LOGAN CO., IL (ECWd) –
In the business of government, elected officials and certain others in decision-making positions are required to file true and accurate Statements of Economic Interest for each and every year, and file them with the County Clerk of the county they are serving in.
Logan County (pop. 29,494) is the home of the Atlanta Public Library District, located in the small village of Atlanta, IL. (pop. 1,648) – Home of the Paul Bunyan Hotdog statue, which was moved from Cicero, Illinois to Atlanta, Illinois in 2003 (read about the statue here).
William “Bill” Thomas is an elected trustee to the Atlanta Public Library District (“APLD”) and is required to file an annual Statement of Economic Interest (“SEI”) with the county clerk.
During the course of our investigations of the APLD’s “Union Hall Project” it came to our attention that Thomas has an alleged conflict of interest in the entire project, being that he owned the building – the “Union Hall” building…
A resident went to Logan County Clerk’s Office in Lincoln, Illinois to obtain a copy of his SEI and what he declared on it. It took over 4 hours to obtain a copy, and Thomas had magically amended his 2017 SEI filing and file-stamped it at the County Clerks office that very same day – “coincidence?” – LOL…but this article is about his 2016 SEI filing.
Anyway, Thomas declared absolutely nothing on his SEI for 2016 even though he was getting paid, by the Library District, for Bookkeeping or something else in the name of Teleologic Learning Center, of which he is the owner.
Under item number 1:
List the name and instrument of ownership in any entity doing business with a unit of local government in relation to which the person is required to file, in which the ownership interest held by the person at the date of filing is in excess of $5,000 fair market value, or from which dividends in excess of $1,200 were received during the preceding calendar year; In the case of real estate, location thereof shall be listed by the street address, or if none, then by legal description.
He checked “Not Applicable” and then signed his name attesting to the statement’s accuracy, and that he acknowledges that under the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, the penalty for willfully filing a false SEI is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
According to records received under the Freedom Of Information Act; during the preceding calendar year, the Atlanta Public Library District paid to Teleologic Learning Center, the amount of $200.00 each month for “bookkeeping” services.
Thomas is the CEO of Teleologic Learning Center according to state records. He was paid more than $1200 during the preceding calendar year.
Mr. Thomas was asked for comment, he has not replied as of this publication.WilliamThomas-2016-SEI
Brenda HawkinsPosted at 14:18h, 14 August
No surprise here!
SarahPosted at 09:56h, 19 August
Oh really? Bill is one of the nicest people I have ever met! How about doing a story on everything he and his family has done for Atlanta. As well as all the money they have brought in to this small town!
Kirk AllenPosted at 23:50h, 29 August
Sarah, being a nice guy does not mean laws have not been broken. Can you disprove any claim we have made? If not, your great little town has a problem and you’re too close to see it.
MikePosted at 23:18h, 14 August
What is the next step?
FEDupCitizenPosted at 11:33h, 15 August
Between this story and the water department posting “Boil Order Lifted” signs on August 10th that no one I’ve talked to even knew about AND our recent $20/mo increase for arsenic laced water, I am seriously looking for another place to live! For some reason this town’s pet project is a golf course and softball diamond, both requiring a substantial amount of water. This $20/mo increase is based on 750 “customers” using water in Atlanta. This hardly seems fair. My guess is that these “pet projects” aren’t even charged for water. There are many other things I could go into but I’m sure it would be a waste of effort…
KristaPosted at 22:24h, 29 August
You guys need to get a hobby! This is a town of 1600 people, Bill has been involved in everything providing his time and effort to the community. I know him personally, I have worked with him and went to Church with him. In a town of this size you are going to have a few people with multiple interests. He is an asset to this town. The town is better for him being a part of it. Atlanta doesn’t need your “help”.
Seriously get a hobby!
jmkraftPosted at 22:27h, 29 August
Thanks for your input. Keep checking back, we are just getting started…
SarahPosted at 22:35h, 29 August
jmkraftPosted at 22:38h, 29 August
I invite you to keep checking back also, more information is on the way!
SarahPosted at 22:45h, 29 August
Lol..you guys are too much
KristaPosted at 23:02h, 29 August
Bill built that building to fit in with the old downtown theme of Atlanta. To preserve the old Atlanta buildings but still make it modern in its function. That building serves as a host to many public meetings. Bill built that building and put a technology company in it. He could have built it in Bloomington and had a greater pool of technology resources but he built it in Atlanta. Providing jobs to Atlanta. As a service for Atlanta. How many other employers in that town can say they employ more than a few people?
You go into these small towns and publicly bully the board members. You aren’t even residents of the town. Let the residents speak! You rattle off and reference these laws you have printed on a piece of paper and try to intimidate these public servants. Why don’t you print copies and bring them to the meetings? Then maybe these board members could respond!
jmkraftPosted at 06:54h, 30 August
I provided a copy of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act to all the board members during the last meeting. You can watch them not look at it..while I was pointing out the felonious activites Bill and the Board have been involved in. They ignored it. What is your next solution?
SarahPosted at 07:09h, 30 August
You tell them girl! Also where would Atlanta be without Bill and his family!
jmkraftPosted at 08:04h, 30 August
People used to say “Where would Dixon be without Rita Crundwell?” . . .
SarahPosted at 08:11h, 30 August
Not everything is as black and white as you make it seem. I applaud your mission, however not in this case. My question is why are you doing this in Atlanta when there are bigger issues in bigger cities that you could be going after. I guess it’s easier to get the lol guys and to tear apart a community of 1600 instead of 16000 huh?
jmkraftPosted at 08:20h, 30 August
We don’t “tear apart communities” – we insist on transparency and compliance with laws. We do work in communities of all sizes, from Bloomington (78,000) to Kankakee County (110,000) to Wheeling (38,000) to Lerna (281) to Redmon (164) to Brocton (298) to McHenry County (307,000) – which is why our mission statement is: “Our purpose is to foster accountability, truth, and transparency in our local governing bodies.”
Nice try though…
jmkraftPosted at 08:22h, 30 August
You have yet to point to any inaccuracies in our reporting? Why is that? Can’t find any?
KristaPosted at 20:30h, 30 August
Agree totally Sarah…. notice there has been NO RESPONSE to my inquiries above about motivation and funding!!!!!!!
jmkraftPosted at 20:35h, 30 August
Please take a chill-pill. At times we have other things to do beside monitoring this website. We answer posts as we find time. Your previous post is answered. See you at the next meeting and feel free to hit the donate button 🙂
AtlrezPosted at 09:24h, 06 September
Krista…there are also a lot of people in town who see through his BS. Maybe more people would be willing to volunteer if we didn’t have to deal with him and a few others. I’m a life-long resident of Atlanta & it honestly disgusts me to see him prance around.
Read these articles with an open mind. This is not one “oops, I forgot to step out while they discussed buying my building” accident. This is an on-going, self-serving, deliberate act! Bill has been able to get away with this because people like you think he’s so wonderful.
Ask yourself why he has he not answered ONE accusation. Not ONE! He won’t even show up at a library board meeting. Why? ECW’s provide documentation & statutes to back up their findings. Bill? He hides!!! Hardly the actions of an innocent man.
Yes. He has done good for the town. But I will not let that negate the fact he is also a self-serving narcissist.
KristaPosted at 21:44h, 09 September
Wow… sounds like you have a personal issue w him!
jmkraftPosted at 21:57h, 09 September
Wow…Sounds like you don’t care if public officials file false reports.
KristaPosted at 12:41h, 12 October
You should probably tape the entire meetings rather than cutting the recorder off when it’s convenient for you. How do we attain a list of your donors?
jmkraftPosted at 12:45h, 12 October
1. There is no video in this article. Please go troll somewhere else.
2. You don’t.
KristaPosted at 12:42h, 12 October
Why is your tip line a 312 Chicago exchange? Yet you are from Southern IL
jmkraftPosted at 12:47h, 12 October
Because that is the number we chose.
Kirk AllenPosted at 23:48h, 29 August
We did bring copies and provided them to the board. They ignored the law, much like you have with all your comments about how great things are while avoiding the real truth. Prove us wrong and we will leave!
KristaPosted at 09:01h, 30 August
You will leave? My bigger question is who brought you in?
I Really think you are failing to understand the dynamics of this town. Few people are Leaders like Bill, dedicating their time and resources to better the town. Who else would be interested in his building outside of the library? He may sit on the Board but he has been the single biggest contributor to restoring the town. He happens to be involved in government and a lot of charity activities because he is one of the FEW people that really get involved in groups and activities around town.
I am sure your intentions are good. However your trying to break down this man is really a disservice to the town. Your wit h hunt is what prevents good people from providing service to the town. This town need the Bill Thomas of this world. There may be a few people with the mob/witch hunt mentality but so many other people know him, know his service and know his heart.
jmkraftPosted at 09:37h, 30 August
Who said anything about us leaving?
We get the same comments every place we go, so your comments are nothing new to us.
“Leaders” follow the law, not break it – and your comments about being the single biggest contributor fails to explain who’s money is being contributed.
We hear the same lame statements about “nobody will provide service (run for office) anymore” every where we go, but past elections prove the opposite – more people will get involved and run for office because they will know it is not a rigged system anymore. People quit caring when they see uncorrected corruption and uncorrected self-dealing.
Most residents in Dixon said the same things about Rita Crundwell that you are saying about Thomas. Think about that for a minute, and then ask yourself why you choose to ignore violations of law.
KristaPosted at 12:41h, 30 August
Thanks so much for the response about my “lame statements”. In the interest of full disclosure can you disclose to the public who engaged you in this matter?
Also, I may be missing it but I would also be very interested in who funds the Edgar County Watchdogs? How do you fund your operations, your travel etc.? Is your revenue tied to findings I.e a results based payment model? Are you donating your time and fund this endeavor with money out of your own pockets? Very curios and would appreciate your response.
jmkraftPosted at 20:33h, 30 August
We do not get paid, we accept donations on our website, you can see the annual reports filed with the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Database on the AG’s website. We receive tips thru our posted email and phone numbers listed on our website.
suntzuPosted at 10:42h, 12 October
Thank you edgar county watchdogs! Corrupt government officials all over the country cover up their self serving agendas by “doing good” Bring the truth to light!