Champaign Co. (ECWd) –
Mahomet Township Highway Commissioner Chris Doenitz appears to have failed to file the required Statement of Economic Interest document as an elected official for years. Those SEI filings are required at the time of the election and every year in office. According to the Champaign County Clerk’s office, they only have the 2020 and 2022 filings for Doenitz. That points to a failure of Aaron Ammons as the County Clerk as well, but we will address that in another article.
Of the two SEI filings produced by the Champaign County Clerk’s office, it’s safe to say Chris Doenitz has filed a false document with the County.
Doenitz and his wife are the managers of Central Culvert and Tile LLC who both work at the Township, Chris Doenitz is the elected highway commissioner, and his wife is an employee of the Township. We covered some of the comingling of these operations in this article.
Central Culvert and Tile LLC does business with other townships, municipalities, and Champaign County in Illinois according to records we obtained confirming payments to their company.
The SEI statement filed by Doenitz in 2020, specifically items 1 and 6, reflects NONE in response to the requirements outlined.
“1. List the names and instrument of ownership in any entity doing business with a unit of local government in relation to which the person is required to file, in which the ownership interest held by the person at the date of the filing is in excess of $5,000.00 fair market value or from which dividends in excess of $1,200.00 were received during the preceding calendar year. (In the case of real estate, location thereof shall be listed by the street address, or if none, then by legal description) No time or demand deposit in a financial institution nor any debt instrument need be listed.”
“6. List the names of any entity doing business with a unit of local government in relation to which the person is required to file from which income in excess of $1,200.00 was derived during the preceding calendar year other than for the professional services and the title or description of any position held in that entity. No time or demand deposit in a financial institution nor any debt instrument need be listed.”
According to the criminal investigation interview notes, the woman being interviewed and believed to be Chris Doenitz’s wife claimed “she is the majority owner while (BLANK) owns a small percentage of it, and he gets no income from the business.
Filings with the Secretary of State reflect the husband and wife couple are the managers of Central Culvert and Tile, LLC. Does anyone believe a small percentage owner of a company doing millions in business gets no income from the business?
Considering criminal investigation records point to over $3,000,000.00 in pipe and tile being purchased by their company between 2012 and 2021, it’s a safe bet that the “interest” held by Chris Doenitz in their LLC exceeds $5,000.00 market value, the threshold for mandatory reporting on the SEI. If that is the case, why did he not list anything under the very first SEI disclosure requirement?
Each of the following Township records includes invoices from Central Culvert and Tile LLC to units of local government which exceed the $1,200.00 reporting requirement figure outlined in the SEI. While the records below are for numerous years, we focused on 2019 for this reporting as that is the previous calendar year connected to the SEI filing which indicates NONE, which is false.
- Harwood Township
- Stanton Township
- Somer Township
- Sydney Township
- Rantoul Township
- Newcomb Township
- Village of Mahomet
Based on the public record it is clear, the Mahomet Township Road Commissioner filed a false SEI in 2020. According to the bottom of the document he signed, he understands knowingly filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment.
In closing, we noticed an interesting claim made in the investigation interview.
“I asked if the Mahomet Township had culverts delivered to her business and she stated they used to, but not anymore. Metal Culverts would charge a fee for a partial load. So, when the township only had a partial load, her business would order enough for her company to make it a full load to avoid a fee for the township (saving the township money).”
Her comment confirms comingling of the government’s operation with their private businesses. Why would a private culvert company need to be informed when a unit of government is placing an order for needed materials? Does this not point to the Highway Commissioner using his position to possibly save his private company money as well? We say yes because if the Township had a partial load, so too did the private company.
Why after many years of having Township culverts delivered to their own private business have they stopped that practice? Is it because there is a criminal investigation into the activity at the Township and the comingling of business?
We have submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for all shipping fees for culverts purchased in the past 5 years.
Check back for more coverage on Doenitz and his activities in Mahomet Township.SEI Road Commissioner