Champaign Co. (ECWd) –
Judge Ramona Sullivan issued an Emergency Order of Protection in June of 2022 against a Mahomet Township resident Brian Anderson. After a motion to change judges and an extensive delay with discovery requests and other filings, the case finally had a hearing on the merits in Champaign County before Judge Webber.
For the last two days, I sat and listened to testimony beginning with Shereth Doenitz, the wife of the Mahomet Township Highway Commissioner and majority owner of Central Culvert and Tile LLC. Doenitz and her Husband, Christian Doenitz are embroiled in a criminal investigation currently being handled by the Illinois State Police, which we covered briefly in this article. During the trial, ISP Officer Wendy Westfall testified that the Attorney General’s office is the agency that requested the ISP take over the investigation from the County Sheriff, which is ongoing. This would indicate there is validity to the information that was provided to them by Anderson.
In return for filing the original police report and continuing to provide additional information to the police that was obtained through perfectly legal means, the Freedom of Information Act, it appears such actions is why the OP was filed against Anderson. We say that because Shereth’s testimony was nothing more than her opinion on matters with no supporting witnesses or documentation to support her claims and opposing testimony confirmed the timing of the OP was after FOIA requests were made. The records produced from those requests are what has resulted in the criminal investigation.
When questioned about her comingling of Road District business and her private business operations, Doenitz testified that her company would combine loads with the Township because it would ensure “prompt delivery“. Of interest is the fact that is not what she told an investigating officer as confirmed in his report found in this article. According to the police report, “She stated that the Mahomet Township Road District does have their culverts delivered to her business (Central Culvert and Tile). She then stated this is because it saves the Road District shipping costs, and the Road District doesn’t have the proper equipment to unload and transport the culverts.” She also confirmed she does not know what inventory is the road districts, which we find interesting since the road district property was being delivered to her business. If she does not know what inventory is the road districts does that not point to a problem as it relates to who owns which culverts on her business property?
We must note that one witness, Mr. Kesler, confirmed hauling for the township but delivering to the private business of Doenitz. We understand that matter is also part of the ongoing criminal investigation.
Doenitz claimed in her filing that Anderson was armed and dangerous. In her testimony, she based that on what a person told her, which means she has no first-hand knowledge of Anderson being either armed or dangerous. Testimony from Anderson indicated he does not carry a weapon and even a police officer in Mahomot for 28 years testified that he had zero knowledge of Anderson being “armed and dangerous”. Doenitz confirmed she carries an anvil hammer in her vehicle for protection.
Doenitz testified that she is afraid of Anderson because of how he looks and the “duck face” he makes. Are one’s looks a reason for issuing or upholding an Order of Protection?
She also alleged he was off his meds for mentally related issues and that she knows this because someone told her. She refused to say who told her that and could not confirm if the person was a Doctor. We note that she had no witnesses to corroborate her claims and had to admit she had no first-hand knowledge of her allegation.
Multiple photographs were presented that were produced by Anderson in discovery. Of those, I recall only three were photos actually taken by Anderson. The majority were taken by others including photos downloaded from Google. Doenitz did her best to imply these were photos taken for the purpose of stalking her at work and home yet not a single photo of her was presented.
Doenitz also claimed to have been followed by Anderson and another person, but during testimony that story changed from being followed to they were waiting on her at the township road district to take pictures of her. She also claimed a person working with Anderson took pictures of her from their garage as she drove by. That testimony was refuted by the person she claimed did it. That same witness referred to her as a liar. No photos were introduced that corroborated her claims.
Of interest was her refusal to produce requested records available from the Android Google app that tracks where a person is located at any given time. Anderson produced his records and is confident had she produced them it would have proven their paths did not intersect as she claimed. Of interest is the fact Anderson was in Florida during certain times Shereth claimed she was being stalked.
Along with photographs were 4 video clips taken by Anderson. Doenitz attempted to claim those videos were proof of her being stalked. Anderson explained the purpose behind the videos and photographs was to document specific evidence of Township Road District personnel and or equipment being used for non-road district business and that it had nothing to do with Doenitz as it would relate to any alleged stalking. She was not in any of the photos or videos.
Doenitz implied Anderson was filing FOIAs to her customers but failed to point out that the only customers who received such FOIAs were in fact units of governments who did business with her business. Anderson never filed any FOIA requests to her private customers. Doenitz’s attorney stated during closing arguments that the submission of a FOIA is a violation of the OP. This was in relation to a FOIA request issued to a unit of government that did business with Doenitz’s business. During the beginning of the trial, the Judge did opine that FOIAs are no basis for stalking.
Doenitz testified multiple times about “her property” as it related to where her business was located. Her testimony turned out to be false as she did not own any of the property where the business is located but rather she leases a portion of the property and building. One would think credibility is lost when false testimony is presented and confirmed to be not accurate.
Doenitz claimed Anderson had hired a private investigator to follow her years ago, however, that testimony also proved to be false when a witness for Anderson produced evidence that it was he who hired the investigator, not Anderson. That matter had no relation to Anderson and is yet another example of Doenitz’s lack of credibility and false testimony.
It was clear from my perspective that there was no evidence of any stalking, but rather a woman who lashed out in retaliation against the person responsible for a criminal investigation involving her husband, the road district, and their private business. While she claimed others were involved and even named those who she believed were a party to the alleged stalking, she did not name those people in her OP filing. We note that her husband was convicted after an incident years ago in which he struck Anderson in the face and can only wonder if this is another way to retaliate against Anderson, a concerned citizen who simply demanded accountability for the elected officials’ conduct and gathered sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation by the ISP.
The testimony of Anderson and others that clearly refuted claims by Doenitz appeared extremely credible, unlike the testimony and claims of Doenitz.
We will update you with a new article once the judge issues his ruling.