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April 12, 2024

Ford County – Alleged personal use of public property exposed –

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 24, 2018

Ford Co. (ECWd) –

Last year we formed American Watchdogs Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit for the purpose of training others nationwide on our model of how to hold local government accountable.  Our first major project with that effort was the launching of a searchable database of government license plates, currently, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio government plates are uploaded. The goal was to give people a way to find out who owned a public vehicle that they see in a location not related to the public service they are supposed to be providing.

Here is how it works.  You’re driving to your destination and pull off at a local McDonalds and notice a nice quad cab Ford F-150 in the parking lot and it has government plates.

Step 1 – Take a Picture! 

Once you have a picture, go ahead and get your coffee, the reason you pulled into McDonald’s in the first place.  When you go inside, pay attention.  Commonly known as situational awareness.  Of interest to us, a group of men sitting in the center dining area enjoying their morning coffee and breakfast.  Other than the two of us, there was no one else sitting in the restaurant, nor standing in line.  Thus, we suspect the driver of this government vehicle is sitting amongst those men having their morning coffee and breakfast.

Step 2 – Take a picture! 

Now that you have all the information you can gather in the time it took for a coffee stop, go about your business until you have time to enter the license place in the database.

Step 3 – Search the database to see who owns the vehicle! 

As you can see below, this vehicle belongs to the Ford County HWY Department.  

Now in most cases that would not be any big deal as just about every County Highway Engineer in this state is given a vehicle to drive for work-related matters and transportation to and from work.

However, in this case, some concerns are identified.  For starters, this coffee break photo was at 8:15 in the morning on a workday.  Additionally, this particular gathering was not even in Ford County.  No, it was in Iroquois County and this McDonalds is approximately 15 miles from the Ford County Highway Department. The person on the left side of the photo facing towards us is the Ford County Highway Engineer.

That begs the question, why would this guy be driving to another county for county business.  The answer is pretty simple with a little checking.  This is a routine thing for the Ford County Highway Engineer.  In fact, we got a call that he was just there yesterday.  The day of these photos was March 15th, 2018.

When public officials take advantage of taxpayers by abusing the privilege of a taxpayer-provided vehicle, it’s time to start yanking those privileges.

The taxpayer is paying this guy to perform his job, not to spend taxpayer funds on fuel and a vehicle for him to drive to another county to have his coffee with his buddies.

We believe if more people would start paying attention to issues like these we can better hold these so-called public servants accountable.

If we stay quiet, it will only get worse!

Ford County Citizens, is this how you want your tax dollars spent?

Our work is funded entirely thru donations and we
ask that you consider donating at the below link.


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  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 13:06h, 24 March

    I will do this. In commie Illinois two classes, the gubs and serfs. Nothing will happen, he will continue because he knows nothing will happen and the unions make sure no gub employee is ever fired. So tax revolt is our only option, other then to be one of the Land of Leavin’ peeps. . One bright light-if SCOTUS MAKES ALL STATE RIGHT TO WORK. Then bye-bye unions and sanity starts to take hold again.

  • Ronald
    Posted at 13:09h, 24 March

    Could he have had a meeting over there, thereafter, or business to attend to ? Or, is he a regular at this McDonald’s at this time of day and n the M plated Ford? Hmm, OK, went back and read your story again, re: “This is a routine thing for the Ford County Engineer.” Yep, it is problem. 15 miles one direction is a lot of miles.

  • Homer
    Posted at 15:28h, 24 March

    How far is it to ford county not the highway building from Macdonalds just wondering

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 17:57h, 24 March

      Really? Just wondering? It’s about 7 miles straight west to the county line. I suppose now that makes it OK for what he did? I know, now the argument is going to be, he was just down the road doing county business. LOL. Nope, this guy is a regular at the McDonald in Gilman with his buddies. WAY to many people have kept us informed on his routine.

  • CR
    Posted at 05:17h, 02 April

    Believe he was signing papers for roadwork. But why bother with facts.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 17:35h, 11 April

      NO, that would not be correct as there were NO papers being signed at that table. Why make such a statement when we were there and know for a fact your claim is false?

  • Corruption discuss
    Posted at 07:22h, 11 April

    Well one should ask what papers was being signed as everyone at the table is retired and these would be public documents. So make it simple, ask the county engineer to show the papers signed. Also ask him under oath if he has been a frequent coffee drinker in the Gilman area while driving the county owned truck and not on business. Why should the taxpayers be on the hook if he would get involved in an accident out of county and not on county business. These abuses are everywhere and costing taxpayers a LOT.

  • Ellis Holmann
    Posted at 01:11h, 14 April

    haw…land of leavin’ is so true. Time for all good peeps to be of the leavin’ persuasion. As a good captain once said “Abandon Ship”. And now, introducing our new Governor and good comrade Uncle Joe Pritzger and his new idea: Plank 2 of communist manifest; the graduated income tax.