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April 18, 2024

Charges Dismissed Against Harrisburg Township Assessor –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 7, 2023

Harrisburg, IL. (ECWd) –

The Court’s Docket shows the charges against the Harrisburg Township Assessor April Clayton were dismissed on January 5, 2023.

“The People failed to introduce any evidence of the existence of any contract involving Defendant. Probable cause not found. Case dismissed.”

Clayton was charged under the Illinois Township Code, Section 85-45:

(a) Except as provided in this Section, no township officer or employee shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in his or her own name or in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract for work, materials, profits of work or materials, or services to be furnished or performed for the township or for any person operating a public utility wholly or partly within the territorial limits of the township.

It appears the Court ignored the part about providing services and profits from work – both of which have nothing to do with a contract.

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17 Comments
  • Elizabeth Gruber
    Posted at 21:03h, 07 January

    Do I get the feeling that no one knows their job, i.e. attorneys, courts, government employees.

    • NMWTLS
      Posted at 08:35h, 09 January

      It’s more than a feeling – which leads to the next obvious question, why bother?

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 19:03h, 01 February

    Still doing Beth Montfort’s work, I see. The court ignored nothing. This whole section is about contracts. Any fair minded neutral first year law student could see that. “in any contract for work, materials, profits of work or materials, or services to be furnished or performed for the township”. i.e., contracts for work performed for the township, contracts for materials furnished to the township, profits of work or materials or services from contracts that are furnished or performed for the township. Again, Mr. Kraft seems to have been recruited to help aid and support Beth Montfort’s mission to harass and destroy the Supervisor and his wife. When people are out to get someone, not even a court decision will slow them down. Mr. Kraft, why don’t you look into Saline County government if you want to dig out some skeletons. For a start, check and see if the State’s attorney is reporting all of her leave time. Several people are wondering if she has “clocked out” for things she is doing during the day that are personal business. Next, check into the City of Harrisburg. They have had money missing in the past under interesting circumstances. Finally, check out the largest consumer of property tax dollars, Unit 3 School District. While you are at it, check out the Harrisburg Library District and see if they raised property taxes a few years ago over the 105% limit without properly holding a Truth in Taxation Hearing before passing their tax levy.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 19:21h, 01 February

    Also, this section is titled: Section 60 ILCS 1/85-45 – Pecuniary interest in contracts. All sub-sections are under this heading and title including (a) that you referenced. You left that out. Was it to mislead your viewers and throw the Supervisor and his wife under the bus, again for Beth Montfort and company?

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 08:15h, 02 February

      We left nothing out. The section you quoted relies on everything above that to also be true – for example, I am sure she owns more than 7 1/2 % of herself, I doubt if there were sealed bids on her work, or if the contract or aggregate contract was less than $1000. I doubt if there was no other person within a 25-mile radius of the township that could have performed the same work. Finally, a check is a contract, regardless of whether there is an actual written “contract.”

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 19:31h, 01 February

    Mr. Kraft, my first comment from about 30 minutes ago has disappeared. Imagine that. Maybe it got flagged again? Let’s see if it mysteriously re-appears.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 14:34h, 02 February

    What is the difference between a contract and an at-will employee? Employers can terminate at-will employees at any time for almost any reason, even without an explanation or warning. Contract employees usually have clearly defined language in their contracts pertaining to discipline and termination.

    You can twist and spin this situation all you want in order to do Beth Montfort’s dirty work, but the truth remains, this was not a contract situation. She was an at-will employee. I can’t believe you are willing to compromise yourself for Beth Montfort and company, and try to defend this malicious political prosecution. You should be a better person than that. An at-will employee is not under a contract. A check is not a contract. One does not “bid out” work for an at-will employee.

    Mr. Kraft, whatever good you may be trying to accomplish with this site, you are completely undermining your reputation as a champion for the taxpayers and people who are ganged up on and unfairly treated, by trying to defend what Beth Montfort and her group are doing to the Clayton’s.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 15:24h, 02 February

      A check is a contract.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 15:32h, 02 February

    Mr. Kraft, I just needed to cover some more of this topic. I still find it hard to believe that you’re willing to compromise yourself, all to push Beth Montfort and her group’s agenda, and twist and spin whatever you have to, to get to the conclusion that you have decided that you need to get to.

    In your original comment, listed below, you seem to be taking the position that April Clayton was not a “contract” employee and was in fact an at-will employee by trying to say that the part of the Section 85-45 (a) you took out of context and stated, “ ‘providing services and profits from work’ both of which have nothing to do with a contract”. You were trying to say that this particular phrase applied to a non-contract employee (at-will employee) in order to make it apply to Ms. Clayton. I have already explained in another comment that everything mentioned in this Section which is titled “Pecuniary interest in contracts” is about contracts, including the phrase that you took out of context and cited, so what you said was false. So what did you do. You reversed yourself and took the position that Ms. Clayton was in fact under contract in order for you to make a case that this Section still applies to Ms. Clayton by citing several things about contract situations listed in another part of this Township Code.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Clayton was charged under the Illinois Township Code, Section 85-45:

    (a) Except as provided in this Section, no township officer or employee shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in his or her own name or in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract for work, materials, profits of work or materials, or services to be furnished or performed for the township or for any person operating a public utility wholly or partly within the territorial limits of the township.

    It appears the Court ignored the part about providing services and profits from work – both of which have nothing to do with a contract.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    It’s obvious that Ms. Clayton was an at-will employee. None of Section 85-45 relates to her. There was no violation. Only malicious prosecution. Another chapter in Beth Montfort and her group’s harassment of the Claytons.

    I’ll have to admit Mr. Kraft, you are a piece of work. You’re willing to flip-flop around and take whatever position is necessary in order to accomplish your mission which for now is to support Beth Montfort and her group’s mission to harass and generate contempt for the Claytons.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 17:07h, 02 February

      I fail to see what Montfort has to do with any prosecution. That is the SA’s job. You are confused about our “mission” and we hear the same song and dance everywhere we go.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 15:41h, 02 February

    So Mr. Kraft, if a company or an individual has a secretary, a housekeeper, etc. and they pay them by check, then that makes that person a “contract” employee? I don’t think so.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 17:04h, 02 February

      there is a difference between a contract employee and a contract

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 23:42h, 02 February

    Mr. Kraft, your last post, “there is a difference between a contract employee and a contract”, is nothing but a pitiful attempt to hang on to this nonsense about trying to connect an at-will employee to a contract situation. So what it boils down to, you’re saying that the fact Ms. Clayton was paid by a payroll check makes this township code on “Pecuniary interest in contracts” applicable to this situation? That’s ridiculous and you know it. She was an at-will employee. Nothing to do with contracts.

    Your cavalier attitude concerning the court’s ruling was very unbecoming and distasteful. The way you initially discussed Ms. Clayton’s guilt on the non-contract or at-will employee scenario and then flip-flopped and reversed yourself and then argued her guilt on the contract scenario shows that you want Ms. Clayton to be guilty regardless of what the Section on “Pecuniary interest in contracts” was written to prevent. All you have is, “a check indicates a contract”. That’s pitiful. This kind of action shows that you have a predetermined outcome in mind for this situation which mirrors what Montfort and group are pushing. Mr. Kraft, you have bought into the Montfort group’s desired outcome to the point that you have lost your objectivity and reached the point that you are so bias on this issue, where even being paid with a payroll check is good enough for you to make this situation fit your desired “contract” scenario in order for you to cast condemnation on the Claytons yourself. This is absolutely atrocious behavior.

    To answer your question about the SA, the SA is a part of the group Montfort heads up and evidently Montfort has a great deal of influence over the SA. My understanding is that the SA has attended township meetings and has personally tried to intimidate the Claytons both at the meetings and over the phone using the power of the SA’s office. Whenever Clayton and Montfort, or anyone in Montfort’s group butt heads on an issue, I am told that the SA steps in to back Clayton off. I am also told that the SA runs interference for this group whenever they need it. If you do some research, you may find that the SA using the SA’s office to target “enemies”, political or otherwise is not limited to the Claytons. You don’t live in this area and are basing everything you apparently think you know on the Montfort group’s input.

    And by the way, that’s a copout on your part saying that “we hear the same song and dance everywhere we go”. That’s what people say when they don’t want to consider an alternate scenario about what is really going on. It’s very apparent here that you have a closed mind on this issue and are making a strong effort to push the Montfort group’s agenda.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 08:18h, 03 February

      A check is in fact a contract.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 08:20h, 03 February

      You might be better off talking about the $96,000 in wages paid to pay out around $4000 of general assistance. The legislation to fix that will most likely be named after your township.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 14:18h, 03 February

    You have stated that three times now (a check is a contract). You can say that as many times as you want, but it doesn’t make it applicable to this situation. Mr. Kraft, a check might be a “contract” of sorts in regards that it indicates a payment of “x” number of dollars, but not a contract that is referred to in this township code. The court ruled correctly. This was nothing but political payback for Clayton winning the 2021 election over the candidate that they supported.

    Mr. Kraft, you have become so callous with your remarks and so committed to team up with Montfort and burn the Claytons, that you are throwing out numbers to paint the picture that you and Montfort want to paint. That often happens when someone develops an ax to grind. Again, they become cynical and lose their objectivity.

    I have checked with the township, and I believe the four employees that perform duties for the GA department, who by the way receive no benefits, are paid around $65,000 from GA property tax revenue. When making comparisons to other government jobs, employees who are receiving benefits, health insurance, retirement, etc can easily increase their total compensation package by an additional $15,000 to $20,000 per year for each employee. So, let’s keep that in mind when making comparisons. $65,000 calculates to an average of $16,250 per GA employee, again with no benefits that the township would be paying on top of the salary. That average Saline County employee who makes around say $36,000 or more is actually making at least $51,000 to $$56,000 per year total compensation. Also, the township has no control over how many people are motivated enough to sign up and qualify for GA. That number could vary with time. I don’t think the township has a crystal ball clear enough to predict that data. Regardless, the GA office has to be manned, and the work has to be performed.

    The township has also told me that two of the GA employees are also currently being paid around $18,000 from Earfare grant funds as part of the Earnfare grant for performing administrative and management duties for the Earnfare program that was encouraged and approved by the IDHS Earnfare grant department. The other two GA employees also perform Earnfare duties but are not additionally compensated for that work from the Earnfare grant. So, $18,000 calculates to an average of $9,000 per employee per year, with no benefits. The Earnfare grant contract runs from July 1 thru June 30 and has to be applied for each year with no guarantee that it will be awarded. Parameters of the Earnfare grant can change from year to year.

    Here is the information that I have received from the township. The SNAP (food stamp) program is set up requiring SNAP recipients to work out their SNAP grants by working enough hours at the minimum wage rate to equal their SNAP grant. After the SNAP recipients meet this requirement, they can participate in the Earnfare program and work additional hours and get paid for that work. This federal program has an opt out provision whereas a state can opt out of the mandatory requirement that the SNAP recipients have to work out their SNAP grant. Illinois chose to opt out of this mandatory work requirement making them a “volunteer” state when it comes to the SNAP program. So, in Illinois, the SNAP recipient has to agree to work out their SNAP grant and then can participate in the Earnfare program to earn additional money. Working out the SNAP grant and working out the Earnfare grant is all handled by Harrisburg Township. Securing suitable work sites and scheduling work times, verifying the recipient actually worked the hours, all accompanying paperwork, etc. is all handled by the township in order to bring the federal/state Earnfare grant revenue to the township for the benefit of the participants and the community where the Earnfare grant money most likely will be spent. The Supervisor applied for and secured the first Earnfare grant for Harrisburg Township in, I believe, around 1997, and this Harrisburg Township Earnfare grant serves not only Harrisburg Township, but all of Saline County and parts of surrounding counties. I am told, the obstacle Harrisburg Township has been facing lately is, with all of the “free” money that has been put out there by Biden and company the last three years, Illinois SNAP recipients are not that motivated to volunteer to work out their SNAP grant and then be able to participate with the Earnfare program. Again, it has become very hard to attract SNAP recipients to participate in Earnfare. Regardless, the GA office has to be manned and prepared to handle the Earnfare program, or give up the Earnfare grant.

  • Roberta Sampson
    Posted at 12:26h, 06 February

    Where is my last comment Mr. Kraft?

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