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May 20, 2024

Frank Vala appointed to Springfield Airport Authority – demands “retraction” of published article –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 10, 2018


The Sangamon County Board appointed Frank Vala as a Commissioner of the Springfield Airport Authority during their meeting May 8, 2018.

This effectively eliminated any previous incompatibility of office he may have had from his election to Township Trustee, which he did resign from earlier this year. A new appointment, no other conflict we are aware of.

Vala also sent us an email demanding a retraction of the article we published entitled: “Frank Vala filed false Statement of Economic Interest as alleged Airport Authority Chairman.” He claims his attorney told him he was not required to list “Woodside Township Trustee” under question number 7 (even though he later updated his 2018 SEI to include it – and it is listed on all of his other SEIs for the past several years) because he was never “employed” by the township.

I informed Vala that I would correct any published article needing correction, but before doing anything with the article he complained about, I needed additional information.

We are waiting for his answer, or explanation, of the following email sent to him:

Mr. Vala,

I would love to correct any inaccurate reporting we may have published.

Would you mind sharing the written advice received from your attorney?

Prior to writing another article or correcting a previous article, I must understand the following:

There are a few other things that do not make sense with your claim:

  • You (or the County Clerk) corrected your 2018 SEI after publication of the article.
  • Did you file this SEI in paper form or electronically?
  • The form lists the required items to be stated, IF you think you did not have to submit the Woodside Township under question number 7 – then all the previous SEIs are false, and so is the updated one for the County since all of them list Woodside Township – even your handwritten ones from the Sec of State. So, please, let me know which ones you consider are false – either the one SEI I wrote about, or the other 5 that I have copies of. If you think you were not employed by the Township, then listing it under #7 is considered FALSE!
  • The Township Code (60 ILCS 1/95-30) specifically states that the township is subject to the TORT Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10) – which, by the way, considers elected township trustees as employees and is defined that way in Section 1-201 of the Act (745 ILCS 10/1-201).

So, which SEIs are NOT false? EITHER the first 5 are false OR the bottom one is false – take your pick.

  • Sec of State dtd 3-29-2016 listing Woodside Twp
  • Sec of State dtd 4-28-2017 listing Woodside Twp
  • Sangamon Co Airport Authority dtd 3-2-2017 listing Woodside Twp
  • Woodside Twp dtd 3-2-2017 listing the Airport Authority (which you state is unpaid)
  • The “revised” Sangamon Co Airport Authority dtd 4-24-2018 listing Woodside Twp
  • OR the original Sangamon Co Airport Authority dtd 4-16-2018 NOT listing Woodside Twp (this is the one I wrote the article about)

So, if and when he provides any further information, we may or may not update, correct, retract, or do nothing, with the previous article. We still believe his original 2018 SEI was false. We await his response to our questions and will do what is right if the information presented warrants.

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1 Comment
  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 10:56h, 10 May

    Mr. Vala, I commented on my understanding of your situation based on an article dated 4-23-2018 and other. In return you also made a number of statements that appeared contradictory to my understanding.
    It would be helpful if you, as a Public Official would articulate an explanation on some of these statements to a private citizen; after you provide a response to Mr. Kraft.
    “I take no payment”, “I donate”. Well, it’s really good that you do things like this and for that, I commend you.
    However, it would seem impossible to donate a single thing that one does not have possession of (while sitting in conflict with airport law). Are you saying that you did take possession of payment in which to make a donation or that you did not take possession of payment because; you’ve said both.
    This begs for more clarification. How much did you actually donate to Woodside Township in US dollars and where’s the proof?
    In addition to this discussion, there is a Township law, 60 ILCS 1/65-5; which provides for and specifies compensation for Woodside township officials. If you’re a Public Official, trustee or other, it would seem that Illinois law mandates that you are paid…and at a certain specified rate. To donate, one could simply endorse a check, mark it as a donation and return it. Perhaps, even the IRS would like that.
    If the Township did not issue any payment to you…well that doesn’t seem to be exactly what Township Law 60 ILCS 1/65-5 is saying and if they did not…. it would appear as though the township is not following the law, even at a time when you were serving as a trustee.
    In regards to integrity issues…well, a case seems to have been made, that a seasoned Public Official was serving on both public bodies in violation of Illinois Law: which automatically removed him from the Airport Authority Board. Obviously, there is some agreement, since that Public Official resigned from the Township board and then “agreed” to a re-appointment to the Airport Authority Board. Hence an admission of violating….so, what about integrity (honesty) doesn’t apply here?