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July 20, 2024

Shelby County Highway Engineer Operating Private Business Out Of Highway Department – Part I

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On August 10, 2020

Shelby Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Who’s on first?

Such a simple question can only be answered with full disclosure, which appears to be a problem for Shelby County Highway Engineer Alan Spesard.

Alan Spesard – County Highway Engineer since 1999

Alan Spesard – City of Shelbyville salaried City Engineer

Alan Spesard & Keith Petard  – Partners in Shelby Engineering LLC.

Since 1999, Spesard has been using county facilities to operate his private Engineering firm at no cost, alleging the county approved such action.  If that is true, the board members allowing such a violation of law need to be held accountable.  According to IDOT records we have obtained, there is a ton of explaining to do.

“Shelby Engineering is a local partnership formed in 1999 between two individuals (Keith Petard and Alan Spesard). The partnership was formed with the intent to provide needed and affordable engineering services to local agencies in Shelby County. To accommodate that intent the local agency, Shelby County, has allowed the partnership to use their facilities during non-working hours at no cost. The downtown field office is being used free of charge. Shelby Engineering’s primary client is the City of Shelbyville (nearly 90%) with the remaining workload consisting of Motor Fuel Tax maintenance programs for several villages and cities in Shelby County. Shelby Engineering hires technicians (Chad Petard, Cam Spesard, Brandon Zimmerman, Trevor Pruemer, Reed Best and CJ Hayes) on an as-needed basis.”

During today’s County Road and Bridge meeting, I asked a few questions since Spesard has refused to answer any of our questions we sent him.  It became clear very quickly, County Chairman Bruce Cannon has no clue of the depth of the malfeasance we have uncovered by the Highway Engineer.

The first part of the public comment has a lot of background noise from the equipment being operated but it clears up a couple of minutes into that portion of the meeting.

Probably the only thing I can agree with during this interaction is that it’s probably best for Spesard to not answer any questions without legal counsel.

Spesard did confirm he will be turning in his resignation with the City of Shelbyville, and that Shelby Engineering has removed themselves from doing business with the city.

Stay tuned for a series of articles on what we have found in just a few weeks of investigation.


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  • John Pogue
    Posted at 19:40h, 10 August Reply

    Well he finally got caught. He made over$485,000 the last 3 years plus what the county AND the city paid him by salary. $$$$$$

  • Dave
    Posted at 20:06h, 10 August Reply

    Good grief!

  • Joe Citizen
    Posted at 20:34h, 10 August Reply

    Way to keep em scramblin’, boys. Who the hell thought that arrangement(s) was a good idea?

  • JB
    Posted at 20:46h, 10 August Reply

    I would think if you are a County employee, wouldn’t that cover the cities and townships within that county? Why was he able to double dip? I’m sure the salary that he’s being paid should have covered all that.

      Posted at 11:47h, 11 August Reply

      Municipalities are responsible for their own roads, including the engineering.
      Townships already have the county highway department do the engineering and supervise construction, and are charged for that service. And of course IDOT takes care of the state highways.

  • PK
    Posted at 21:30h, 10 August Reply

    Shelby Co., IL.,talley-ho (ECWd)!

  • Bob Judd
    Posted at 21:41h, 10 August Reply

    Such malfeasance is disgusting.. This situation (for starters) Looks to me to be a clear violation of the Illinois State Constitution .Article Vlll Section 1 – a

    Constitution of the State of Illinois


    (a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only
    for public purposes.
    (b) The State, units of local government and school
    districts shall incur obligations for payment or make
    payments from public funds only as authorized by law or
    (c) Reports and records of the obligation, receipt and
    use of public funds of the State, units of local government
    and school districts are public records available for
    inspection by the public according to law.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

  • Unbelievable
    Posted at 23:21h, 10 August Reply

    Right at 10 years and a few months! Again I echo ….Who the hell thought this was a good idea? I can only imagine how the motor fuel tax was managed and then my next question is do any of their employees also work for any of the government entities they are managing motor fuel tax for? People do we not understand conflict of interest and separation of duties? Was he honest on his economic interest statement?

  • Avery Smite
    Posted at 11:21h, 12 August Reply

    Looks like a lot of cherry picking to me. Would like to know how much a competing engineering firm would have charged for there engineering services. Pretty sure this saved shelbyville a bunch of money in the long run. But of course that is not as interesting as corruption.

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