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April 18, 2024

Effingham County Sheriff on his way out???

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 7, 2013


For months now we have been receiving credible tips relating to things going on in the Effingham County Sheriff’s office, and by all indications, that place is not much different than what we had here in Edgar County with our former Sheriff, Tim Crippes.  Many may recall our story on the illegal gun sales, which can be found in this article.

We have submitted a few FOIA’s pertaining to weapons seized and in the control of the Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet, and we suspect the response to be telling at best.  Specifically we asked the following.


  1. Copy of all records of gun/firearm sales/transfers within the past 5 years – this includes confiscated, forfeited, and/or firearms that were owned and used by the county, the sheriff department or its employees and/or deputies.
  2. Copy of the Sheriff Department evidence locker log(s) indicating guns/weapons/firearms confiscated, logged in, and/or out in the past 5 years.
  3. Copy of all records of gun/firearm sales/transfers within the past 2 years

The reason the response will be telling, is it appears from history with other agencies they think they can respond with claims of no sales when in fact we already know there have been.  It becomes a two edge sword because if they are caught lying on the FOIA it’s a compounded problem for them, as it relates to Official Misconduct.  Any predictions on how the Effingham County Sheriff will respond to these requests?

As is customary with our work, we welcome any and all information people are willing to provide regarding this public office because it is We The People that ensure accountability from our government.

We are at the early stages of our investigation but we do know that as recently as yesterday a formal request for the Sheriff’s resignation has taken place. That request outlines some very damaging issues surrounding the Sheriff and his office and is supported by a detailed timeline of work by 911 board member Ted Heath, however that is just the tip of the iceberg of information we currently have.

Has the Fox been running the hen house?  It makes you wonder, especially when the Sheriff’s Chief Deputy up and resigns after a few FOIA’s are submitted.  Apparently Chief Deputy John Loy submitted his resignation a few months ago, effective sometime this month and did so because the requests for information were “giving him chest pains”.  We know all about Chief Deputies. Here locally in Edgar County, the former Chief Deputy that should have been charged with Official Misconduct was allowed to retire with his pension.

What happens with corrupt deputies that are not prosecuted for their crimes?  They come back and run for Sheriff because they now know they can get away with the crimes they commit.  Chief Deputies KNOW where the skeletons are located, as well as all the guns!

Effingham County however may have some larger issues here, because we not only have a Chief Deputy who resigned from what appears to be demands for accountability, but we also have a recent fire and suicide of a local Gun Dealer just prior to that resignation.

Steve Habing, owner of Habings Guns, had been briefly detained by Effingham police in early August during an interview with Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm agents at the police station according to this local story.  A few days later Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffy reported that he responded to a call at the request of the County Sheriff’s Office and pronounced Steven Habing dead at the scene.

I don’t know about the rest of our readers but when you add up a laundry list of FOIA’s asking for information that leads to chest pains, an apparent suicide by a Gun Dealer that was briefly detained during an interview with ATF, and then a Chief Deputy that resigns and now a clear exposure of inappropriate spending by the Sheriff coupled with a resignation request you have to admit something stinks.

As always, we ask that the good citizens of Effingham County stand up and take action!  This is your call to action!  If you know anything pertaining to any of these issues feel free to contact us though our tip line, and a  special thanks to those who have already provided so much supporting information on these matters!


Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey would only say he responded to a call in a rural part of the county at the request of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office. Steven Habing was pronounced dead at the scene. – See more at:
John Monnet
John Monnet


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  • Doris Wolfe
    Posted at 16:22h, 07 December

    Effingham State’s Attorney declined to file charges…”prosecutorial discretion…so this is what they do when someone is in their “buddy system”.

    • Scott Beal
      Posted at 19:09h, 08 December

      No, it is what they do when the State’s Attorney previously announced he wouldn’t prosecute anyone for carrying concealed.

    • Doris Wolfe
      Posted at 00:45h, 09 December

      My point is: A State’s Attorney not doing the job he/she was elected to do if he/she picks and chooses which violated laws to file charges and prosecute. I took the conceal and carry classes, but, I’m not going to carry until it’s legal.

      • Sandy Kinkelaar
        Posted at 10:31h, 17 March

        Is this still being investigated ? I feel that there is a lot more to this story.

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 11:53h, 17 March


  • Edgar County Watchdogs
    Posted at 18:02h, 07 December

    I believe the SA stated the guy “wasn’t a jerk” when being questioned.

    • Doris Wolfe
      Posted at 12:50h, 08 December

      Yes, I read that. But, it’s against the law to carry a loaded gun…at least until January. Charges should be filed for any violation of any law no matter who it is. That was my point.

      • Kirk Allen
        Posted at 07:38h, 22 December

        Actually its a very grey area now because the supreme court said our concealed carry ban is unconstitutional so they couldn’t prosecute you under that law, thus people are carrying.

    Posted at 21:14h, 08 December


  • Joe
    Posted at 14:23h, 09 December

    demand that all deputies resign,they have to know what was going on,they have their click,people of effingham,should demand they all go

    • Carl
      Posted at 15:43h, 10 December

      How did you know that? I don’t think deputies can arrest the sheriff. What about the sheriff’s supervision? Isn’t it the County Board? Or is that where you are Joe!

  • Rita
    Posted at 21:56h, 10 December

    Thank you for all you are doing. I just wish more citizens knew about this.

  • Angela Mason
    Posted at 21:16h, 21 December

    Angela Mason liked this on Facebook.

  • Ladawn
    Posted at 23:01h, 24 January

    I think a great thing for the watch dogs to check into is the deal on mark barnes. This man as been arrested many times for gun charges, drug charges, firing a gun on another man, duis, and othe charges and is still walking around a free man whom effingham county wants to put on drug court. For a matter of fact he just threaten his victim that he was going to kill him while he was in the probation office this week. His victim is also on drug court and now ed deters who dismissed many charges is his lawyer. I feel unsafe with people like mark who made it known he has a bounty on his victims head to be free on our streets. Two days before mark made his threats john hernadez threaten barnes victim and stated his friend had a 1000 bounty on his head. This has all been reported and while effingham county had mark in jail for yet another failed drug test the set bond released out into our public. He has 8 or 9 ptrsyrt walks the streets. I don’t believe the corruption stops at john. The drug court it’s self is a joke. I watched as people who did wrong was awarded for it and others went to jail. There is a lot of wrongs going on with this program and the people who run it. Yet this is what they want to give repeat violent gun charges and drug charged mark barnes.

  • Joe
    Posted at 09:45h, 12 March

    I have read this numerous times. It appears you make a big deal of the FOIA and the actions or circumstances of it. Yet you have not filed the FOIA demand in court for a hearing. It is my line of thinking. If I was working there your FOIA Request would be denied under the Rules of Evidence and Improper Submission.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 12:22h, 12 March

      Please explain what you mean by “rules of evidence and improper submission” of a FOIA request.