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April 25, 2024

ETSB Financial Reporting to ISP does not match County Audit

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 29, 2019

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –

Several years ago the legislature passed legislation which put the Illinois State Police in charge of 911 Administration and complete repeal of the Emergency Telephone System Act that was to be effective December 31, 2017, then changed to December 31, 2020.

Key language within the law raised concerns with numerous Emergency Telephone System Board officials in the state.

Any reserves held by any consolidating 9-1-1 Authority shall be transferred to the resulting Joint Emergency Telephone System Board.

Early on the concern with many was they would lose their reserves, which may or may not happen depending on the consolidation of 911 systems, thus some took steps to hide it from the state.

We have been reviewing the financial reporting for Edgar County for several years as well as many other counties when the law was changed.  We noticed several ETSB financial reports that mysteriously reported zero reserve funds even though their county audits showed otherwise.

As it relates to Edgar County, I presented “some” of our information during the October meeting as can be viewed in the video below. The video clearly points to the need to replace Merl Clark on the ETSB Board.   Clark has been on the Board since it was created and as can be seen in the video, he has no clue on the financial reporting to the state nor had he read the report submitted to the state.  Note his reaction and answer to our question about his review of these reports at the 4:18 mark of the video.

The required reporting is signed by Crippes under oath as being accurate.

The morning after my questioning the reporting Crippes told the ISP the following:

It has been brought to my attention that Edgar County’s AR-911 (Oct 2016) that was filed with the State is incorrect. In reviewing this and comparing it to my copy, I see that it is incorrect. Our Beginning 9-1-1 Reserve Balance is blank on the form submitted to the state. (Email Communication

That communication confirms the records did not match.

We urge the Edgar County Board to replace the members who have failed to even review these reports, as well as those who have done nothing to ensure accountability and improvements to the system we pay for. To this day we still have dead zones in the southern part of Kansas and Grandview, and nothing is being done to address it.

While I asked for answers about the ISP financial reporting conflicts back in October, it was not until the last County Board meeting where I raised the issue to the County Board that I finally got a response from the Director.

If the ETSB is not going to do their job then it is high time to replace them, as well as the Director, who morphed what was outlined as a part-time position into a full-time career on the backs of the taxpayers.

The insider game continues in Edgar County.

Stay tuned for more statewide coverage on the misreporting to the ISP by ETSBs.

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