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.
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.
- 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.
- Elected officials cannot receive more than is approved in the Resolution.
- 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
- Article VII, Section 9 (b) of the Illinois Constitution states that compensation cannot be increased or decreased during their term of office.
- 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"
- 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.
- The Resolution passed on November 23, 2011 setting the compensation of Edgar County Board Members.
- The Resolution passed on May 9, 2012 setting the compensation of Circuit Clerk and Coroner.
- The Resolution passed on April 9, 2014 setting the compensation of Sheriff, County Clerk, and Treasurer.
- The 1981 Health Insurance Resolution that doesn't mention elected officials.
- 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.