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July 20, 2024

Attorney for DeWitt County issues veiled threat to County Board Member –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 17, 2015

DeWitt Co., IL. (ECWd) –

In a letter, the attorney defending a lawsuit against DeWitt County and some of its officers and employees, complained of “disparaging remarks” made by County Board Member Hoffman in a newspaper article (here).  I read the article, and the only response I think they might be referring to would be this one from “DeWitt Daily News” in the comments section of the article referencing the suit:


Richard L Steagall
I am Terry Hoffman’s lawyer who is in his 37th year of the practice of law. Before this case I would never have believed a Sheriff in an Illinois County would arrest a County Board member for his policy views and speech.

A republic can not function if it’s representatives are arrested to affect their policy positions. If that is not worthy of a lawsuit, then we have no need for courts.

America’s greatest Judge, Learned Hand said, “The spirit of Liberty is not too sure it is right… …. The spirit of Liberty lies in the hearts and minds of men and women. If it is not present there, written laws or constitution can[not] save it.”

If the Comments are reflective of the views of the citizens of Dewitt County, then the spirit of Liberty has somehow been extinguished there.

I truly hope that has not happened.


“The Threat”

…but if you continue to make remarks in the media of this nature, then we will have no choice but to notify the public of the incredible waste of taxpayer money that Mr. Hoffman has caused by filing this lawsuit. We will highlight Mr. Hoffman’s seeming dereliction of duty to the taxpayers who elected him by filing such a wasteful lawsuit, and the enormous conflict of interest that this lawsuit raises between Mr. Hoffman and his role as a County Board Member.

I guess what Mr. Benjamin M. Jacobi is doing is threatening to trash the Board member through local media if he doesn’t cower down to his demands. Filing a lawsuit is a right, and the only people responsible for this enormous waste of taxpayer money are those named defendants. Jacobi completely ignores the fact that Hoffman was arrested and detained overnight, and subjected to unrelenting intimidation by the board attorney for the past two years.

Dereliction of duty by filing the lawsuit? I say defending his rights as a citizen to be secure in his home and person, and by filing this suit, may just deter further violations of right by the defendants.

The letter is below:

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  • George Barraclough
    Posted at 12:50h, 17 March Reply

    Housekeeping first. The DeWitt Daily News needs to learn the difference between sites and cites.

    Just because an attorney says it or writes it does not necessarily make it so, or even dispositive of the issues mentioned in Mr. Jacobi’s letter.
    Mr. Jacobi has expressed in his letter an opinion which he has every right to do. The plaintiff in this matter also retains that right notwithstanding his temporary status as a litigant in the Federal District Court and his status as an elected official of DeWitt County. Just because he has become a litigant does not generally strip him of his rights and responsibilities as an elected official.

    I do not presume to know the facts in this matter as I have not read the trial transcript or any pleadings in the criminal case in which Mr. Hoffman was acquitted. Accordingly, I really cannot opine intelligently with respect to the pros and cons of the federal lawsuit. Apparently, many of the writers in the comments section of the DeWitt Daily News have read the transcript and pleadings and have offered their very reasoned opinions.

    What has not been mentioned (so far) is the rights of the voters who elected Mr. Hoffman. Are they to be disenfranchised in violation of the 14th Amendment because Mr. Jacobi (and maybe others) feel Mr. Hoffman should recuse himself in ALL county board business?

    I do not know which party any of the persons involved here are representative of. But that should not matter if the rule of law is to be observed.

    One final observation. Notwithstanding local circuit rules, Mr. Hoffman should be able to have his record expunged if he has not been previously convicted. What he can never do is get back the fingerprint cards the DeWitt County Sheriff sent to the FBI after his arrest. Those fingerprints cards constitute a permanent stain on Mr. Hoffman’s record and no amount of money can ever remove that stain.

    • Chris M. Gaines
      Posted at 15:15h, 17 March Reply

      Obviously, I agree with you. ALL our law enforcement agencies, including our FBI, and our justice system work TOGETHER, hand in hand, with one hand washing the other, PROTECTING EACH OTHER, not We the People…in my opinion. This court case will be won in the exposure of the TRUTH in media outlets, both mainstream and alternative ones through citizen journalists relentlessly exposing this story, and keep the public informed so they can make informed decisions based on the evidence, not the opinions of others NOT supported by evidence.

      I will pray for all involved. We all should, obviously. May God have mercy on all our souls for allowing this to happen on our watch. Ultimately We the People are responsible for our public servants in the end. We are their bosses ultimately, and must do our jobs as citizens and get MORE informed and more involved in our Republic in America and demand government transparency and ELECTORAL REFORM and then vote REGULARLY like our lives and freedom depended on, because obviously its does. We must demand these public servants involved in this case be held accountable no matter the cost.

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