requirements for concrete to be used by state, he should have taken care of this before he was called on the rug. After the fact doesn’t get it. He’s treatment of Aaron and other board members is unforgivable. No one should be treated this way, borders on Mafia tatics, they used intimidation to bring others under control, is this his new way of getting what he wants. Or is he just a spoiled brat who has a temper tamtrum to get what he wants. He is a bad influence on all members. He’ll cheat every chance he gets to gets what he wants, money is his goal.

  • oldlawsonacquintence
    Posted at 20:19h, 10 July

    I do believe that Mr. Lawson used to work as a superintendent in Champaign County for a contractor and that his work there was less than stellar there and that he was always trying to defraud taxpayer dollars into his bosses coffers. Maybe he has turned over a new leaf now that he’s a county engineer or maybe he’s that same smooth talking criminal who just happened to change jobs and move somewhere new.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 22:26h, 10 July

    One phone call disproved what you just said and your post just shows the desperation and levels of stupid some people stoop to.

  • Road & Bridge
    Posted at 10:48h, 02 August

    From what I have read the burden of compliance was on lawson. Its the contractor’s responsibilty to provide the mix design to IDOT, not the supplier. It should have already been taken care of before the decision to pour. Lawson went around established procedure (as he did with many things on the Lower T job). I would like to see the proof that zimmerly’s is responsible for that and not the contractor. Your article is incorrect.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 14:33h, 02 August

      Since we didn’t discuss whose responsibility it was to send any design to IDOT, I fail to see where any of the article is wrong.
      What was wrong, was a MATERIAL SUPPLIER who was also the county board chairman being allowed to drill anyone on why they did or did not buy supplies from him – for any reason.

      • Dirt Works
        Posted at 16:16h, 02 August

        The first sentence of the article contradicts your post. You clearly state that Zimmerly was out of compliance. Maybe you should have looked into whose responsibility it was…because you elude that the burden was on Zimmerly when in fact it was Lawson’s responsibility to get the mix approved with IDOT. I know you guys would want to be clear on this for the sake of accuracy and truth.

  • Parisian
    Posted at 09:44h, 09 August

    This came up at the diner the other morning. We had an idot employee explain the situation to us. In construction on state jobs the contractor is in fact responsible for providing the mix to the state. They can ask the concrete company to make a mix for them, but they still have to get it to the state themselves. The story on this site is confusing because it makes zimmerly redi mix sound responsible for this. The contractor, whoever it was for that job, was not in compliance. Mr Patrick’s claim to have a mix would have been correct had the contractor followed the correct rules. The mix is always taken care of before any contruction. Usually days or weeks before, not the same day.

  • Dwayne
    Posted at 12:44h, 09 August

    Intimidation? Sounds more like he was correcting him. You can’t make erroneous statements in a county board meeting and not expect to get questioned over it. I don’t understand how the engineer goes from being concerned about a conflict with the county to approved mix designs. It looks as if he was grasping for straws in my opinion. This is awful. This story and the claims it makes are off base. There should be some clarification here like the paragraph in the local paper. The statements in the paper and this story don’t jibe.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:08h, 09 August

      Yes, intimidation, and by a public official who happens to own a redi-mix company, and in my opinion: improper communications (which falls under a different law).
      What erroneous statements were made? Contrary to published reports from other organizations, nobody has retracted anything that was said during that meeting.
      I read this article again and see nothing that needs clarified.
      As for what was printed in the paper, I do not know what they printed.
      Please watch the video again.

      • Dwayne
        Posted at 14:13h, 09 August

        You may want to check out the article in the paper or ask one of the board members for the statement they had. This story isn’t consistent with the statement from the meeting and the paper. That engineer acknowledged the statement was true, making this story inaccurate. FYI

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 14:56h, 09 August

          We already rec’d a copy from a FOIA request and I was at that meeting. From what I remember, the statements read from the letter from Zimmerley’s did not contradict what was said in C.P.’s last meeting. I also have the audio from it and will listen to it again and post it for everyone to listen to. It should be online sometime this weekend.

  • Mr Notill
    Posted at 12:21h, 12 August

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for this article to be corrected. It’s purpose was to smear the owner of the company anyway. I find it humorous that the author chooses to leave it. The article in the Beacon stated that Aaron Lawson agreed to the questions that the county board asked him about the concrete company and its role in the situation. According to Lawson’s answers this article’s accusations are not correct. Most that are up to speed on it see this anyway. I say let them perpetuate lies…it only further damages their credibility.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:07h, 12 August

      I’m still looking for the audio from that meeting. Again, I ask that you please explain where, in this article, we reported anything that was not factual?

      • Sal J.
        Posted at 14:16h, 13 August

        I would say its not factual to say that the concrete company was out of compliance. You are pushing the blame onto the concrete company although it wasn’t their responsibility to comply. I’m not in construction but with a little explanation even I understood this for the most part. That engineer even agreed it wasn’t necessary to have a mix to consider the company for use. Looks like you are purposely not wanting to understand in my opinion.

  • Paul
    Posted at 10:10h, 16 August

    Here is the article that was in the paper:

    Lawson does concur with the statements read to him. This does contradict the articles on this website. I thought this might be useful information, so you don’t continue the spread of misinformation. I know your organization promotes truth and accountability. This would include the addressing of mistakes made while printing an article.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 10:32h, 16 August

      Once again: I have never disputed that Lawson agreed with “the statements read to him”, I was in the meting and I know what statements were read and that he agreed with the statements as read – what I dispute is your contention that those statements proved anything about the statements at the previous meeting. The questions asked did not dispute the statements previously made. Although BOTH are 100% factual, the fact remains that the statements made in one meeting and the statements agreed to in the other meeting did not prove anything wrong was said or done in either meeting.
      I believe the emails we received from IDOT through a FOIA request can back up anything we have stated in our articles.

  • citizen
    Posted at 12:25h, 16 August

    Looks like you are back peddling mr kraft. Your responses make no sense. You reported on information said at a meeting. Zimmerly wanted clarification on this information…lawson provided clarification when he stated that the clarification points were correct. How is your story still accurate? Mr Lawson’s clarification changes the validity of his original statements. You reported on the original statements. How are your articles accurate if you didn’t update to his clarifications? The meaning of your foia’d documents changes considerably when taken in context of the clarification. How about some of that accountability?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 13:20h, 16 August

      No back peddling here…I don’t know how to say it any clearer – the statements agreed to at the 2nd meeting, did not match up to the statements in the first meeting. Sure they were similar, but they did in no way change the meaning of the original statements from the first meeting.
      Let’s take them one at a time:
      1. Lawson NEVER said the Zimmerley’s was not an approved SOURCE of concrete.
      2. Lawson NEVER said that IDOT provided mix designs for projects.
      3. Lawson NEVER said that Zimmerly Ready Mix was required by IDOT to have a concrete design submitted as a PREREQUISITE to be CONSIDERED for a project.

      What Lawson did say, that I believe you are insinuating relates to the statements agreed to at the previous meeting:
      “Right now Zimmerley does not have an IDOT approved mix design.” – This was a 100% true statement at the time it was made, and those 3 statements above did not prove this statement wrong.
      “A person from District 5 told us that…there is not an approved mix design at Zimmerley currently and that the ball is in their court to get us one.” – This is another 100% true statement at the time it was made, and those 3 statements above did not prove this statement wrong.
      Watch the video and have the 3 statemetns agreed to in front of you, then see if you can find anywhere in that video where he says anything contradictory to those 3 statements.
      If you would like, we can have an on-camera debate about this particular issue. We will welcome anyone to an on-camera debate – no matter who you are or what position you are taking. Call our hotline and leave a message if you want to take us up on this offer.

  • citizen
    Posted at 14:34h, 16 August

    Its apparent that you have no intention to clarify the mistakes in your article. Your remarks are flat out lies…
    1. Lawson released a paper that clearly stated zimmerly’s was not approved source for concrete.(you have the paper) A statement that he acknowledged was incorrect…you maintain he never said it…a lie.(you had the statement in this article originally but had the good sense to remove it)

    2. lawson knew full well that IDOT does not provide mix designs, yet he contacted them for one…thats not the process…the burden was his to come up with mix…he acknowledged this…you provide no clarification on this aspect…you print deceiving information on that. In fact you manufactured a non existent compliance issue that you said zimmerlys didnt comply with.

    3. Your third point makes absolutely no sense…not having a mix design was his reason to not consider use of that company…again this is not the established process…a point that he agreed to was that no approved mix design is require as a prerequisite to be considered…that is exactly why he stated he didnt want to use them initially.
    I don’t understand why you question what has already been acknowledged by the county engineer. Why defend incorrect information?
    Debating something as obvious as this is pointless. It would do our community a better service if you were to “own up” to you mistakes and correct them in a proper fashion. Your deliberate avoidance of this contradicts your organizations mission statement and show a willful intention to harm companies in this area.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:22h, 16 August

      First off, there are no lies that you are talking about.

      I will reply to each numbered statement of yours.

      1. You are saying that:
      a. Lawson released a paper stating Zimmerly’s wasn’t an approved source for concrete. CORRECT – we received an email through a FOIA request to him that included a “paper” with that statement contained within it.
      b. You also stated we maintain he never said that. CORRECT – The email was written TO him and quoted an IDOT employee. So we still stand on the FACT that Lawson DID NOT say it.
      c. You say we had that statement in THIS article but had the good sense to remove it. WRONG – It was never in this article and was never removed from the article it was originally in, which was:

      2. I cannot comment on what Lawson knew or didn’t know. But I do know that he did not acknowledge what you assume he ackowledged. What we provided, through a FOIA to IDOT, was an approved mix design dated the DAY AFTER the meeting in question.

      3. You are putting words in his mouth. Nothing was said about a prerequisite to be considered until Zimmerly’s provided a statement to the board. There was a statement made by Lawson that said “at this time Zemmerly’s did not have an approved mix design”, which was completely true – they didn’t have one until they day after this meeting. As a matter of fact, Zimmerly’s was informed via email as to why they needed to submit a new mix design, something that didn’t happen until the day after this meeting – we have those emails also.

      We have no willfull intention to harm any companies in this area and do not believe we have violated anything in our mission statement.