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April 12, 2024

AG says Clark Co. Park District Ethics Commission violated the law –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 12, 2016

Clark County, Illinois (ECWd) –

“The Antithesis of an Ethics Commission”

In yet another example of inept leadership at the Clark County Park District – this one can place at least part, if not all, of the blame on its attorney, Lorna Geiler. Wait, on second thought, she owns this in its entirety.

There was a complaint filed alleging violations of the district’s ethics ordinance, with the district board chairman initially refusing to appoint an ethics commission in what we believe was an attempt at exceeding the statute of limitation (here) and then Joe Ewing appointed himself and commissioner Glen Kuehnel to the ethics commission – Ewing is named in the complaint of ethic violations – that’s right, the “ETHICS COMMISSION” hearing complaints against itself, and they think, that we think, they could ethically rule on those complaints?

A complete collapse of anything resembling ethics.

Oh, and Gary Strohm was also appointed to the commission – he reaps financial profits from the park district every month thru the vote of the other two commissioners to pay for advertising the district places in his newspaper, which is partially owned by another park district commissioner who is also a named defendant in the complaint (ruling on ethics complaint against his business partner).

How’s that for “ethics” LOL?! – And to think these clowns voted to investigate and pursue litigation, using taxpayer funds, against the person who filed this ethics complaint against them (here and here) – is there any lower form of scum out there?

Read about Joe Ewing’s forged election petitions (here).

The short truth is this:

  • The commission is a public body
  • The commission does not act under the Ethics Act, but under local policy
  • It must comply with the Open Meetings Act
  • It failed to post a meeting agenda
  • It failed to properly enter into closed session
  • It failed to keep written minutes of the open and closed meeting
  • It failed to keep verbatim recordings of the closed portion of the meeting
  • It failed to establish rules for public comment
  • It never made a final decision
  • The only reason it didn’t violate the public’s right to speak is because the complaint never alleged anyone attempted to speak (because they ran him out of the room)

In the below document you can read how the attorney for the park district pulled every trick in the book to try and justify how the commission was not subject to the Open Meetings Act, but failed miserably.  What is so ironic about this situation is the fact the attorney, Lorna Geiler, basically got smoked when it came to applying the plain language of the law and it was Lisa Thomas, a non-legal trained citizen, who won this case.   With legal advice that taxpayers are paying for can’t even stand up to the scrutiny of a citizen reading and applying the law, is it time to demand a return of legal fees paid for this charade?

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Joe Ewing – gained Chairmanship thru forged petitions


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  • Warren J. Le Fever
    Posted at 13:01h, 12 May

    Once in a while THE GOOD GIRL wins. Don’t expect this to be in the local newspapers and local TV. No, no, she’s a trouble-maker asking wonderful no ethics office holders to behave according to the law. We can’t have that. How wrong can they be?

  • Dave L.
    Posted at 19:49h, 12 May

    Wow! The next regular meeting of the board could be very interesting….this attorney does not know OMA very well. Personally, I think she is extremely arrogant and obnoxious, trying to run the meetings at times. Go back and watch some of the videos of meetings on YouTube, and see how condescending she is. She should be terminated, and she should have to pay back her fees at least for this matter. Knowing this board though, they will likely give her a raise!