Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
In February of 2021, Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke asked the Attorney General for a Special Prosecutor to review and possibly prosecute a financial case of alleged theft of public funds and official misconduct by the Shelby County Highway Engineer, Alan Spesard.
Within her communication, she specifically informed the AG who is assigned to the case, the Illinois State Police, Special Investigations Unit.
The Shelby County State’s Attorney’s Office is seeking a special prosecutor to review and, if appropriate, prosecute a financial case that involves our treasurer and county engineer. Before I took office, the Shelby County treasurer initiated an investigation into the Shelby County engineer, alleging theft of public funds and official misconduct. The Illinois State Police, Special investigations Unit, is assigned to the case and is actively investigating. The State’s Attorney’s Office has a conflict in reviewing and, if appropriate, prosecuting the matter due to its representation of the county engineer as well as the treasurer. (Email to the AG at this link)
Anyone reading her email would be led to believe the ISP was actively investigating the matter.
Realizing the snail pace of the criminal justice process, we waited until July of 2022 to ask for records from the ISP on the matter, much as we did with the illegal gun sales issue by former Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce.
To our surprise, the response to our Freedom of Information Act request to the Illinois State Police resulted in not only the ISP violating the FOI Act (not surprised on that part), but a claim there are no responsive records, and a confirmation, which we already knew, that the FBI Public Corruption Task Force was the agency conducting the investigation.
“A reasonable search for the requested records was conducted; however, the ISP found no responsive records to your request. Please be aware the ISP only maintains records that it creates or receives. According to the ISP Division of Criminal Investigations, this investigation was conducted by the FBI Public Corruption Task Force, as such any records would reside with that organization.“
Where is the truth?
- The State’s Attorney claims the ISP is handling the investigation of Alan Spesard.
- The ISP claims they did not conduct any investigation.
- The ISP claims the FBI conducted the investigation.
What we know:
We have confirmed there are more than 1,000 pages of records, which are part of a “current” and “active investigation.” Considering this matter has been part of an active investigation for several years it appears our justice system is working but at a snail’s pace.
For those not familiar with Alan Spesard’s activities while employed as the County Highway Engineer, we encourage you to read the articles we published over two years ago which can be found at this link.