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July 13, 2024

Fraud In Fuel Farm Grant Application – Final –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 31, 2013


In the past three articles on the false statements Jimmy Wells put into the fuel farm grant justification documents, we discussed false fuel sales numbers,   false statements on the size of fuel tanks they are currently pulling Jet-A fuel out of, and false numbers for operational and airworthy aircraft based at the airport.

Larger Apron Tie-Down Space

In this final part, we will simply note that the exaggerations of the number of airplanes based at the Edgar County Airport were used to justify an apron expansion project along with the fuel farm. Without the false statements in the justification, there would be no need for a larger apron tie-down area.

The Attached form…was completed based on the following information from the airport manager…

That is the statement accompanying the document signed by our former Edgar County Board Chairman, Mr. Keller. That puts the truthfulness of the information squarely on the back of Jimmy Wells – where it should be – even though the chairman should have check the accuracy prior to signing it.

Our Proposed Remedies

The current County Board can remedy this situation by simply coming clean about all of the false statements in the justification application by writing a letter to IDOT and the FAA, explaining that the former airport manager lied on the application, and follow it up by submitting a truthful application in its place. I doubt this will happen though, since it would not go along with the line of a letter of appreciation for all of his (Mr. Wells)  hard work.

So now we are back to the question of why we revisit past actions instead of “looking forward”. That’s simple. This lie will stay in public record forever and must be corrected before anyone can”move on”.

Edgar County Board, you have the power to fix these lies with one simple letter – it’s the right thing to do.

Short of that, we are left with continuing to demand accountability through FAA and IDOT Div of Aeronautics fraud complaint channels until someone is held accountable. The board will no longer be able to claim ignorance, they will be notified of every false statement involved in this application during the next public meeting.

Below is the justification document, most of the offending statements are on pages 2 and 3 of the 10-page document.

Justification Application Here
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  • ECWDogs
    Posted at 09:21h, 31 December Reply

    Fraud In Fuel Farm Grant Application – Final –

    Posted at 12:24h, 31 December Reply

    Happy New Year ..The number of resignations will soar in 2014 ….and the number of people dropping out of races will blow your mind in 2014. THANK YOU KIRK AND JOHN.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 13:24h, 31 December Reply

    John, this has to be the best and most damming article you’ve ever written about the airport. The documents discovered via the FOIA process, first sent to me and then shared with you are incredibly incriminating. The justification for these airport improvements were built on nothing but lies after lies after lies. Jimmy lied about the average monthly fuel sales; the need for a 10,000 Jet-A fuel gallon tank; the monetary return: and of course, he “misrepresented” the airport’s apparent inventory of about 15 airplanes as “35 flight ready airplanes” in residency.
    Here seems to be a good place to mention, the last three planes requiring Jet-A fuel have been destroyed: one crashed and the other two (inoperative and in storage) were victims of arson at the Edgar County Airport while under Jimmy Well’s management. To date, there doesn’t appear to be any airplanes at the Edgar County Airport requiring Jet-A fuel; and only one in operation at the time Jimmy submitted this horrendously deceitful document.
    In case you’re wondering, here could be why 35 airplanes were alleged to be in residency and flight ready at the Edgar County Airport. Thirty Five airplanes in residency, generates a need and justification for another 3,000 square yards of concrete apron. The real truth of the matter is, the definition of airport “need” probably lies closer to someone’s need to sell concrete. A concrete apron of this size could easily amount to $150,000 for materials before the “dust” settles.
    Since the County Board accepted Jimmy’s resignation based on what appears to be an illegal meeting and therefore illegal recommendation: and; then wrote a letter of appreciation for his “service”: I too, have busy.
    First, I’ve filed an OMA complaint regarding this past December’s 6th County Board Airport Committee Meeting. You may remember, it was a special meeting called to hold Jimmy Wells accountable for his actions. It was in this meeting that Jenness and Heltsley wrongfully sat at the table with the committee members; participated in the discussions as board members; and then they became part of the closed door session. In doing so they transformed this committee meeting into a county board meeting, at least, that is my claim. Hopefully my claim will be upheld and the committee will be given another chance (without the wrongful tampering of Jenness and Heltsley) to distance themselves and the county from Jimmy’s criminal activities.
    I’ve also contacted our county clerk to request whom is now handling the present (and future) FOIA requests that Jimmy failed to respond to. There is one of particular interest to me. That one asks for the tail numbers on the alleged 35 aircraft. If Jimmy or the present airport manager can come up with the 35 tail numbers then presumably, they will then produce the 35 rental/lease documents that allowed these planes to be at the airport and of course show the revenue collected for them. Keep in mind, the rental leases have already been FOIA’ed and there were far less than 20 leases provided.
    In addition, criminal fraud complaints were filed with the federal government in Washington DC and here again in Illinois with the inspector general’s office for the $800,000.00. I’m hopeful: and have every reason to believe there will be a forensic audit of the entire airport operation as a possibility. After all, the project (over $ 800,000.000) was justified on the lies and imagination of our past Airport Manager. An audit such as this would also reveal the entire CD’s mess we’ve been hearing about for all of these months. Don’t be surprised if an audit of this nature results in criminal prosecution…since it will be a federal prosecutor doing the work and not one of our local boys.
    So if the board wishes to continue on supporting Jimmy Wells on the basis of their social connections and love for his past performance: and in deference of the facts; then so be it.
    Having said all of this, I suggest telling the truth and letting the chips fall where they may. Hold another committee meeting and make the proper recommendation to the board. Then the board can vote on it.
    In conclusion, John, you have the right idea. The county can advise the FAA and IDOT Bureau of Aeronautics the justification was completely in error and the author has been fired. A new and truthful request for what the airport really needs should be submitted. It could be the fuel card system; hanger repairs; new hangers, or office area upgrades: those appear to do more towards helping the airport survive the effects of Jimmy’s management than an unneeded fuel tank. Regardless of what you request, just tell the truth that’s what’s important. All of us can do better in 2014.

  • Angela Mason
    Posted at 14:15h, 31 December Reply

    Angela Mason liked this on Facebook.

  • Doris Wolfe
    Posted at 18:30h, 31 December Reply

    Doris Wolfe liked this on Facebook.

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