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July 12, 2024

Edgar Co. State's Attorney assists County Board in violating law?

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 14, 2015

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –
What can a person do when the prosecuting attorney is assisting the law-breakers?
I guess that is the million dollar question at this point.
During the Edgar County Board Meeting on October 14, 2015, the Board voted to approve a “Resolution – Health Insurance Eligibility For Elected Officials” – the agenda item was:  “Resolution to memorialize health insurance and other benefits for elected officials” –
Does anyone else see the difference between the two? There is a distinct difference. The agenda item did not mention the immediate extension of health insurance benefits to county elected officials, but the actual item passed at the board meeting purports to do just that.
The legal definition of “memorialize” is to “observe, especially by putting it in writing” – which in this case would have been to put into writing the past events or occurrences of health and other benefits for elected officials. Instead, this Resolution “granted” those benefits based on past actions.
The underlying issue at present is the receipt of compensation by our Edgar County elected officials in excess of the amount contained in the resolutions setting their compensation.

The Requirements:

Before we reach into the septic tank of Resolutions and pull it out of our a….. we must understand the REQUIREMENTS of receiving “compensation” or “salary” in an elected position of this county or any other county in Illinois. We will illustrate Edgar County compensation of elected officials.

  1.  County Board MUST pass Resolution, more than 180 prior to an election, that spells out the compensation of the elected officials of the county. If no new Resolution is passed, the previous Resolution stands.
  2. Elected officials cannot receive more than is approved in the Resolution.
  3. Sections of the Counties Code for setting compensation:  4-6003(a) for Sheriff, 3-10001 for County Board Members, 4-6001 for Clerk, Coroner, and Treasurer
  4. Article VII, Section 9 (b) of the Illinois Constitution states that compensation cannot be increased or decreased during their term of office.
  5. If county elected officials receive compensation in excess of what is authorized by Law or Ordnance, then they are violating Article VIII, Section 1 (b) of the Illinois Constitution…”only as authorized by law or ordinance
  6. Article XX of the Code of Civil Procedure, Section 20-101 (1) defines “compensation” to include insurance, etc… Section 20-102 explains that receipt in excess of authorized amounts must be repaid in full.
  7. The Resolution passed on November 23, 2011 setting the compensation of Edgar County Board Members.
  8. The Resolution passed on May 9, 2012 setting the compensation of Circuit Clerk and Coroner.
  9. The Resolution passed on April 9, 2014 setting the compensation of Sheriff, County Clerk, and Treasurer.
  10. The 1981 Health Insurance Resolution that doesn’t mention elected officials.
  11. Edgar County Employee Policy Manual, Dated July 8, 2011 (see page 7 where is excludes elected officials from benefits like insurance). Think about this for a second, do you really think the former county board did not know that they excluded elected officials from health insurance on July 8, 2011 when they approved the Policy manual, and then “forgot” to include health insurance in their November 23, 2011 resolution setting compensation? No! They MEANT to do that!

Let’s break this down to each paragraph in the October 14, 2015 Resolution for further clarification.

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Whatever may have happened in the past with compensation of elected officials is irrelevant in this instance as the Resolution adopted on November 23, 2011 did not include this as compensation.
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The 1981 Resolution is irrelevant. The Board simply chose to ignore the fact that regardless of any previous Resolution, the former Board changed and adopted the County Employee Policy Manual in 2011 (see page 7)  and explicitly excluded elected officials from the insurance program.
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The number of previous years the elected officials have received health insurance is irrelevant. The Resolution adopted on November 23, 2011 did not include this as compensation.
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The reference to the Counties Code is irrelevant as it only “authorizes” participation in insurance – AND the Resolution adopted on November 23, 2011 did not include this as compensation. Additionally, they conveniently “overlooked” Section 4-10001, which states that the compensation of county board members shall be fixed by the board – PRIOR to a general election.
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The “decades of budgets, etc” is irrelevant since the Resolution adopted on November 23, 2011 did not include this as compensation.
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OK, fine, memorialize it – but it doesn’t say who requested this to be memorialized.
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OK, fine, it was done in the past.
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This is where it gets confusing…
There is no previous Resolution granting coverage to elected officials – even though they try the smoke-screen of record keeping problems in earlier paragraphs. there is this one from November 23, 2011, but it did not grant insurance coverage.
This Resolution, as written, does not extend any insurance benefits to elected officials – even though they might think it does, through their muddying of the waters. The problem is that they are still, to this day, receiving this benefit without lawful authority.
The Board stated that the State’s Attorney wrote this for them – and I will have to give him credit – he DID NOT write it in such a way as to grant them any insurance benefits because there was never, ever, any Resolution passed by the Edgar County Board stating elected officials would receive these benefits – AND even if there was one 5 years, 20 years, or 100 years ago, they are all irrelevant because the Resolution adopted on November 23, 2011 did not include this as compensation.
The same holds true for the other elected officials in Edgar County.
I am convinced our State’s Attorney knows what he needs to do and what he must do. He must put a stop to this receipt of compensation in excess of their set compensation.
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  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 05:50h, 15 October Reply

    A suggested resolution…..
    -Whereas the county is currently 1/2 million dollars in dept.
    – Whereas much our infrastructure such as the court house roof remains in need of permanent (and expensive) repairs.
    -Whereas our county jail is in need of replacement.
    -Whereas this county board continues to borrow money rather than pay off dept.
    -Whereas needless airport projects are supported by the county board and at the expense of the local taxpayers.
    -Whereas that is borrowed money.
    -Whereas our airport advisory board was been corrupted by J. D. Kesler’s influence for the past year, all at a time when he has been found to publicly; and in writing; claim to be a resident of both Indiana and Illinois.
    -Whereas the sum total of illegally paid (and received) health and life insurance payments far exceed this counties entire debt.
    -Whereas nearly all board members and elected officials may have illegally participated in this insurance activity, including our local state’s attorney.
    -Whereas common sense, logic, and integrity have been thrown out the window in regards to the airport manager’s continued employment and the governance of our county.
    -Whereas compensation was requested by county board members and then paid by this county for an illegally conducted meeting (as a judged by the Illinois Attorney General).
    -Whereas board members refuse to return pay for this specific meeting.
    -Whereas sitting county board members continue to ignore the facts, taxpayer input, and Illinois laws.
    -Whereas county board meetings are held in mid day such that the average working resident cannot attend, observe, or participate in our local government with out loss of employment.
    -Whereas historical performance of our county board and many of it’s members has been shameful.
    Be it resolved,
    – corruption continues and will continue until residents simply speak up.
    – taxes will increase as tax revenue is squandered, until residents simply speak up.
    – public debt will increase until residents simply speak up.
    – that county board members are in desperate need of input from Edgar County Taxpayers.
    – that county board members are also need to getting off their behinds and clean house, demonstrate leadership, and show some integrity or resign for the betterment of the county.

  • Embarrassed to Live Here
    Posted at 17:22h, 15 October Reply

    You guys deserve some of the credit for how poorly these boards are performing for the citizens. Keep up the good work.

  • Sick of it all....
    Posted at 07:52h, 16 October Reply

    I have a question….. the compensation for Board members is $1200 PER YEAR. Chairman gets an extra $100. What would ever possess the Board members to think that a $100 per month job would get their health insurance paid for??? I’d like to know what the premium is for each board member per month for the health insurance we are paying for…. I know what I pay for my health insurance and it’s a whole lot more than $100 per month! If they had their own business, would they pay for health insurance as a benefit for an employee that made $100 per month?? If so, we don’t need them determining how to spend the County’s money as they have NO fiscal responsibility.

  • Al Schneider
    Posted at 19:24h, 16 October Reply

    A great big “AMEN” to the 3 above comments!! I simply cannot believe that elected officials that are supposed to be helping keep things going in the county can be so corrupt. The one thing that upsets me beyond belief is the Edgar County Airport and the way things are handled by both boards. The last three years has been completely beyond belief and then this last fiasco is——I absolutely cannot think of a word or words to describe this “plan” of spending ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND to pour a larger concrete apron—-three years ago when the airport was going great I never saw the present concrete apron overloaded. At the present time with only six or eight planes a month landing at the aiport it does not seem overcrowded. As I see it,the one big advantage to spending this money “one million two hundred thousand” is that it cuts down tremendously on mowing the grass???? The county has to come up with $70,000 to get this grant. A brilliant comment made by a now promenent board member on getting this money was ” if we do not take it someone else will” Where do you suppose “grants” come from? I cannot believe our state government would OK such a project. Expenses such as this are the big reason our United States of America is in the financial state it is in now.
    The figures I have used are not exact. I did not know who to ask to be right on the dollar??

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