Shelby County, IL. (ECWd) -
A previously unknown company, created in January 2021 in the State of Florida, has sent a "proposal" to Shelby County asking them to provide a $50,000.00 grant to establish training for board members and police officers.
We assume Shelby County is not the only county or municipality who received this proposal, and ask others who may have received it to forward a copy to us.
This company is "Fight For IL" - purporting to be a 501(c)(3) non profit, and one of the Defendants of a Federal lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Florida alleging "Commercial Discrimination, Defamation by Implication, Libel, and Infliction of Emotional Distress."
We suggest any public body receiving such a "proposal" do their diligent research into whether or not they can even gift a grant for this purpose, and also the history of the company asking for the grant, such as:
- What is their track record for training Illinois public officials?
- Are they a political organization or a training organization?
- Who is in charge of the company?
- Are they currently defending any lawsuits?
- Do we have the statutory power to donate / grant public funds for this purpose?
About the proposal:
The proposal, sent by Tara Gunder, Advocacy Director at Fight For IL, from [email protected], was in the form of a Word document, and fairly sparse on information.
It asks for a grant of $50,000 "open the program" - we are not sure what that means, but assume it means to help them get started on developing the classes, or to make it available free of charge. Again, it was unclear.
It was written by Bonnie Kurowski, a Florida resident whom we have written about before (here).
Nothing in the proposal explains their qualifications and experience in training Illinois elected officials and Illinois police officers. We doubt they have any experience in either subject.
We also question what "certifications" they talk about, because the ILETSB (Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board) certifies police officers, and the AG (Attorney General) and IML (Illinois Municipal League) certify public officials on the Open Meetings Act and Freedom Of Information Act, along with the Illinois State Board of Education for school board members. There are no other certifications required, to the best of our knowledge.