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December 6, 2022

Atlanta employee Dawn Wintz caught with city vehicle at political event –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 9, 2019

ATLANTA, IL. (ECWd) –

Today, Dawn Wintz, an employee of the City of Atlanta in the capacity as an EMTS with the Atlanta Rescue Squad, decided to attend the write-in candidate Meet and Greet.

The problem is that she used a city vehicle to participate, through attending the political event.

She even admitted to that fact, and admitted to illegally parking her private vehicle, at least according to Atlanta City Code 9-2-3, in a Facebook posting:

Yes, Dawn, we would argue that you may have run afoul of state law.

The Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1(a) prohibits the personal use of public property, and the Illinois State Officials and Employee Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430, which each local government must also comply with through their own policies no less strict than the statues, is what governs prohibited political activity.

So either this was a personal visit using a city vehicle, or it was a prohibited political activity – either way it was wrong.

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22 Comments
  • Brenda Hawkins
    Posted at 20:12h, 09 March

    Why not clean the vehicle where it is kept. Why take it to your home?

  • Atlanta Taxpayer
    Posted at 20:21h, 09 March

    Back at you Dawn! You so deserved this! So tell us what we need to do to allow her to face the consequences? Karma Bites!

  • Michael Hagberg
    Posted at 21:16h, 09 March

    We have many city employees who use city owned vehicles for private use. Once a year they reimburse the city an amount they feel is fair for the personal use of the vehicle.

    Is this illegal?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 21:49h, 09 March

      What city? and what department do they work in?

      • Michael Hagberg
        Posted at 11:10h, 10 March

        Mayor, Street department, Parks Department, police department.

    • Eric
      Posted at 11:14h, 11 March

      City Council: Employee X, what do you think you should pay us for using city vehicles for private use?

      Employee X: One Dollar.

      City Council: Per our made up guidelines, we accept your offer.

      Holy crap, how is that really happening?

      • Frank Rizzo
        Posted at 22:34h, 11 March

        Seems to me I remember something about a mayor from LaHarpe and a city backhoe and an city operator operating the city backhoe and some guy’s hole (in the ground!) and $50.00!

        I can’t exactly remember how that all turned out. I’m still waiting for the CL guy I paid the $40.00 for all the digging I wanted to show up and do all that digging. I guess he must be busy or his highdroolic hoses are busted or something. Maybe when the frost goes out… If you see him tell him I’m still looking for him!

      • Loriann Williams
        Posted at 23:00h, 16 March

        I live in Pleasant Grove, Utah and follow you guys avidly! I read every single article and post from the edgarcountywatchdogs. In fact, we started a PG Watchdogs group. There’s alot of us that read up on your progress! My goal in life is to emulate your fight for government truth and transparency. Our city is right up there with Algonequin. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any one be held accountable for the flagrante, illegal activities going on here. We keep working!! Stay the course!

  • Misty Mathews
    Posted at 22:31h, 09 March

    My witty comment is as follows. If the worst you can come up with is an EMT was cleaning a vehicle, for free, using her own supplies to clean said vehicle. Then after cleaning the vehicle stopped to listen to the candidates for city council. Well dang we should just lock her up and throw away the key. Or maybe you should find something else to do with you free time. Being snarky towards a person who saves lives, does things for FREE, and is active in their community. Well what is the world coming to? Maybe you should have asked more questions before you looked for a problem.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 22:36h, 09 March

      Thanks for your witty comment.

    • Sarah Seward
      Posted at 11:07h, 10 March

      The watchdogs asking questions first..thats unheard of!

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 08:39h, 10 March

    Although she stopped to do something in her personal interest while returning the vehicle, that vehicle is for the gub use and she could have prevented a need for the vehicle while doing her personal thing. To me it is akin to saying, “I only stopped to get a loaf of bread.” Further, “cleaning the vehicle ” sounds a little fishy. Is she a janitor for the premises? Is vehicle cleaning in her job description? If so, how is that specifically written. Does she then submit reimbursement receipts for cleaning supplies? For overtime? Does she keep the remaining cleaning supplies? What insurance coverage applies while she has command of this vehicle? Who is liable if she has an accident while in possession of the vehicle? What provisions are made pertaining to liability when she has the vehicle? Is taking vehicles home for ‘cleaning’ covered in the insurance clauses? Is she one of the people who normally uses this vehicle for official business? How is she responsible for the cleaning, if as she says, after its last use it was “trashed”? The matter of gub’ private use of taxpayer owned vehicles is an issue in many if not all municipalities.

    • [email protected]
      Posted at 15:53h, 19 March

      Come spend a day with a volunteer squad. You think you have it all figured out.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 18:21h, 19 March

        If I did, I would not take a government vehicle to a campaign event.

  • Sarah Seward
    Posted at 09:53h, 10 March

    I’m just curious, you are aware that the fire dept./ems are all volunteers, right? They are not city paid. This articke is the lowest I have seen you go yet. Just when I think you couldn’t go any lower, you surprise me! This proves you do nothing but try to tear the citizens of Atlanta down and divide the community.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 10:11h, 10 March

      Glad to see you condone using a government vehicle to attend a political campaign event.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 12:08h, 10 March

    What many do not understand is the fact we report truth and concerns of citizens when there appears to be violations of the rules. Citizens complained. We evaluated the information and by all the info available, to include the persons own admission, we published the article.

    The numerous justifications have nothing to do with the rules that were violated.

    It does not matter what funds were used to purchase the vehicle. If it is a government vehicle then the same rules apply, no matter how it came into their possession.

    Volunteering has nothing to do with this. Volunteering is not a justification to do as you please and disregard the rules. I thank you for volunteering but please stop using that as an excuse to violate the rules.

    What is so typical in this situation is how the person doing it deals with it. Rather than simply saying, sorry, I didn’t know, its justification after justification.

    When you do something wrong, stop doing it and stop trying to justify it.

    While I do not know if these people get paid for there service, I would place a bet they do, meaning they are not doing this for free as has been implied.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 12:16h, 10 March

    And for all those that think this is all about nothing, I know of TWO state workers that were terminated for use of the state vehicle for personal and political matters. One was a State Prison Review Board member who thought it was OK to drop off his petitions at the court house on his way to work. Wrong. State Terminated him. Private use of the vehicle and doing political matters on state time were key issues but not the only issue. Another one thought stopping at the bar and having a few was OK since it was on his way home. State terminated him for private use of vehicle and I recall a DUI.

    The point is, its government property and unless it is being used for government purposes it should not be used at all.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 14:01h, 11 March

    Funny that in the private sector, no one does this type of thing. There are real strict rules if you are issued a vehicle that you NEVER ever use it for personal use. Not sure what the punishment would be if you got caught, but people in this position understand and are very conscientious about following those rules. Wonder why the political folks think they are so special that they can skirt an issue that calls for integrity. Oh, wait, never mind.

  • Wouldn'tyou Liketoknow
    Posted at 17:56h, 19 March

    You all are complaining about a woman cleaning a vehicle she uses as an emt and because she stopped somewhere? Really? You ever see an ambulance at a store or restaurant? Im sure she has a radio or a pager in case something happened. She would actually respond faster since she didnt have to drive from home. Quit complaining about petty crap and get over yourselves. There’s bigger issues in town than a EMT truck at a political event. Dawn, dont let anyone bring you down with this. You did nothing wrong. Bunch of damn keyboard warriors. Im sure none of you have ever done anything wrong. Perfect citizens hahaha. Atlanta used to be a great town to live in and all you people are whats wrong with it now. Small communities are supposed to look out for one another. What would happen if there weren’t any Atlanta EMT’s? With all the shootings and accidents happening these days, cops hit by distracted drivers. She has to to take the risk of not going home to her family every time a call comes thru. Maybe she made a mistake, so freaking what! Mistakes are made by all of you on a daily basis and if you disagree then youre lying. Leave the woman alone and go on with your lives! Lifes to short for this bullshit!

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:22h, 19 March

      Obviously you have reading comprehension issues.

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