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May 19, 2024

Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office: “You Are Being Childish” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 19, 2013


For someone who hangs his hat on literal and legal definitions of words and phrases, it is quite odd that Mr. Bill Donahue, from the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office, would stoop to saying that a citizen was being childish for questioning something an InvEnergy attorney states as fact during the October 2013 Vermilion County board meeting.

Mr. Donahue’s response to requests for clarification was: “You are being childish.”

I will set the stage for this interaction by assuming that the InvEnergy attorney was brought in to give a speech about how they were going to do whatever it took to rectify the problems some citizens were having with wind turbines located close to their homes. How he had an unlimited budget and would do sound tests for as long as it took to find an answer – then a few minutes later stated the sound tests would be finished this month, even after acknowledging the fact that weather conditions were not what they should be for the sound tests. He also stated that two families would not let them on their property to conduct the tests. A county board member with an obvious written scripted note, asked that question in an attempt at painting these families in a bad light. More on that in a later article.

A family questioned the statement by the InvEnergy attorney who said neither family would agree to allow the testing on their properties. Mr. Donahue responded to this questioning by replying that this was a logical conclusion and that they were “hiding behind a technicality.”

When it was pointed out to Mr. Donahue that this family never said they were “uncomfortable” with a specific sound engineer, Donahue’s response to them was: “You are being childish.”, accusing him of evading the question of why he wouldn’t let InvEnergy on his property (even when he was never specifically asked), and finally stating that “Playing games does not solve a problem.”

At least he got one thing right, playing games does not solve a problem. So, Mr. Donahue, why don’t you quit playing games with the lives of the people that live in Vermilion County?

It is becoming increasingly clearer that the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office has been on the path of:
– Allowing InvEnergy “unprecedented” access to influence the formation of wind turbine policies and procedures of Vermilion County
– Disallowing citizens the same access that InvEnergy enjoys.
– Formulating arguments for “potential litigation” with InvEnergy (and against the citizens of Vermilion County) – basically using public funds to strategize against the taxpaying public, while allowing InvEnergy to become “fully aware of the positions of the public (citizens)“. You have to agree there is nothing like giving the opposing team your playbook before the game starts!
– Granting exclusive rights to public records to InvEnergy
– Continued communication and deliberation with InvEnergy outside the public view

Finally, we must remind our readers that the statutory clients of the State’s Attorney’s Office are:
1.  Citizens of the County of Vermilion
2.  Elected and appointed officials, employees of the Public Body, the County
3.  The State of Illinois

That doesn’t appear to be the case at the moment. As a matter of fact, a State’s Attorney CAN represent the citizen against the county if he believes the county is wrong!

This is also not the first time Mr. Donahue has resorted to name-calling towards his statutory clients.




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1 Comment
  • Wind Talker
    Posted at 14:28h, 20 October

    It’s likely Invenergy rushed siting of the wind turbines and didn’t do an adequate pre construction noise study to meet IEPA requirements. Their consultant for many of these studies was run out of California on another project when it was determined the consultant did a poor job. IEPA is charged with enforcing noise violations and should investigate.

    Did you also know the owner of Invenergy, Michael Polsky, is known for paying the largest divorce settlement in history that went to court?