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May 17, 2024

Clarendon Hills Trustee withdraws from Mayoral race…

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On January 17, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

We have been working on numerous municipal issues in and around DuPage County for the last 12 months.  One of those has been collecting data as it pertains to any arrears of a debt that elected office holders may have.  When that happens, the person is no longer qualified for office.

Naperville was the first DuPage County municipality we went to and asked them to comply with the law.  They snubbed their nose at the law and did nothing in spite of multiple violations.  (Link to that article here)

Wednesday evening we went to the Village of Clarendon Hills and gave basically the exact presentation that we gave in Naperville.  Prior research turned up documents that outlined two of those village board members had been in arrears to the village, thus making them unqualified for office under the municipal code. Additionally, if in arrears at the time an election petition packet is submitted, a candidate can risk not being allowed to take the oath of office even if they win the election.

Turns out that trip was worth it in many respects.  Ed Reid, a village trustee and apparently a candidate who was running for Village President has withdrawn from the race and stated that he is going to resign his seat on the village board.

I would like to commend Mr. Reid for doing the right thing.  He has set the example of how our laws are supposed to work and he should be praised for that.  His actions are the example for those in Naperville who snubbed their nose at the law and refused to follow it.  Reid has truly set the example for every other municipal office holder who is in arrears to there municipality to follow.  Our hat’s off to him!  Its a welcome site in today society to see public officials so willing to do the right thing.

As clarification on why we were in Clarendon Hills, it had nothing to do with any group or political cause.  We were there to share the same thing we shared in Naperville a few months ago.  We have many more villages to speak to and as time permits we will complete a project that has taken almost a year to put together.  North Henderson was one of first communities who had a trustee resign for basically the same thing back in August. (Click here for North Henderson article). 

I wanted to clarify that because of comments found in the article published today in the “The Doings” publication.  (Click here for their story on our visit) Please note when listening to the audio, we did not mention the names of those in arrears when we spoke at their meeting as “The Doings” stated we did.

Listen to the audio of the Clarenden Hills public comment session at this meeting:

ECWd at Clarenden Hills – 1-14-2015


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  • Jerry
    Posted at 09:50h, 17 January

    Please keep me posted on this project.
    I would love to keep helping

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 17:32h, 18 January

    I like Kirk’ public comment presentation. Very well stated Kirk. Ive been saying this and writing about this for over THREE YEARS now. Public trust is the foundation of all our government agencies and our Constitution is built upon it as well. We the People must UNITE not be separated by our government agencies. Public trust erosion will eventually collapse these very government agencies We the People depend on for vital services in our community if left unchecked. Making our government be held accountable and transparent is our responsibilities as citizens within our community. If we ignore our civic duties and are apathetic, they win and we lose before the battle has even begun. That’s what they want to continue this public corruption and control the masses EASILY. Get informed. Get involved. Take action. Please.

    And John, your public comment presentation was effective (your down to earth, relaxed and easy going “charm” is especially effective at persuading people in my opinion) at reminding these particular council members of the laws they must obey to be eligible and stay eligible for public office. Most voters don’t take the time to vett the candidates their considering voting for. They just take their or other people’ word for it without doing a FOIA request of their public records and vetting their candidate as well as the opposing candidate(s).

    Thank you both for taking the time without any compensation to do the vital work you do in exposing our public servants or potential public servants wrongdoing and illegal activity. It sets an example to others in public office and will hopefully have a chilling effect statewide to end this public corruption scourge our state of Illinois is STILL plagued with obviously.

    I know when I mention and your names in Coles County now they recognize the fact that being exposed by your non profit organization can cost you an election or serious criminal charges possibly even. Just ask former Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox about or John Kraft or Kirk Allen. Former Coles County Sheriff Darrel COx lost his run for our 110th State representative because of you two thoroughly vetting him BEFORE the election for our sheriff in 2014. Thanks again for doing that. Darrel COx should be charged with FELONY official misconduct now obviously, but our current State’s Attorney Brian Bower won’t file any charges against him or our ex felony public defender of 33 years, Lonnie Lutz who “resigned” before he was disbarred recently for sexually molesting his female clients for years and years. He is a sexual predator in my opinion. Again no charges, why?…

    This law enforcement INACTION and corruption of our highest law enforcement elected official in the county (our state’s attorney office) erodes our public trust of our public servants severely in Coles County and throughout OUR State. They need this public trust to be effective, they NEED us We the People participating in helping our community and helping our local government agencies and helping them do their jobs as we expect and need from them. Law enforcement agencies especially need our public trust more than ever considering all the recent police officer brutality cases and unjustified use of deadly FORCE lately and our national discussion currently ongoing and in the news and on the minds of most informed people about our law enforcement officers NOT being held accountable for their actions and criminal activities. It’s obviously unfair AND a double standard. Without our public trust and vital cooperation with law enforcement, law enforcement officers can’t do their jobs effectively obviously. They understand this now in my opinion. We are starting to see change in our law enforcement officers nationwide now thank God. I’ve noticed a little difference already in Coles County finally.

    Thanks again you two. May God Bless you and your non organization called

    • Carrie
      Posted at 21:42h, 02 February

      The great part about Clarendon Hills is that we as a community vet and choose our candidates before our elections. We have a 70 year old caucus system that works very well and allows the citizens of our town to volunteer, solicit, and ultimately choose who we want to run for office. Ed Reid was that candidate. The caucus is composed of volunteers from our community, as is our entire government. To imply that two or three late water bills is somehow corruption is ridiculous, and, had you bothered to attend the village meeting last week, you would have heard the overwhelming reaction of the citizens of our community. That reaction was to support Mr. Reid’s ultimate decision to withdraw from the race– not because anyone thought that there was any malfeasance, but because he didn’t want to put up with the level of petty, childish politics that outsiders dragged into our village. It was also to condemn and call out the individuals who decided to play dirty politics in our village.

      I will be the first person to admit that Illinois politics is frequently filled with corruption and greed. Watchdog groups are often healthy, necessary entities to have to protect the average citizen and make sure that our voices are heard equally. The problem with your tactics is that you have deprived a large group of citizens in our village of the candidate that we chose, with no time to find a replacement. I hate to imply that your timing was intentional, but it seems a bit too convenient that you presented your greviances right when a new candidate couldn’t be slated.

      I know you will argue that Mr. Reid could have chosen to stay in the race and stick it out, but the truth is that we live in a small town of 7000 or so very closely knit people. We self-govern through a purely volunteer effort, and asking a member of our community to subject himself or herself to petty attacks from people who have quite literally NOTHING to do with us is frankly absurd. Having your dirty laundry aired before your friends and neighbors for the privilege of volunteering your time to be regularly attacked and sued by bored people with nothing better to do is the job of a masochist.

      If you’re so determined to become involved in the governance of our community, come to a caucus meeting and present your findings. Let the citizens of this community vote on whether accidentally transcribing some numbers on the water bill or forgetting to drop a check by the village hall (because we didn’t have the ability to pay by credit card until last year) a few times over the course of a decade-and-a-half is a big deal. We’ve been successfully governing ourselves for a pretty long time, and we tend to know what we do and don’t accept from our “politicians”. So next time you want to get involved with matters “upstate” why don’t you do us all a favor and do it the upstanding, moral way- not snuck in the backdoor at the eleventh hour. Underhanded tactics and sneak attacks make me wonder if perhaps the watchdog group needs a watchdog group themselves.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 21:57h, 02 February

        If you don’t like the law, petition the legislature to change it. For the record, I did not mention any names during the meeting, or give any inclination as to whom I was discussing. If you vet your candidates as you say you do, you should consider adding indebtedness to the village as part of the vetting process in the future. The individual in question disqualified himself – and quit saying late a few times in the past decade-and-a-half, because it was actually three times in the past six months.

  • Craig Pines
    Posted at 19:42h, 20 January

    Just so that you are aware, your “investigation” chased a dedicated servant of Clarendon Hills out of a race for an important post in our town. While you commended Ed Reid for doing the right thing, we now have one candidate that will likely run unopposed as there is little upside for qualified people to subject themselves to arcane rules that have little or nothing to do with setting good policy. The “right thing” would be to inform people of non-material issues such as late water bills and provide an opportunity for them to address the issue. This is a prime example of why so many corrupt, unqualified people are in government positions, as intelligent, qualified people won’t subject themselves to this kind of nonsense.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 20:27h, 20 January

      Just so that you are aware, you are defending the actions of someone that violated the Illinois Municipal Code and disqualified himself for office. The legislature must have thought being in debt to be worthy of ouster from office or they would have never put it in the Municipal Code. As a matter of fact, there are several reasons an office becomes vacant, one of them is failure to qualify, another is committing a felony, and a third is election declared void. Under failure to qualify is the part that says:

      (b-5) A person is not eligible to hold a municipal office, if that person is, at any time during the term of office, in arrears in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the municipality or has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony.

      The legislature must have meant what they said since they included “at any time during the term of office” in that paragraph.

      So while you are pointing out reasons unqualified people hold elective office, you are at the same time defending an unqualified person.

      Go figure…

      • Craig Pines
        Posted at 13:32h, 24 January

        Thanks for the education on the municipal code. Very scintillating. The issue here is that there is no consideration of materiality. If an official is a tax cheat, of course they should not be allowed to hold a public office. Missing the due date on a few $75 water bills is wan entirely different issue. You can couch this situation any way that you like, but the reality is that this was a politically motivated action to remove a candidate on a technicality days before the deadline to enter the race for our Village Board President. We now have one candidate running unopposed. How is this in the best interest of the citizens of our town?

        Just another example of Illinois politics at it’s finest. Keep up the great work.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 15:52h, 24 January

      Intelligent, qualified people will take it upon themselves to get involved and change the laws if they dont like them, not run and hide. And for the record, we never asked anyone to resign. We simply asked that they follow the law. One did and we congratulate him for it. The other did not and everyone is OK with him not following the law? This was no targeted political attack. It was an exposure of the law to those who are not following it and its not the first time we have done it. There are many laws I dont agree with and we have tried our best to get them changed. Some of them we have succeeded, other not.

  • Charlie
    Posted at 14:26h, 27 February

    You need to find better things to do with your time than to destroy Clarendon Hills based on nothing. Stay out my my town. Your organization disgusts me..Holy crap I’ve paid my water bill late three time. Better throw me in jail.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:48h, 27 February

      We will be back. Leave us your phone number if you want advanced notice so you can watch us in action at the village board meeting.

      Section Sec. 3.1-10-5(b) of the Illinois Municipal Code equates being in arrears of a debt to a municipality as having the same effect as any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony on a persons right to hold office. THAT is how important the Legislature thought it to be.

      Don’t like it? Ask you Legislator to introduce a bill to change it.