ATLANTA, IL. (ECWd) -
We have previously reported on the Live and Learn Grant application, the Library's alleged contract for the purchase of the Union Hall building, and Trustee Bill Thomas' false statements of economic interests.
On December 18, 2014, records indicate there were 2 separate contracts made on the same property owned by Teleologic (Bill Thomas) - one was a contract for the purchase he entered into with the Atlanta Public Library District, and the other was a contract for the deed he entered into with John Yates. We do not have access to the original contract between Thomas and Yates because they are both private individuals/corporations but do have access to the Quit-Claim Deed (pages 4 and 5) entered into by Yates and Thomas specifically mentioning a contract between those two entered into on December 18, 2014.
During the December 18, 2014, Special Library Meeting, it was written in the minutes that the purchase "contract would be void if no grant funds were obtained." In other words, it appears they were authorizing the contract for the sole purpose of scamming the Secretary of State out of funds that could have been given to another library who met the grant requirements. From the vast amount of records we have reviewed, the Library never intended it to be acted on, no payments were ever intended to be made towards the contract, and no payments were ever made - even though they did get the grant.
Our questions are:
- How can Bill Thomas (Teleologic) enter into 2 separate Contracts for Deed on the same day with 2 separate parties?
- And how would that impact the grant application with the Secretary of State?
Library Accepted State Grant Funds Knowing It Was Fraudulently Obtained
According to the Library Contract - first payment was due February 1, 2015, and the first of each month after that - with an automatic contract cancellation after 60 days of nonpayment of either principal or interest. That 60 days expired, and the contract was automatically void on April 3, 2015. It was not until several weeks later when the Secretary of State informed the Library they had received a grant and delivered payment.
We contend the purchase contract was void due to no payments ever being made on it, rendering the grant application invalid as it required proof of a deed or long-term occupancy.
The Library accepted the state funds anyway, knowing they submitted a false application, all indications point to intentionally failing to make any payments towards the contract, deliberately failuring to notify the Secretary of State about the void contract - and by extension, the grant application - was incomplete, inaccurate, and void.
There is no indication in meeting minutes that payment on this contract needed to be made, no mention of payments not made, and no mention of the contract defaulting and being void due to lack of payments made. In other words, their intent from the very beginning appears to provide the fake contract for purchase to the Secretary of State for the sole purpose of qualifying for the grant. If that was not the case, why wasn't even one payment made or any mention of it in any meeting minutes?
Library Enters Into the First Lease?
In November of 2015, Bill Thomas told the library board that John Yates was going to purchase the building.
July 2016, yates presented a lease to the board, it was determined the appropriate committee (that Bill Thomas sits on) would discuss it and present it to the board.
September 2016 - Union Hall lease is being amended by Yates (remember he started getting lease payments in June) and the Board will "Vote Online" (massive Open Meetings Act violation) to accept the changes and then authorize the chairman to enter into the lease. There was no December meeting, but Bill Thomas magically produced a lease between him and the library (discussed in next section) signed in December 2016.
There were lease payments of $1,000.00, each paid to "Stone Mission, L.L.C." - which we believe to be John Yates, in July, August, September, and another September payment for the October rent of 2016.
We question whether this actually went to Bill Thomas, especially since the Quit Claim Deed for the building, giving it from Yates back to Thomas and Teleologic, was signed in February of 2016 - FIVE months prior to Yates allegedly receiving the first rent payment.
Library Enters Into Another Lease - Bill Thomas Inserts Self-Serving, Power-Hungry Provision In 2016 Lease
In October 2016, somewhere between talking about leasing the building from John Yates, and the illegal lease entered into with Bill Thomas, the library attorney magically pulls a letter out of his backside purporting to claim that Bill Thomas has nothing to worry about and completely disregarding the requirements of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act. (Read this embarrassment here)
Magically, on December 15, 2016, another lease agreement pops up and is signed by Thomas (no mention of Teleologic) as the landlord. This agreement was for $1,000.00 per month for 20 years increasing 2% per year thereafter. It is not a contract for purchase, it is simply a 20-year lease. This was never on an agenda and authorization for the lease was never in any meeting minutes - this lease is void (in our opinion).
The 20-year lease also ends short of 20 years, in fact, it ends the day prior to the 20-year mark of the first lease payment to John Yates (Stone Mission LLC). Why would Thomas feel the need to cut a 20-year lease short by the same number of months the library leased it from someone else?
Trustee Thomas, thinking he needs to keep some control, mandates that he give permission to the Library for any other group or party who may want to use the space (click here to read it). Yes. Bill Thomas thinks he can retain control over the use of the premises leased to the library. He took control of library assets away from the Library Board of Trustees.
Keep in mind, we believe this lease is a prohibited activity (conflict of interest) according to the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, and if proved guilty is a Felony.
Finally, while this lease purports to start on December 1, 2016, there were actually two lease payments made in 2016 - November and December - and both written to Teleologic, a company not named on the lease agreement.
Also, keep in mind, there was and still is a Mortgage on this property either in Thomas' name or in the name of Teleologic (according to records obtain from County Recorder).
Payments Made Violate Grant Project Agreement
There are no records provided which reflect any payments between December 2014 and July 2016. Please remember the Deed or proof of long-term occupancy was a requirement of the grant funds obtained from the State. State grant funds were used without the library having any contractual or otherwise claim to the building the funds were used on.
According to Article 4 of the Live and Learn Construction Grant Project Agreement, "No expenditures shall be made or any action taken which is contrary to the provisions of the Agreement or applicable state laws and regulations."
We believe the Board and its member(s) violated the following applicable state laws and regulations in obtaining this grant and expending its funds:
- Governmental Ethics Act - failed to file truthful Statements of Economic Interest
- Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act - prohibited interest in contract
- Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act - failure to subscribe under oath all owners of property prior to entering into any agreements
- Violation of grant requirements - knowingly
- Official Misconduct
- Fraud - we believe there was never any intention to follow thru with the Dec 2014 contract
- Forgery - creating the 2014 contract and presenting it to the Secretary of State with grant application
Continued in Part 3...