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July 20, 2024

IDOT District 5 employee using State time for IAHE/personal business ? –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 31, 2015

According to time sheet provided pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, Mrs. Bridgette Borries-Pierson, District 5 PD / CADD Unit, worked between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 2:37 p.m. on December 14, 2015, without clocking out for lunch.
My FOIA request was clear, I wanted to know the hours she worked, to include any break time:
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At 1:19 p.m. she called our phone from her cell phone and did not leave a message.
At 1:28 she called my cell phone and engaged in a conversation about an article I wrote, which included a letter from IAHE to its members.
From the documentation provided by IDOT, it appears she conducted personal and/or IAHE business on State time by making the phone calls while being on the clock. The unfortunate part of this entire ordeal is that the original article was intended to show people taking the right path and stopping the use of public property to conduct other-than-public business, but instead resulted in her getting snippy over the phone AFTER I already gladly said I would redact the contact information from the letter that was posted in the article.
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  • franklin
    Posted at 16:30h, 01 January Reply

    Mr kraft simple yes or no when you were employed by the U.S. Goverment did you ever make a personel phone call

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:39h, 01 January Reply

      AUTOVON, DSN, and MARS were in place most of my career and still used today. These required special permissions to use and sometimes a day or so advanced notice with approval from a separate department with strict rules on their use. MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) was used frequently to communicate via radio from Germany/Asia to the states thru a stateside phone patch system that patched radio traffic “calls” into civilian telephone systems and were intended to use for personal calls (morale and welfare) to family members. It was impossible to pick the phone up, dial a civilian phone number, and get connected without an operator asking for the approval code (one time use).
      AUTOVON and DSN were restricted for the most part to military business calls only, with a few exceptions that needed to be cleared ahead of time. There were policies set that allowed calls for morale and welfare purposes to family members for short time periods, and usually after business hours.
      Later, DSN was moved to mostly unrestricted calling as long as those calls were local.
      In my most recent deployment, we were given cellular phones with international calling plans and were given, if I remember correctly, a rolling 15 minutes per week for the expressed purpose of personal morale and welfare calls to the United States. Additionally, there was an in-country MARS and/or IP system set up for the express purposes of making those calls without using the international cell phone times – you would dial in to a local military number, tell the operator the number to call, and they would call the number and call you back to connect once they got thru.
      Additionally, there were land lines (56k dialup) with internet access (when a 128k ISDN was screaming fast) that we connected three together thru channel bonding / auto call transfer onto IP to call a local number from the cell phone, which would switch to the channel bonded IP and have it automatically get a United States dial tone for further calling. This was provided for further use in calling to the states when the other avenues failed.
      We also had Iridium satellite phones for true emergencies.
      So, to answer your question, yes, I made personal calls, however, those calls were expected, expressly provided for in policy, and made well within the rules and guidelines provided for personal calls and were predominately made from foreign countries back to the United States.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 07:13h, 02 January Reply

      franklin, I have to assume you have never served any time in the Military. As John pointed out, there are very strict rules on what you can use a DOD telephone for. I can say I have NEVER made a personal call from a base phone. I used the pay phone in the dorms as did most GI’s. When at work, we were expected to be working, not doing personal business and everyone understood if you were doing personal stuff you were stealing time from the government. Interestingly enough, the OEIG in Illinois has written many reports and they take the same position in those investigations.
      I assume your question is your way of justifying that it was OK for this employee to do personal business on state time if someone else has done it? Sad way to look at things. Two wrongs dont make a right but what do I know, civil rights dont matter to you.

      • franklin
        Posted at 22:28h, 02 January Reply

        no non military did not even register for draft
        i know this if a cavity search was called on either watchdog it couldnt be done because of your heads would be blocking the opening i do know one of my civil rights is freedom of speech lol

        • Kirk Allen
          Posted at 07:39h, 03 January Reply

          Just as suspected. I suppose you dont steal money found on drug busts either? Smile for the camera!

          • franklin
            Posted at 16:57h, 03 January

            i have nothing to do with drug busts but is good to see so many being done with county and area towns

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 18:04h, 03 January

            Yes, it is good to see. Now if they get more than a slap on the wrist, it might deter them from future run-ins with the law.

        • Kirk Allen
          Posted at 07:45h, 03 January Reply

          You dont have a civil right of free speech on a privately owned web site. Yet another example of your ignorance. We have allowed your posts as we want people to see just how bad it really is with some people. You are a prime example!

  • Kay
    Posted at 09:11h, 02 January Reply

    I see a couple of problems here. First, at 7 hours and 37 minutes claimed as working, this employee should have taken at a minimum, a 20-minute lunch: Second, personal calls are to be made during lunch and/or breaks. There is not a state law for Illinois for breaks. Because this person did indicate a lunch, then there was personal business done on state time. There are bigger penalties for state employees who conduct political business during state time, including termination. Because this person goes into work early and gets off early in the afternoon, I see no reason why this person could not wait until after work to make a personal phone call. Third, it appears that someone (JC) initialed this employee working 7 hours and 37 minutes with no lunch on December 14. The next day, the employee worked 6 hours and 35 minutes plus one hour of vacation but again, there is no lunch recorded. The 20 minutes of lunch is to be started within five hours of working.
    If I would ever not start taking a lunch at my private sector job after five hours of work, I would get two strikes then termination. This person (and JC who initialed it) did it twice in one week. If these folks do not care about following something simple, such as following the Illinois lunch law, then what other rules and laws are being broken?

    • Kay
      Posted at 11:25h, 02 January Reply

      Because this person *not* did indicate a lunch . . .

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