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April 20, 2024

Everyone is laughing at Effingham County Board –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 21, 2017

Effingham, IL. (ECWd) –

How do you know a public board is trying to hide things?

  • Changing rules to make things harder for citizens
  • Intimidate those attending meetings
  • Try to revoke the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
  • Find unique and illegal ways to try and take rights away from meeting attendees
  • Fabricate rules that violate peoples property rights

Apparently either the entire county board attended a class, or the chairman attended a class that taught them they could come up with rules for recording public meetings.

I hope nobody paid for the class, or if they did, I hope they demand their money back.

We find it hard to believe anyone would recommend adopting rules that are obvious civil rights violations and Open Meetings Act violations.

Laugh at these rules yourself:

  • Requiring people recording to sign in prior to recording any meeting they plan to record
  • Requiring people to supply their name in order to record
  • Requiring people to identify the type of media they are recording the meeting on
  • Treating cell phone video and other types of video differently
  • Intimidating people recording by alleging that all video and audio recordings are subject to subpoena – even though we all know about “Reporter’s Privilege” which obviously this county board chairman is unaware of
  • Further intimidating people by demanding that people recording either 1) Keep all audio and video in its entirety., or, 2) delete it in its entirety – unless it has been subpoenaed
  • Taking away all First Amendment Rights from people recording by making wild and crazy claims that a person recording must agree not to edit the content of the video in any manner that a reasonable person (unlike those persons who approved this unreasonable policy) would believe changes the meaning or context of the audio or video from its original meaning or context.
  • Threatening expulsion from meetings or to have the Sheriff remove them from meetings if they do not comply with this unreasonable policy

Copy of the UNREASONABLE rules attached (here).

Yes, we filed a complaint with the Attorney General.

Watch the County Board Chairman attempt to enforce his unlawful policy (it starts at about the 5:04 mark):

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  • Jannie
    Posted at 11:43h, 21 December

    Nothing surprises me anymore 😉 What this all does do — is make one suspecious that there is something they’re trying to hide.

  • Scott B. Sievers, Esq.
    Posted at 11:58h, 21 December

    This is utterly ridiculous.

  • Roger
    Posted at 13:26h, 21 December

    Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect, and unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.
    George Orwell – 1984

  • Dave
    Posted at 13:29h, 21 December

    Wow, why do these yahoos have so much trouble understanding the public has a protected right to record meeting proceedings. Intimidation tactics are oppressive in nature… the power is inherent in the people not arrogant elected officals

  • Cindy
    Posted at 07:52h, 22 December

    Illinois land of corruption and mini dictators.

  • Joe
    Posted at 11:14h, 22 December

    This is “over the top” – the worst I have ever heard. Talk about “big brother.” Creepy.

  • On Second Thought
    Posted at 13:12h, 22 December

    Did anyone think, “Hmmm, maybe we should run this by the State’s Attorney for an opinion?”
    Or, maybe they did, but some or all thought, “Ahh, screw it. We’re the board.” Either way…not too bright.

    • Craig Barnes
      Posted at 19:17h, 16 August

      The State’s Attorney is as corrupt as the county board…

  • Craig Barnes
    Posted at 13:06h, 01 January

    I’m from Effingham. What you are dealing with in this community is a bunch of inbred Prussians. What do you expect? Considering the county’s history of corruption (particularly that of law enforcement, from where the board president was formerly employed), nobody in Effingham County bats an eye at this sordid behavior. It’s expected. As my dad used to say, “You can ALWAYS tell a Dutchman, but you can NEVER tell him ANYTHING…”

  • A.J.
    Posted at 18:59h, 21 February

    If you think that’s bad, look into what happened to the 13 duly elected committeepersons in Chicago! The Cook county chair changed the bylaws to rule them out AFTER they were elected and certified by the county clerk. 75% of them were black elected officials and half were women! Some are still fighting in court to be recognized. But,these same folks couldn’t find a way to remove the Nazi running on the GOP ticket for congress!

  • Cass Clements (@cassclements)
    Posted at 22:35h, 13 April

    Sounds like a mirror image of what went on in Madison County for years and in some of their townships too