Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
Benjamin Franklin was asked a simple question after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what kind of government did you give us? The response, “A Republic If You Can Keep It”.
We have yet to find a single civics class in our education system which teaches people what it takes to keep a Constitutional Republic. A good starting point is to never blindly trust your elected officials and question them on every statement of fact they make. The latter point should be applied to those who have now become keyboard warriors pumping out misinformation that contains an element of truth surrounded by false information.
While we continue to find documents that further prove our point and disprove the lies being told by so many, we once again have identified the beginning of what may be the largest cost to taxpayers in Shelby County’s history, and not one person has been held accountable.
“The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has made many changes since December 2015 when Sheriff Don Koonce was installed as Shelby County Sheriff.”
“The implementation of these programs and changes has come at no increase in the Sheriff’s Budget and no additional cost to the citizens of Shelby County. (underline added)
The two sentences above are the beginning and the ending of a document filed in the County Clerk’s Office on April 6, 2015. In between those sentences is a list of things Koonce did in his first 100 days, and again, claims they were done “at no increase in the Sheriff’s Budget and no additional cost to the citizens of Shelby County.“
Koonce writes he implemented the following.
- Two Sergeants and two Corporals promoted within the ranks allowing a Command officer to be available at all times
- Two Sergeants promoted from the Correctional Officers to increase command, efficiency, and security of the Detention Center
We urge everyone to read this article and pay particular attention to information involving the Bob Simpson signed letter from May of 2020 as we now have identified a serious conflict that clearly the ISP and the Attorney General either missed or ignored. Simpson refused to answer any questions on the document that was created just a few months after a criminal investigation was underway. They were simple questions, WHY was the document created, WHO typed up the Document, and WHY was it necessary to do so 5 years after the fact?
So if these implemented programs and changes have no additional cost to the citizens of Shelby County as Koonce claimed, why would Bob Simpson and others sign a document 5 years later that states these 4 sergeants would be receiving five Comp Days or days off each year, which was never approved by the board nor found in the FOP contract? Koonce made no mention of any such additional cost according to the records and rather states there was no additional cost.
Koonce and Under Sheriff McCall were questioned by the ISP on May 14, 2020. We note that there was no mention of the May 8, 2020 memorandum. Former State’s Attorney Vonderhide was interviewed on May 21, 2020. We note that there was no mention of the May 8, 2020 memorandum. So when did the ISP first refer to the document in question? After the ISP briefly questioned Tina Wade on June 17, 2020, she confirmed there was no documentation to support the Zakowski pay in question. The ISP, for the first time, then points to the May 2020 memorandum “for further details regarding the time earned“, as if that solves the matter. A major problem is the Zakowski pay issue post dates the compensation referenced in the May 2020 memorandum that Simpson signed.
We have confirmed the ISP had it in their possession on June 17, 2020, when they interviewed Erica Firnhaber, the current treasurer who blew the whistle on the payroll malfeasance. Who gave the ISP this memorandum and when? Was it the day of the interview, or after? We suspect after since there was no reference to it until well after the interviews.
With no mention of the document until June 17, 2020, the appearance is this document was created after the initial interviews of Koonce, McCall, and Vonderheide and back-dated to make it appear it was before those interviews. Even if it was created on the date on the document, it proves Koonce lied in his “First 100 Days” document as additional compensation outside the FOP contract and done without board approval does in fact cost the citizens of Shelby County.
Is it really asking too much to know who created this document and when?
The Forensic Auditor identified a document that proves Koonce’s “First 100 Days” claims are not true as well. There were also three other people reaping these gains and it was in fact an additional cost to the taxpayers and never approved by the Board and was done in direct violation of the FOP contract.
More importantly, if Koonce is telling the committee that this program is at no additional cost to the citizens of Shelby County, we must ask again, Why would Simpson now believe in May of 2020 that this program from five years prior was costing the taxpayers of Shelby County additional compensation? When was Simpson “really” made aware of this additional compensation? Who typed up the document? Why was this documented typed up and for what purpose?
We find no reporting from the ISP interviews that outline someone lying, which these documents point to. Not surprising since we have not seen any proof of the ISP having the “First 100 Days” document in their possession. Koonce claimed no cost for the program he initiated yet three County Board members say something much different.
Who is the public supposed to believe when they all go tight-lipped and refuse to answer a single question?
For those reading the “First 100 Days” document, I’m sure you noticed the reference to a 10-hour work schedule. The forensic auditor confirmed that single program has cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet Koonce claimed his programs cost the taxpayers nothing.
“A Republic, If You Can Keep It”The First 100 Days