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April 16, 2024

Timeline: Actions of Airport Officials –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 28, 2013


Timeline of Airport Events – Your Public Officials In Action 

This is the timeline of events and the actions of (mainly) Chris Patrick, Jimmy Wells, and Adonna Bennett since November of 2012. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of these public officials (present and former), and it certainly doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Jimmy Wells, the public employee at the airport.

This paints the true picture, riddled with lies and deceit, stories changing more often than the wind blows, and part of a coordinated effort by those “in charge” – all of which go unpunished to this day. When will our current county board members take action?

–         November 13, 2012 Edgar County Airport Board Meeting: It was mentioned that Breastfeeding was an issue at the airport and the Airport Advisory Board voted to “let Jimmy handle it” – even though nothing was on the agenda listing that as an item to take action on.

–         Almost immediately after the Nov 13 meeting, it was reported to us that breastfeeding was banned at the airport, and it was voted on. Sometime prior to the Nov 15 board meeting we were asked to provide some assistance with this issue.

–         November 15, 2012 Edgar County Board Meeting – Robert Bogue talks to the county board in reference to the breastfeeding issue at the airport.

–         November 21, 2012 County Board Meeting – Chris Patrick is notified in front of the board that we know he illegally received free driveways from his township road commissioner. He refused to comment on the breastfeeding issue.

–         November 23, 2012 – Jimmy Wells hands Rusty a lease termination letter, telling him he got it since his father, Robert, talked at the county board meeting about the airport issues.

–         November 23 and 27, 2012 – we publish our first articles on the airport.

–         December 2012 Edgar County Board Meeting – Al Schneider asks the county board who voted to allow Jimmy to terminate the lease. Chris Patrick lied to Mr. Schneider three times, stating the airport board voted to do that. Karl Farnham (at 22:00 in the video), county board member, disputed Chris’s statement stating there was no such vote. At 10: 41 in the video is when Mr. Schneider asks the questions. No reasons for termination were given, other than quoting a sentence in the lease that allows termination without cause for any reason at any time – this sentence violates the grant assurances.

–         Later in December in came to our attention that workers compensation insurance was the issue, which we published in this article confirmation that Rusty had his workers compensation insurance.

–         November-December 2012 – Jimmy Wells, in consultation with Mark Isaf, the Edgar County State’s Attorney, denies access to public records, financial records of the airport. When I asked Mr. Isaf why, he said that we had not right to “audit” all the financial records of the airport. He is wrong, we have every right to do what ever we would like to do with those financial records. The Illinois Constitution gives every citizen that right, and so does the Local Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

–         December 2012 – Jimmy Wells blocks access to the hangar doors in an attempt at keeping Rusty from delivering an airplane that he had been working on.

–         December 3, 2012 county board meeting – the county board was informed that Jimmy Wells was storing his private airplane in the hangar without paying rent on the space. Chris Patrick makes a feeble attempt at justifying the unjustifiable.

–         December 8, 2012 – we reported that Jimmy Wells removed his private airplane from the hanger he had not been paying rent on. To this date, no one has asked him to pay rent for the time it was stored in there.

–         January 6, 2013 – we published an article detailing the “issue” with insurance and the fact that paperwork was faxed to IDOT that included fabricated memos, and the fact that Jimmy and the airport did not respond to questions posed by Rusty’s attorney, nor could they identify any dollar amount requirement for insurance. – we also brought up the issue of “The Beaver” airplane that Chris Patrick owned and wondered if that was the real reason for the eviction. This is the airplane that he told his wife, during divorce proceedings, was worth nothing because the wings were off. It turns out it is worth close to $300,000 even with the wings off.

–         January 7, 2013 County Highway Department / Study Session Meeting – the county board was presented with the Federal and Illinois statutes pertaining to conflicts of interest. Mr. Patrick denies any conflicts exist.

–         January 7, 2013, we publish an article detailing what we were going to bring up at the January 8 airport board meeting. This included such things as: illegal loans from Illini Community Development Corporation (Newman Illinois), Lisa Gill operating an MLM out of the airport, Chris Patrick receiving payment for work at the airport while he was a member of that board, the change in policy of only accepting credit cards (no cash) at the airport, the fact that the Airport Booster Club was involuntarily dissolved by the State of Illinois 22 years prior and were still permitted to fundraise at the airport, the fact that the Edgar County Flying Club was a for profit organization established after the State of Illinois involuntarily dissolve their not for profit status, and the fact that Jimmy Wells was operating private MLMs and businesses out of the airport.

–         January 8, 2013 – The airport board canceled the meeting as a standing room only crowd assembled for the meeting.

–         January 9, 2013 – the Edgar County Board meeting was held and I asked what statute the airport was operating under – I still do not have that answer.

–         January 20, 2013 – we published an article that detailed the work at the airport performed by Zimmerly Ready Mix while Mr. Patrick was on that board. There was also discussion of “voting members” of the airport board and that Jimmy Wells could only spend $500 without prior approval.

–         January 22, 2013 Airport Board Meeting – Chris Patrick rambles on about “character flaws” (like he doesn’t have any), rent not being paid (it was refused by Mr. Wells just so they could say it wasn’t paid), credit card fuel purchases denied (Mr. Wells changed the policy without notice to charge it once a month instead of each week, creating a denial), claims of no insurance when the county refuses to disclose what they actually require.

–         January 26, 2013 – we published an article referencing that Chris Patrick was going to ask for a vote to terminate the lease at the airport, claiming an outdated registration as the reason, even when Mr. Patrick knew of it months prior. This is another example of reasons being changed, when previous reasons failed, to attempt to justify what they are doing.

–         A January 27, 2013 article detailed Jimmy Wells profiting from the airport thru Excel Communications, an MLM company that Jimmy joined and moved the airport telephone bills under. We also talked about the lie Mr. Wells told about how the Illini Community Development Corporation loan was in his name, we provided proof it was in the county’s name.

–         January 31, 2013 Special County Board Meeting – Chris Patrick called a special county board meeting, after he found out that Rusty would be out of town, for the sole purpose of screwing him over and terminating the lease by a county board vote. It didn’t turn out as he [Chris] expected.

–         In an article we published on February 1, 2013, we explain how Chris Patrick lied to Mr. Henry, reporter for the Paris Beacon News, and was going to move forward with the eviction. He lied about the reason when he stated is was because of the insurance issue. That failed because there was no vote to evict RSB, and there was no insurance issue.

–         February 4, 2013 – we report that Chris Patrick attempted to manipulate the county board during the January 31 special meeting. He claimed it came directly from the State’s Attorney, but we believe he lied about that also. Thankfully a county board member noticed the attempted manipulation and drafted his own motion that did pass.

–         February 11, 2013 – Chris Patrick cancels the Feb 11th highway department meeting. We have started investigating rumors of a CD that was donated to the airport.

–         February 11, 2013 County Board Study Session – Chris Patrick lies about the IDOT investigation into the free driveways he received at his private house. This comes after he talks about “character flaws”.

–         February 12, 2013 – The airport board held an illegal secret ballot to nominate Adonna Bennett to the airport board. I informed Ben Jenness that it was not legal while they were voting, but he ignored me stating that the CountyClerk said it was legal. The county clerk denied saying that. Mike Heltsley tries to throw in some confusion on the county board resolution that was passed. He says he doesn’t know what he voted on. Mike and Ben make a reference to maybe taking another vote at the county level “to avoid any confusion” LOL. This is where Mike Heltsley is first confused about whether the airport agreed to have a business out there. It is clear that will be the next excuse to throw in there to make something stick and that they are upset about the vote and have talked with Chris Patrick who is clearly directing this sham.

–         February 19, 2013 Airport Board Meeting – Jimmy rants on and on about the county board meeting and throws more confusion into the writing of the lease. Mike Heltsley joins him in his confusion. They are still trying to cling to the illegal eviction notice. This is also the first mention by Jimmy of RSB “outgrowing the airport” – which is a lie, and they continue in the future to attempt to remove more space from him. It is clear Mr. Patrick is still driving this train off the tracks.

–         February 21, 2013 – we run our first article on the secret CD that Chris Patrick and Jimmy Wells are trying to conceal from the public. Mr. Patrick starts making claims that it was a private CD and he doesn’t have copies of it (all proven wrong).

–         February 22, 2013 – we publish an article detailing the free rent given to whoever is storing items in the “Ag Building” at the airport. It’s pretty clear to us by now that the RSB issues have nothing to do with what they are claiming. Airport denies another FOIA request.

–         In a February 23, 2013 article, we shoot massive holes in the idea that Mr. Patrick states as fact that the airport board is “advisory only” and always has been. Another proven lie.

–         In a February 25, 2013 article we published audio of Chris Patrick saying he would not provide public documents because he “didn’t want to”. He later tries to say that there “is no CD”, which is a lie. We have, at this point identified a CD and Checking Account with a $14,101.08 check written out of the account. Chris tells us “good luck” in getting copies of anything.

–         On February 26, 2013 we published an article in which Mike Heltsley asks why we think it is our business when we talked about the CD at the airport. Later in the meeting he makes a statement that leads people to believe he is in favor of circumventing the statutory bidding process on insurance quotes.

–         March 6, 2013 – we publish an article pointing out more people getting free rent in county airport buildings.

–         March 10, 2013 – Jimmy Wells claims they can’t charge rent for the Ag building, which is a lie. Mr. Wells denies another FOIA request.

–         March 11, 2013 – we were notified that the Illinois Attorney General was going to investigate the secret ballot at the airport meeting. Jimmy Wells and Chris Patrick both lie and call it a “straw poll”.

–         March 11, 2013 Edgar County Board Meeting – Chris Patrick says “there is something wrong with the title” to the pickup truck they are allowing to be stored at the airport. Claims it is not a liability to the county, like we are supposed to take his word for it…

–         March 13, 2013 – I file a civil suit under FOIA naming Jimmy Wells, the airport board, and the county as defendants. This is to force production of public records pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act.

–         March 19, 2013 – Airport Advisory Board Meeting – In yet another attempt at justifying terminating the lease, Jimmy says he doesn’t have enough space in the hangar to do “county business” in. Of course this wasn’t a problem when he used 1/4th of it for his personal private airplane, but all of a sudden it is an issue now. He must have thought everyone would believe that lie.

–         March 22, 2013, we published an article about some things that had happened in the prior 6 months.

–         March 27, 2013 we published an article detailing another airport meeting with an extra large crowd of RSB supporters in which Mike Heltsley gave threats of shutting the meeting down because citizens were exercising their rights of free speech (and it wasn’t going his way). Adonna Bennett tried to stifle Rusty talking, said she would have the public removed from the meeting (she wasn’t even on that committee), and finally after the meeting Chris Patrick and the rest of his cronies went out for some drinks.

–         April 2, 2013, we published more lies Chris Patrick said at the recent highway department/study session meeting. Some involving the airport issue.

–         April 17, 2013 – I filed an Open Meetings Act civil suit as a result of several illegal actions taken by Adonna Bennett at their airport board meeting. It was later settled out of court with the county paying my costs. The airport board voted to recommend to the county board that no commercial operations be allowed in the main hangar and that they stop working on the RSB lease. Adonna Bennett has the Sheriff Department at the meeting in case things got out of hand.

–         April 17, 2013 – Edgar County Board Meeting – The county board dealt a stunning blow to Chris Patrick when he tried to get a motion approved to not allow any commercial operation out of the airport hangar. Claiming the airport needed more space for their work – which was a lie. This was another defeated attempt at removing RSB from the airport – and it back-fired big time.

–         April 19, 2013 – we are notified that 2 airport board members are removed and 2 more appointed by Chris Patrick. This is after a stunning embarrassment dealt to Mr. Patrick during a county board meeting.

–         April 21, 2013 – we published another article detailing even more lies from Chris Patrick in reference to the airport.

–         May 7, 2013 Airport Advisory Board Meeting – Adonna Bennett lies to the board about what she will cover at the county board meeting since she is on the agenda.

–         May 7, 2013 Airport Advisory Board Meeting – Adonna Bennett and Jimmy Wells both lie to the board and the public about what IDOT and the FAA has told them. They are trying to come up with more reasons to terminate the lease. We prove them wrong…again.

–         May 8, 2013 Edgar County Board Meeting – Adonna Bennett goes on a 9 minute embarrassing tirade against the county board members and RSB Aviation. This, of course, is prearranged with Chris Patrick and he allowed it to continue. She even lied to the airport board the night prior as to what she was going to talk about.

–         May 11, 2013 – we published an article in which Jimmy Wells stated there is no way of knowing who has any insurance – another lie. So, with other options failing, they are back to this lie again.

–         May 13, 2013 – The Illinois Attorney General issues a Binding Opinion stating the airport board violated the Open Meetings Act when they took a secret ballot. By the way, a binding AG opinion is not a small task to accomplish. This opinion, however, did not force Adonna Bennett’s removal from the airport board.

–         May 23, 2013 we published the fact that the county did not even carry its own fire insurance for the airport buildings.

–         June 12, 2013 Edgar County Board Meeting – Adonna Bennett fakes a fainting spell after being publically called out on her lies from the May meeting. I prove the lies with documents from the FAA and IDOT Division of Aeronautics. Kirk is illegally ejected from the meeting by Chris Patrick.

–         June 19, 2013 The board stated a new requirement for the lease, then accused RSB of not being in compliance with it – even though he knew nothing about it. Jimmy Wells adopted a new t-hangar lease without the county board’s approval. Chris Patrick and Jimmy Wells decide to adopt a new “Airport Policy Manual” and that it needed approved at the next meeting…haven’t had one for 25 years, but this one needs approved NOW. We still do not know which statute the airport is operating under.

–         June 22, 2013 – More on the new unapproved t-hangar lease

–         August Airport Board and County Board Meetings – Mike Heltsley and Jimmy Wells lie about people waiting to bid on the business lease. Seems they have abandoned the idea of not wanting a commercial business out there since the motion failed so miserably.

–         October 8, 2013 Airport Board Meeting – Chris Patrick continues to make an ass out of himself, and the lies from Jimmy and Adonna keep flowing like a cheap glass of wine.

–         October 10, 2013 – The Illinois Attorney General finally determines that the November 13, 2012 airport board meeting was an illegal meeting and not in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

–         October 15, 2013 – More evidence is published that proves collusion on the part of Jimmy Wells and Chris Patrick to keep information about the multiple secret certificates of deposit and the multiple secret bank accounts from the public. Now the bank claims they “misplaced” some of the paperwork. Is that what Chris meant several months ago when he said “good luck” in finding the paperwork? This is still an unfinished issue.



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  • Michael
    Posted at 10:43h, 28 October

    this is extremely unprofessional how am i supposed to believe this crap if you cant even type the dates right? ” December 3, 3012 county board meeting” seriously?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 11:02h, 28 October

      I fixed the typos on the dates – now can you believe it?

  • Steve Johnson
    Posted at 10:48h, 28 October

    When does this move to court? Is it a civil or criminal charge?

    How does a private citizen file charges of any sort? Why can’t “We the People” get rid of these people

  • SIck of it all...
    Posted at 12:06h, 28 October

    Michael: Unbelievable! All the information included in the article, and the best you can find fault with is a typo on the date of ONE board meeting? Guess that means the rest is correct, right? Speaking of unprofessional, you might look over your comments and possibly try to use some punctuation and maybe some capital letters where needed? You really have no room to discuss anyone else’s professionalism when you can’t even write a short paragraph without numerous errors.

  • Angela Mason
    Posted at 13:02h, 28 October

    Angela Mason liked this on Facebook.

  • Peggy Kemp Camp
    Posted at 14:02h, 28 October

    Peggy Kemp Camp liked this on Facebook.

  • Blake Stiff
    Posted at 16:17h, 28 October

    Blake Stiff liked this on Facebook.

  • Joe Frigge
    Posted at 17:33h, 28 October

    Mark Isaff has managed to LOOSE some of my money,when he was a lawyer.I’m sure he is somehow stuffing his pockets

  • Donna Stiff
    Posted at 20:32h, 28 October

    Donna Stiff liked this on Facebook.