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May 20, 2024

Iroquois County – Using your tax dollars to promote safety tax-Violation of Law?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 4, 2017

Iroquois Co. (ECWd) –

It’s hard enough to fight against our ever rising taxes in Illinois but where does a person turn to when their own tax dollars are actually being used in support of seeking your vote for even more taxes?

Was that not clear? 

  • Your local government sends out property tax bills and collects fees on your phone bill for 911 service. 
  • You pay them. 
  • They then use that money to pay a County Employee to go out and promote a referendum that if passed, will take more of your money in the form of a new tax. 

Yes, Iroquois County used your money to pay an employee to go out and campaign in support of passing a new tax that would take more of your money.  

Is that legal? 

State Officials and Employees Ethics Act

(5 ILCS 430/70-5)
    Sec. 70-5. Adoption by governmental entities.
    (a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this Act, each governmental entity other than a community college district, and each community college district within 6 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly, shall adopt an ordinance or resolution that regulates, in a manner no less restrictive than Section 5-15 and Article 10 of this Act.

From Section 5-15(a)  “shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time”

From there, you have to look at how the law defines prohibited political activity, which can be found at this link.

Prohibited Political Activity means:

(12) Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question.

Simply put, Campaigning for any referendum question is, in fact, a prohibited political activity.

The Iroquois County Emergency Telephone System Board was kind enough to actually record the proof that Nita Dubble informed them that she was going to engage in prohibited political activity: (See minutes here)

“Dubble advised that she will be attending fire meetings to promote the public safety tax.”

So did she actually do this?

“She successfully championed the public safety tax referendum to the benefit of all public safety entities in the County” 

That quote was from her own performance evaluation, which interesting was not an evaluation by the board as was a requirement in her contract.  In fact, the minutes dated the same as that evaluation makes no mention of any evaluation nor any closed session for personnel matters.  Regardless of yet another bogus contract issue, the performance evaluation from the ETSB appears to be crystal clear that she, in fact, did campaign for support of the referendum based on their praise for such actions by Dubble.

We have also confirmed that Dubble did, in fact, go to public bodies in Iroquois County and promoted the public safety tax, a referendum question on the November 2016 ballot.

By all indications, that is an ethics violation and an ethics complaint could and should be filed against her.

Potential Penalty:

(5 ILCS 430/50-5)  Sec. 50-5. Penalties.

    (a) A person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if that person intentionally violates any provision of Section 5-15, 5-30, 5-40, or 5-45 or Article 15.

(e) An ethics commission may levy an administrative fine of up to $5,000 against any person who violates this Act, who intentionally obstructs or interferes with an investigation conducted under this Act by an inspector general, or who intentionally makes a false, frivolous, or bad faith allegation.

(f) In addition to any other penalty that may apply, whether criminal or civil, a State employee who intentionally violates any provision of Section 5-5, 5-15, 5-20, 5-30, 5-35, 5-45, or 5-50, Article 10, Article 15, or Section 20-90 or 25-90 is subject to discipline or discharge by the appropriate ultimate jurisdictional authority.

For a public body to take your money in the form of a tax or fee, then use that money to campaign in support of a referendum to take more of your own money, appears to be a very clear violation of the law. We The People had better wake up and not allow this to go unchecked.

We urge any citizen in Iroquois County who wants accountability with their local officials to file an ethics complaint against Nita Dubble, as well as a formal criminal complaint with both the Sheriff and State’s Attorney, which forces an official investigation that can validate what we have discovered and do so independent of our opinions on this matter.

It is wrong on every level for a public employee to get paid with your tax dollars while campaigning to take more of your tax dollars through a referendum! 

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  • Paul Nimz
    Posted at 13:01h, 04 April

    You guys found a glory hole here in Iroquois County. It’s all in who you know you know.

  • taxpayer
    Posted at 15:50h, 04 April

    The laws do not apply in Iroquois County. We are exempt because if the states attorney does not agree with law he just ignore’s it. It seems hard for a lot of citizens to come to grips with the fact that when you break a law, you are a criminal. Most public corruption could be fixed by the law breakers as they make the laws, but with no repercussions there is little hope, and you can’t look to Lisa Madigan for help she is one of the biggest problems the state has.]

  • caseih 2388
    Posted at 18:46h, 04 April

    Just to be fair, I believe the safety tax was promoted after hours on Nita’s personal time. Surely a public employee isn’t required to never express their opinion on their own time. And just for the record, there was a huge public outcry when the public erroneously came under the impression that the county board may not implement the tax after the voters approved it.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 18:55h, 04 April

      Really? So when would that be since she does not have anytime cards to show when she is working? She was at meetings of other public bodies representing ETSB and supporting the tax. She was not out there acting in her personal capacity according to what we have been told.

      • caseih 2388
        Posted at 21:57h, 04 April

        So who instructed her to go to the other public bodies? The ETSB board supervises her work activities and I’m pretty sure they didn’t instruct her to do this.