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July 20, 2024

Attorney Mark T. Petty lies in letter to the press –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 23, 2014

Arcola, IL. (ECWd) –

In a letter sent to some members of the press, in what appears to be an attempt at gloating about their recent “win” in Circuit Court, Arcola Township’s attorney, Mr. Mark T. Petty of Petty Law Office, failed to tell the truth.

According to the Paris Beacon News, Mr. Petty stated that “the trial judge made a decision on each count at the close of the plaintiff’s case holding that the plaintiff had failed to furnish adequate evidence that the Township had acted inappropriately“. That statement could not be more wrong.

The decision was that the judge determined that I did not provide evidence that I had ever submitted a FOIA request to the Township. I believe it to be an inappropriate decision and not based on established precedent. The Illinois Supreme Court, way back in 1945 (and again in 1988), stated that there is no higher evidence of truth, then a defendant’s admission of a specific fact alleged in a complaint.

That is what happened in three of these cases, I alleged in one of the allegations in each case that I submitted a FOIA request to the township, the township affirmed my allegation in their answer to the complaint. Unfortunately, this judge did not see it that way.

Undisputed truths need not be argued, nor additional proof given, and can be used in trial. These cases did not evolve to the point where arguments on the actions of Arcola Township were heard, let alone any arguments that they acted inappropriately.  All four of these cases will be appealed to the Appellate Court and I am confident I will prevail in the end. I simply ask that the Beacon News report on it when the Appellate Court rules on it.

I published an article on these Court decisions the day after they happened, you can read it here.

There are still three more cases against Arcola Township that have yet to be heard, and like I have said before – they sure are spending tons of money to keep public records hidden from the public.



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  • ECWDogs
    Posted at 08:37h, 23 December Reply

    Attorney Mark T. Petty lies in letter to the press –

  • Dave
    Posted at 08:48h, 23 December Reply

    It appears obvious they are hiding something…. no other reason to go to this trouble to conceal public records

  • Unhappy Taxpayer
    Posted at 09:34h, 23 December Reply

    Not suprising,Petty spinning lies to make him look better and the Township creditable.Any news in the Paris Beacon is more than we get here in Arcola.Dave is right,what other reason to spend all this money?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 09:46h, 23 December Reply

      I suspected all along, since Petty made that failed attempt at getting a copy of the Watchdog checkbook, that he was working in concert with people in Edgar County and Paris. This just proves my thoughts more likely are true. Don’t worry though, it’s not over.

  • joesteals
    Posted at 09:37h, 23 December Reply

    Attorney Mark T. Petty lies in letter to the press –

  • High Rider
    Posted at 14:09h, 23 December Reply

    Would somebody tell me how any voters in Arcola Township can condone or support what this board is doing with our tax money?Corky Clark is paying Mark Petty to look at the ECWD checkbook?Trying to find someone to blame for their problems?They’ve got problems alright,their problems have not been brought to the surface…..yet!

  • franklin
    Posted at 15:24h, 23 December Reply

    wow many people have learned the skill of wordkrafting lol
    ok kirk i know shut up or put up

  • Common Sense
    Posted at 15:48h, 23 December Reply

    Just more smoke and mirrors, Could this whole thing be over if Arcola Township supervisor called for an independent Audit of all the records of the township. Not just the normal end of the year check and balance. It would seem much more feasible to pay for an audit and publish that in the paper than to pay for an attorney to keep the watch dogs from looking at the records and publishing that in the paper. After all if the watchdogs could see a published audit that showed there is nothing wrong with the way the township is operating they might just go away and everyone could go back to the way it was. Everyone is pretty sure an audit would be a lot less expensive than an attorney and also show proof that all is good whereas we will never be sure what deal was made with whom with an attorneys decision if there ever is a final decision.

  • Edgar
    Posted at 07:43h, 24 December Reply

    Why would the attorney Mark Petty paid by Arcola Township issue a press release in the Paris Beacon about the Arcola Township not wanting to share public information? Seems odd over here in Edgar County but maybe Douglas County can answer that.

  • Bye Bye
    Posted at 07:48h, 24 December Reply

    do not forget High Rider The township secretary Deana Shield was overheard at a local restaurant saying sure will be glad when this election is over and all these problems will go away. That was 2 years ago why hasn’t their problems went away

  • offended
    Posted at 15:23h, 24 December Reply

    Problem won’t go away because SHE is the problem!!!!

  • Blind Loyalty
    Posted at 14:50h, 25 December Reply

    That’s the best way to decribe the loyal followers of the most sued Township in downstate IL.After reading the comments below,only those that can still think for themselves realize that the lawsuits the Township Board is fighting are justified.Yes indeed,the blind loyalty some have for Mark because of past favors such as work for the school,fire dept.,Lions Club,county board members,county engineers,past employers,select business owners,family,and good friends,just to name a few.Or Deana,as Corky would say,”She knows everything about how the Township should run”,Corky should know she pretty well runs it with an iron fist,after all it appears she may be most at fault.And lastly Bill and Corky,two good ole boys from the community who enjoy a free pass because thats just the way it is,after all Bill said the Township has never been “questioned before”.I commend the Watch Dogs for their tireless pursuit of the truth and hope that they continue.I agree with an earlier comment that stated the Board had no spine in standing up to Deana or Mark but,to many of us in this Township are gulity of being spinless ourselves,because most know the way they are fighting the release of informantion reguardless who requests it is because something is not right.What’s it been Mark and Deana,25-30 years of not being questioned,that’s a long time to build Blind Loyalty!

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 07:24h, 26 December Reply

    One thing I would add to the comment below about Mark is that he did all that and more but,Mark does’nt own a backhoe,dump truck,snow plow,or have a hired man.Most favors that were done were done with Township equipment,fuel,and personal,bought and payed for by the taxpayer,not Mark Nacke.

  • Your day is coming
    Posted at 07:10h, 27 December Reply

    If Bill Coombe is the FOIA officer why are we paying an attorney to answer a FOIA request is Bill Coombe not capable or not allowed. It seems that every time a question is asked the blame is thrown in another direction. I assume this is why they are paying an attorney. Bill Coombe you are being questioned now why can’t YOU answer

  • Kraft vs. Arcola Township-Law Petition
    Posted at 07:44h, 27 December Reply

    So let me get this straight,the Township prepared a responce to the FOIA,gave the information to their attorney,Mark Petty who was suppose to give it to Kraft.But because Petty says it’s a question and not a request did not release the information.And now the Township Board is declaring this a victory?For those of you that were so smart and voted for this bunch,explain to the rest of us just how they can pay an attorney not to release information the board gave him.Nothing to see,nothing to hide you say….yea right.

  • head east
    Posted at 15:16h, 27 December Reply

    how weak is mark petty and arcola township’s position that they need to go out of town,clear to paris to make a statement in a newspaper?seems pretty odd considering they think they are in the right.why not explain yourself to the people funding the lawsuits,not that we agree with them just that we wonder what the heck your thinking.

  • Dog Walker
    Posted at 13:21h, 28 December Reply

    I noticed the day of the court date the office appeared to be locked but the lights were left on and no big black SUV parked out front.Did we pay for the lights to be left on(taxpayers pay the light bill,she don’t)and for her to attend the court hearing?

  • silvercat62
    Posted at 01:25h, 27 January Reply

    One really has to question what don’t they want to public to find out?

  • silvercat62
    Posted at 01:34h, 27 January Reply

    Hot damn! There just might be a high profile scandal going on in Douglas County. I wonder if it will make the nation news like the town in California where the board members were making more than the mayor of Los Angeles.

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