DeWitt Co. (ECWd) -
Terry Hoffman had never been involved in political government till about 2010. "Watch Clinton Landfill" got him involved, as did a legal tax protest regarding over levied taxing funds (which about 600 are involved with and the Clinton power plant). He became active on both fronts, and started attending DeWitt County board meetings.
He ran for DeWitt county board district C , and won in 2012 on the platform of working to stop the illegal hazardous waste being brought into the Clinton landfill, and to reduce the abuse of over taxation by the bureaucrats in control.
He was sworn into office on Dec 3, 2012, arrested and put in jail on Dec 12, 2012 for 2 counts of felony aggravated battery, with bail set at $10,000.
How and why this took place.
After getting sworn in, the department heads thought it would be a good idea for new board members to visit offices to see how they work, this was because of a 12 member board, they had 8 newly elected, with the majority being put together to fight the bureaucratic mess in the county.
So, he visited the Sheriff's office a few days later with no problem. Then on Dec 12 he went to the court house to talk to the State’s Attorney who was not in at that moment. So he went to the EMA office to see if Teresa would have time to talk of her office. She said that she did. This was at 10am. They talked for about 15 minutes, then she made the comment that since he was her Boss, should she start packing her boxes, (they all know that he is very much against the waste expended by the bureaucrats.) He reached across her desk, and smiling said, he is only one of 12, he is not your boss, at the same time, he used his index finger to touch her on the left arm.
We went on to talk for another 15 minutes, then he got up to leave. She, then thanked him for coming into visit, and commented that no other board member had been in and that she was glad that he had.
He has known Teresa all of his life, they went to first grade through high school together.
He then went to the administrative assistant’s office for 5 minutes, after that he went to the State’s Attorneys office and spoke with him for about ten minutes. Then he left the building and went home.
In the hours that followed, Teresa spoke to many co workers, county officials and board members about this, visited Sheriff’s department also, several times, and went to lunch with them.
She found the touch to be provocative in nature. She felt his presence to be intimidating in many levels and very inappropriate for a public official, this is in her statement (this is right out of the ordinance book).
So, at 4:45 pm Teresa went to Detective Monahan (whom she has been seeing for sometime, affectionately) and filed a statement. She had also talked to him earlier in the day.
At, 7pm he was at home, when someone pounded on his front door. When he went to the door there were two DeWitt County Deputies. They said Sheriff Shofner wanted to talk to him. He asked what for. They would not tell him. Only that he wanted to talk to him now. Terry said he needed shoes and a coat and that he could drive up to see him. They said no, we were told to bring you now and to handcuff you, if you do not come now. Terry said he would like to call a lawyer, NO, come now or get handcuffed and we will take you. He asked this three times, then went with them.
They had parked both squad cars down from the house behind a tree.
Then when Terry got to the station, Monahan interrogated him. He asked Terry three times, did you poke her in the arm with your knuckle! Terry said no, but he had poked her in the forearm with his index finger.
He said the interview was over and he would be back. Then the sheriff came in for the first time, and handed Terry a no trespass notice 15 minutes prior and 15 minutes after board meetings on county property.
The Sheriff then said if he had done this to one of his deputies, the deputy would have knocked him down. Terry said, I think you touched me when you gave me the no trespass order; I would like to press charges. He said he was through, book him.
Never once talked to Terry about the incident, which is what the deputies kept saying, Shofner wanted to talk to him.
He got bonded out of jail at 11:30 am the next day.
The, State’s Attorney, other board members, and their side of the public and the news media, have hounded and made fun of the touch from the first board meeting on, with the State’s Attorney being the leader in showing that he could touch people at the meeting and in the hall ways, with the others following his lead.
So, Terry chose to take this to jury trial, which they drug out for 1 and a half years. He was found not guilty May 20th, 2014.
This arrest, within the first two weeks of a new, for the people, county board, changed the complete action of some of the majority board members.
The State’s Attorney wrote memos to the board, if you vote the wrong way, you could legally be held liable, which could be considered a felony for an elected official. It did not stop for two years.
They then, (the radical minority, and the department bureaucrats) threatened a majority board member with his and his wife's jobs, at the local church. Rather than lose his job, he resigned, because he said he could not change his vote, and he could not lose their jobs.
Then they worked on the next majority board member and his job, and threats of being held liable if he voted the wrong way. He resigned shortly after also.
The actions of the State’s Attorney and the Sheriff, were scaring board members and their vote. They took this to a very high level of intimidation and confusion. ( Go to Dewitt county board recorded meetings from 2013-2014) pick out just a couple to listen to, you will be amazed at the actions of the people , the board members and the State’s Attorney.
The thing that this affected most of Terry's elected position on this board is and was the State’s Attorney's blatant disrespect for the office and the people. He would not answer any of Terry's questions, from the credit card abuse by the probation officer, clear through to any questions on the landfill situation. Terry did ask legal questions, and the SA would disregard and reply back that Terry did not know what he was talking about, and never answer his questions.
The State’s Attorney disrespected the Chairwoman of the board very blatantly also. Recordings support this also.
Editor's note: Mr. Hoffman was found not guilty of all charges and has now filed a civil suit against DeWitt County and those responsible - we will highlight that suit in a future article.