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July 24, 2024

Stupidity and Corruption – No Shortage in Ford & Iroquois County!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 29, 2014

In yet another amazing example of “stupid”, we have to once again break things down and show just how ignorant some nominated officials and appointed administrators really are.
Larry Hasbargen garnered enough votes during the primary to put his name on the ballet this November.  In yet another consistent ignorant rant during a recent Iroquois County Board meeting, he once again stood at the podium during public comment to go on the attack of Mr. Copas, County Board Chairman, and Dee Schippert, Iroquois County Health Department Administrator.
And of course, it took all of one FOIA request to prove not only is this potentially new county board member ignorant of the claims he spews, but he can’t even see wrongdoing in front of him when he is the one doing the digging.  This guy’s focus has been targeted on Rod Copas, who has no financial interest in any of the things he is complaining about. We can only assume his ongoing baseless attacks are related to the fact his wife was an FIPHD employee and sometimes it is tough to admit your coworkers are crooks.
Well Mr. Hasbargen, your concerns about what the new Administrator is making is not a County Board issue.  It’s a FIPHD board issue, and I don’t see you bringing up those matters there.  Maybe you should look at the person making the money, not the one trying to clean it up.
We looked at the money maker and it appears we have once again exposed yet more questionable activity within the FIPHD!  Yes, more self serving, and it’s the very person brought in to clean up the mess created by Doug Corbett, former FIPHD Administrator.  Is there something in the water in that building?
The current Administrator, Steve Williams, just happens to be the principal of RS Williams and Associates.  You see when new people come into clean things up it’s a great chance for them to get away with their own little financial initiatives because no one is paying attention to the new guy.

RS Williams and Associates is a a health care management and consulting company providing services to a variety of health related organizations. (Click here for PDF copy of main web site for RS Williams) (Direct web link – might get pulled after this article is published)

Anyone smell a problem yet?  The new FIPHD Administrator just happens to own a consulting company that provides “services” to a variety of health related organizations?

Would the FIPHD be one of those organizations?

If you answered yes, you win, unless of course you’re paying tax dollars in Ford and Iroquois County!  You see this new administrator just happens to have hired one of his other Principals,  Sheila A. Lawson, principal of RS Williams and Associates, and has been paid over $11,000.00 in 3 months for her work.

I suspect the way they will defend this conflict is to point out that the payments are going to Sheila Lawson directly, not RS Williams & Associates. Pretty slick little concept however the conflict reeks of impropriety and violates the FIPHD policy yet again!

Sadly for the taxpayers of Ford and Iroquois County it doesn’t stop there!  You see this new Administrator apparently likes to keep his business associates well funded because he also has been paying his CFO and Senior Consultant over $11,000.00 during this same time frame.  W. Edward Souther just happens to operate his own firm, Souther & Newhouse, PC.  It was that firm that just happened to get the accounting work for the FIPHD under the new leadership of Steve Williams.

Just to make sure we are all on the same page here let’s review what is taking place.

  • Past Administrator gets the boot for a laundry list of corruption.
  • Board hires a firm to find an interim Administrator
  • New guy takes over, Literally!
  • New guy hires his private business partner but fails to disclose that little tidbit to the board.
  • New guy hires his CFO and Chief Consultant of his private business but fails to disclose that little tidbit to the board.
  • New guy does all this hiring in direct conflict of the procurement policy in place, which is the same policy violated by the past Administrator!
  • Nominated County Board member attacks County Board Chairman over what the new guy is making but fails to mention anything covered in this article!

Almost forgot to mention another key element of this self serving fiasco!  The private business this current FIPHD Administrator owns is in the State of Tennessee, and the two business associates he is paying are as well!  Must have been to hard to find an accountant and development people in Illinois.
You see the key to finding people to do the work is to follow the very policy put in place. (Click here for copy of the procurement policy)

Put it out for bid!

(The following excerpts from the policy) 

  • “Small purchases are defined as the procurement of services”
  • “If the cost exceeds $2000, but is less than $3000, the public health administrator will obtain sealed bids, for the consideration of the Board of Health to award the purchase.”
  • “The advertisement will clearly define the terms of service needed”
  • No officer, employee, or his/her partner, immediate family or agent of this agency will participate in the selection, awarding or administration of a contract, if a conflict of interest, real or apparent, would be involved”
  • “If any employee or officer does not comply with this code of conduct, disciplinary action shall be taken in accordance with this agency’s disciplinary policies.”

As you can see, we once again have an Administrator at the FIPHD that has involved himself in questionable business practice and clearly has violated the very policy that was instrumental in the departure of his predecessor.
Now for all those fine people that voted for County Board candidate Larry Hasbargen in the past primary I have to ask, what on earth were you thinking?  This guy rants at meeting after meeting yet each and every time he gets proven wrong.  In most cases proven wrong in the very meeting he opened his mouth in.  So that no one forgets just who this person is, he is the same one claiming the County Chairman is not allowed to audit grants, which we clearly proved him wrong on that one!   (First coverage of this character here)

For all the FIPHD board members, did you really think it was going to end just because you got a new guy?

This should be a case study for every public board member in the country as a perfect example as to why you can NEVER let your guard down and you must question everything!

(PROOF of the Payments)

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  • caseih 2388
    Posted at 11:18h, 30 May Reply

    Would love to see the video of Larry making a fool of himself.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 07:52h, 01 June Reply

    I would just love to see ANYONE of these people held to the policy they are supposed to comply with, let alone the law.
    I am convinced we are living in a lawless society and people can do as they please without any concerns of ever being convicted. Overwhelm the system with corruption and it becomes the norm!

  • Charles Cullough
    Posted at 09:57h, 07 July Reply

    Well…not even the current scandal stops the crooked board from failing to oversee and correct problems that violate its policy. And yet loudmouth Has-beenBargen wants to blame the wrong people at the wrong board …the very people who uncovered the last round of wrong-doing. Lawless society is right Mr. Allen. And the ignorant screechings of people like Has-beenBargen only serve to distract as a magician distracts so no one sees the workings of his trick.
    I’m sure Mr. Has-beenBargen is a product of the dumb and dumber boob tube generations that started in the late 1950s. Seeing him perform at meetings is better than the current reality tv programs. A real circus! 🙂

  • LeAnne Scott
    Posted at 11:53h, 07 July Reply

    So fellas, what ever happened to this evil Steve Williams anyway?? You started all this bad rap about him then it was suddenly dropped… Gee, maybe your County Board buddy told you leave him alone, since the Board Chairman was part of his being hired.
    And perhaps you should FOIA the salary of the of the Health Department Administrator after her new salary begins this month and you will see that Hasbargen was indeed correct on that one and Ms. Schippert flat out lied saying that she didn’t make that much. Oh wait, technicality, I suppose she wasn’t making that much right then…. It was coming down the road. Just what is she making after her raise????
    And why doesn’t the Board Chairman discuss matters with the entire board rather than his nice little side meetings? He seems to only be able to handle his little groups of followers and will never speak out during a full board meeting.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 20:31h, 07 July Reply

      LeAnne Scott your ignorance is showing. Why don’t you ask the States Attorney about it. Why is it our job to fight every single fight for you people? The evidence was in the article. What the people of that county do with it is there problem. What the new Administrator is making “now” has nothing to do with what we reported. Hasbargen was not correct and your own admission proves that. You call it a technicality, normal people call it truth. You act more upset that she got the job which naturally comes with a higher pay than she had. What she is making has nothing to do with the problems exposed. Nothing Larry! You again pipe off about things and come right back to the Board Chairman who you just cant stand. Any proof of what you claim regarding side meetings? If you have it present it. If you don’t, go find someone who cares as we are growing tired of baseless accusations.

  • LeAnne Scott
    Posted at 08:35h, 08 July Reply

    So entertaining, apparently you think I am someone named Larry?!
    The truth is NOT one sided. The truth is the whole story, not just the part you want to tell that fits your bill. When you begin to tell the whole story the truth shines through, not the garbage that you love so. Please begin to tell the whole story.
    And can you please follow up on all your comments about Steve Williams?? You said above that the new administrator involved himself in questionable business practice and clearly violated policy. What happed with this lovely information??? Why are you not pursuing this man? Why was there suddenly an article in the Paxton Record talking about how great he is??? Something smells in the state of Denmark…. Oh right, this is where you will say other people should follow up on this because you’re work is done… I have a feeling it’s done because the County Board Chairman had his hand in hiring this man!!! 🙂

  • LeAnne Scott
    Posted at 13:19h, 15 July Reply

    Just checking to see if you had any additional information on this corrupt man, Steve Williams.
    Quoted from above: Almost forgot to mention another key element of this self serving fiasco! The private business this current FIPHD Administrator owns is in the State of Tennessee, and the two business associates he is paying are as well! Must have been to hard to find an accountant and development people in Illinois.
    So I ask again, just what came of all this? You seem hell bent on publishing five year old recordings and claiming someone should be fired over it, however; something that is happening right in front of your face is being ignored. I said it before and I’ll say it again, sure seems like this came to a screeching halt, and I question if it’s not because the County Board Chairman had his hand in getting Steve Williams hired. The County Board Chairman was ON the Public Health Department Board!!!! He put himself there. Why didn’t the County Board Chairman do his homework on this crooked man???? See the Paxton Record Friday, 11/15/2013 1:44 pm
    Just in case you have forgotten just how wonderful board of health member Rod Copas claimed this man to be. In another article also published by the Paxton Record you can see just how ridiculous this man’s salary and benefits were agreed to be, again by the public healh department board, of which Rod Copas was a member at the time. $5,200.00 per week? Airfare and travel every two weeks to his home in Tennessee? Rental car? More and more and more.
    I believe this is what Mr. Hasbargan was referring to and I am sure you know that… Please report the truth, that is happening now in front of us all. You dislike Mr. Hasbargan because he is trying to get to the bottom of it and you don’t like it because you have chosen your “side” and you refuse to see the entire picture!!!

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