COLES CO., IL. (ECWd) -
Electioneering using State Vehicle:
On December 4, 2017, John Clough was spotted arriving at the Coles County Courthouse around 11:55 a.m., in his assigned state-owned vehicle. His purpose was to deliver his petition packets for Republican Precinct Committeeman in Coles County. He also appears to be wearing an official PRB jacket, but the image is too blurry to see what it says.
Delivering petition packets is a form of electioneering - the official definition is "Prohibited Political Activity." Delivering them in a state-owned vehicle (pics here and here) is an improper use of public resources. The time-stamp on his petition packet (here).
We submitted an FOIA request to CMS to determine ownership of that vehicle and their response confirms the vehicle driven by Clough to submit his petition packets is a State Vehicle assigned to the Prisoner Review Board.
We filed a Complaint with OEIG on Clough's SEI, and his use of a state-owned vehicle for electioneering purposes as PRB policy, the Constitution, and the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act prohibits the use of state vehicles for personal and electioneering purposes.
We call on the remaining PRB members to immediately demand John Clough resign from the board, and we call on Governor Rauner to immediately remove him from this Board.
The State of Illinois Prisoner Review Board ("PRB") is a state agency whose members are appointed by the Governor of Illinois.
According to its website (here), the PRB is a quasi-judicial body and is tasked with making recommendations for parole and clemency to the Governor, among other things.
Their website lists 4 areas they are tasked with:
- bi-partisan, independent review, adjudication, and enforcement of behavioral rules for offenders;
- parole consideration reviews and decisions for all adult offenders with “indeterminate” sentences;
- hearings and confidential reports and recommendations to the Governor regarding all requests for executive clemency;
- protection and consideration of the rights and concerns of victims when making decisions or recommendations regarding parole, executive clemency, conditions of release, or revocation of parole or release.
PRB is a 15-member board, with 1 vacancy and 14 current board members, with at least 7 of them appointed by Governor Rauner. The most recent appointment was Mr. John Clough, in March of 2017 (read his bio). He resides in Coles County.
Each board member is paid $85,886 per year, with the chairman getting $95,872. We also understand from several sources, that they are given a state vehicle to drive with regular, non-government, license plates on them.
Below is the video of his entering and leaving the courthouse on December 4th: