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April 22, 2024

Update #1: Arcola Township – Hiding Public Records – Costing Taxpayers Money –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 1, 2013


Update #1: Letter from AG’s office to Arcola Township: 2013 PAC 25511

It appears as though Arcola Township thinks they do not have to answer FOIA requests, nor provide the Public Records requested.

Last week I submitted a FOIA request to Arcola Township and asked for vacations dates of a specific month in 2011 and also for seven receipts for purchases made with the Township Marathon credit card.

Township Officials LIED Three Times At Township Meeting!

When I asked the trustees, at their meeting this past Monday, about whether or not they would respond with the requested records for this FOIA request, their answer was that the attorney sent them in the mail that day (Monday). It’s clear he did not send anything in the mail, but instead sent an email the following day (without the documents requested).

Lie #1 – “The documents were sent out.” Truth: No responsive documents were sent out.

Lie #2 – No it’s not normal for us to send FOIA request to the attorney.” TruthOne of the  first things they did with my first FOIA request BEFORE me filing a civil suit was to give it to the attorney.

Lie #3 – Now we have to send everything through him.” Truth: You only need to send the things through him that pertain to the civil suit.


Don’t Provide Public Records – Pay The Attorney instead!

The township attorney, Mr. Mark Petty of Petty Law Office, responded – (YES, he is paid with your tax dollars, please thank your township officials for spending your money wisely) – basically stating that they are not required to answer questions, but could provide the documents if I knew what documents they were. He failed to respond to the request for receipts, he only mentioned the names of people that took vacation and that it was “not an appropriate request.”

My response to him and the township was that I did not ask a question, and that I was not required to know the exact name of the document(s) that contained the information I requested. (All Communications are here)

Your Tax Money Used For Vacations

It is my belief that whomever had the township Marathon credit card took a “marathon vacation” through four states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois) and used the credit of Arcola Twonship to finance the fuel for their vacation. I have the trip mapped out and I have the credit card statement verifying these purchases. I am just interest in the actual receipts.

I have filed a “Request For Review” with the Illinois Attorney General on this latest denial of information. I’m sure the township attorney will make more money off of your backs answering this request for review.

Time Will Tell

It has been our experience in the past 2 or 3 years, that when a public body insists on forwarding FOIA requests through their attorney instead of simply providing the requested records, there are serious problems within that public body.

Why else would they opt to pay an attorney? Simple, they are using your money to hide what they are doing. They cannot hide forever, but they can spend as much of your money trying to hide as you will let them spend.

 Please Voice Your Opinion

 Please feel free to call the following people and let them know how much you appreciate their wasting your money on an atorney.


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  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 16:16h, 01 August

    Mr. Kraft,could it possibly be that the state mandated that Arcola Twp.did not have to answer FOIAs.It was told to us that the cacus rules were changed to reflect what the state wanted.If I remember correctly the cacus issue has lead us to this point,makes a person wonder if somebody now wishes Pandoras Box was never opened.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:00h, 01 August

      Not even a remote possibility – they just enjoy using other people’s money (taxpayer money).

  • Edgar County Watchdogs
    Posted at 17:32h, 01 August

    Edgar County Watchdogs liked this on Facebook.

  • The Prophet
    Posted at 19:38h, 01 August

    You see all in good time.Now we will look for small things.Patience

  • Darlene Justice
    Posted at 21:48h, 02 August

    Darlene Justice liked this on Facebook.

  • Kaskaskia Kid
    Posted at 08:23h, 03 August

    I may have an idea why the having a hard time answering FOIAs.George,you and Eagle may want to ask the Twp. supervisor just how far back those gas cards go.He was heard telling some guys at mens golf league the other nite,that the Road Comm.and secretary started those about 15 years ago.If thats the case and with them being the fiscally respondsable caretakers of the taxpayers money that they claim to be,Im sure they can show a stack of 1099s that have been filed with the IRS for compensation.

  • Teed Off
    Posted at 08:37h, 06 August

    Where is the public outrage?Yes more than the K.Kid heard the comments made by the Twp. Supervisor at league the other nite.If half of what is posted,and it appears when George or Eagle cant dispute them, they change the topic.I say the Watchdogs or any body wishing to see their tax dollars spent wisely should be allowed to ask questions.