Vermilion Co., IL. (ECWd)-
For years we have said we must fix things at the local level before we can ever expect to fix anything at the state level. That is because it is the local public officials who end up becoming State Representatives. If they can't fix things locally, why on earth do we think they can do any better in a state level position?
Take Chad Hays as an example. A Vermilion County native who served as Mayor of Catlin and chaired the Vermilion County Mayor's Council and a member of the Board of Directors for many community-based organizations including Danville Area Economic Development Corporation (Vermilion Advantage), as outlined in his State Representative Bio found at this link.
All this window dressing leads the uninformed to think he knows what he is doing. Sadly, one needs to only look at the Danville area economics to see real quick they are in trouble, which leads to the question, what good did he do for Danville? Hays is a home grown local political figure who is part of the GOP leadership as a State Representative. One who chose to raise your taxes with the recent budget passage which included numerous other tax hikes to consumers and businesses - All actions that negatively impact our communities. He is a perfect example of a local problem infecting our state.
His bio fails to mention he is collecting $6,000.00 a year from the Danville Sanitary District as an appointed board member, which happens to be the same entity that approved 25% pay raises for three years in a row for their Executive Director. Yes, 25% a year for three years...........with a $20,000.00 bonus to boot! More on that to come.
As a public official, Hays was required to fill out key documents that are in place to inform the public of their involvement in other business interests and occupations. Those filings require a signature confirming the accuracy of the document and an understanding that filing a false or incomplete statement has a potential for fines or imprisonment.
"I declare that this statement of economic interests (including any accompanying schedules and statements) has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete statement of my economic interests as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. I understand that the penalty for willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment."
The law outlines a willful filing of a false economic statement shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(5 ILCS 420/4A-107) (from Ch. 127, par. 604A-107)
Sec. 4A-107. Any person required to file a statement of economic interests under this Article who willfully files a false or incomplete statement shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
About now, many are downplaying the significance of this document as those familiar with them routinly ignore the seriousness of the violation because most State's Attorneys refuse to prosecute public officials who violate this law. That is another example of a local problem that leads to the bigger message to come. If you doubt the seriousness of filing a false statement, just look at former Tri-State Fire trustee who is facing criminal charges for his actions related to a false document.
March 4th, 2017, Hays filled out and signed his Statement of Economic Interest form required as a State Representative and disclosed under item #8, income from two separate sources for the previous year. You can view that document at this link. The disclosure is for the previous years' activities.
Fast forward four months from that date and Hays fills out another form upon taking his position as a $6,000.00 a year board member to the Danville Sanitary District. In this form, he disclosed the same interests under item #8 and added under #7 his position with the Sanitary District, even though that was not required.
What is missing on his most recent filing?
7. List the name of any unit of government that employed the person making the statement during the preceding calendar year other than the unit or units of government in relation to which the person is required to file.
Hays was employed as a State Representative during the preceding calendar year, yet failed to disclose that required information. You can view his Danville Sanitary District SEI at this link.
What did he sign his name to again?
"I declare that this statement of economic interests (including any accompanying schedules and statements) has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete statement of my economic interests as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act."
For a guy that claims to have examined the document and signed his name confirming knowledge of the potential imprisonment for filing a form that is not true, correct, and complete, tells us he has no business in public office.
There is no way this guy can claim he didn't know how to fill out the form, like the other State Representative exposed by the Sun Times in this article. I say that because he did disclose some things, which indicates he can comprehend the information.
He signed his name stating the document was true and accurate, yet that is not the case at all. Will he be held accountable for his failure to disclose required information under Illinois Law? Probably not, as local prosecutors tend to protect their own.
We believe Chad Hays has willfully filed a false or incomplete statement and should face prosecution for his actions. As a law maker, he knows what is required and can't claim ignorance as he has disclosed other interests on the form. As a law maker, he has shown us clear and convincing evidence that he has no business in Springfield or any other public office because he is not able to even properly fill out his required economic disclosure statements.
Hays should resign from all public sector positions immediately, and the public should wake up and realize all those who put this kind of politician in positions of public trust in their community should also be removed from public office. Hello Mike Marron, Vermilion County Board Chairman!
More to come!