Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
It appears while some have taken the path of spreading lies and misinformation about issues in the county, the actual truth may lie in the public records of Shelby County and be exposed by a vendor.
For the last few months several people, including employees, have spoken at the county board meetings and lodged complaints about an alleged toxic work environment, but have not provided real specifics to support those allegations. The complaints progressed to a point where Jake Cole claimed some of them in the courthouse are so scared they can’t sleep at night. “One girl said she’s pulling her hair out, that’s because they’re being accused and threatened with lawsuits and this is not right”, according to Cole. He then asserted that there is something really wrong going on in Shelby County. Cole failed to say who this employee is or what exactly they are being accused of or who is threatening them.
Brock Hammond, Shelbyville resident, and Illinois Comptroller employee who has been giving out awards on behalf of the Comptroller, who knew nothing about a recent award to the former State’s Attorney, appears to be contributing to the problem with false claims pertaining to the current State’s Attorney. According to Hammond, as posted on his social media, “Hanlon says it’s “felony theft” to sign on to the courthouse wifi while in the courthouse”.
We contacted the State’s Attorney Rob Hanlon and asked if he has ever made such a statement. He assured us the statement asserted by Hammond is totally false. Hammond also alleged, “Why can the Edgar County Watchdogs use it to stream the board meetings? Maybe they don’t, but I could have sworn they said they did.” That assertion is also not true as we do not use the county Wifi to livestream our work, nor have we ever indicated that we do. In fact, just the opposite is the case as we advised the County on the livestreaming service we subscribe to for access and encourage them to use that vs trying to rely on local internet access.
Since these recent false assertions are being posted and shared, we started asking questions and trying to get answers as to why the employees are really concerned. We may have found the root of what has them concerned and if accurate, it has absolutely nothing to do with wifi, or us, contrary to some people’s assertions otherwise.
The Shelby County Legislative Committee held a meeting on April 18, 2023. Considering the comments from Mr. Woods of Mytech Solutions during a discussion pertaining to the county adopting a public policy for social media, it appears he has knowledge of internet use that would piss off the committee if they knew about it. He confirms this internet use is on county computers. The full video of the meeting is below and was the first video the county officials live-streamed to their Youtube page. Pay particular attention to the discussion starting at the 1:05:00 mark.
Woods also confirmed to the Chairman of the Committee, Jeremy Williams, that he could generate a log anytime you want to see it. We understand Williams has asked for that log but has yet to receive it.
It appears Woods, and at least one employee based on the response in the video, has knowledge of internet usage with county computers which are concerning, to say the least. Such knowledge appears to indicate the county’s internet use has been monitored, otherwise, how would he know these people would be pissed? What is going on that they would be pissed about? We have sent a FOIA request for the log that Woods spoke to as it is a public record. We will publish the information when we obtain it.
While we are not sure if the above is related to another concerning event shared with the county board on June 8th, 2023, the communication is stunning. Concerns have been raised by Judge Amanda S. Ade-Harlow pertaining to remote access and monitoring software being installed on judicial computers without her permission. In a letter sent to the county board pertaining to this matter, Woods states: “We do not monitor anything that is happening on those systems as far as what the judges are doing.”. It’s good to hear they are not monitoring what the judges are doing, but by all indications from the words expressed in the legislative committee meeting, some sort of monitoring is going on that may well reflect county employees doing things on the internet that have nothing to do with county business. A copy of the exchange with Judge Ade-Harlow, David Woods of Mytech Solutions, and the County Board can be downloaded at this link.
If that turns out to be the case, is it possible the employees are in fact concerned for reasons involving their own actions?
This is nothing new to us. We exposed the former Ford/Iroquois Public Health Department employees for massive improper behavior and those officials took steps to fix the problem. You can read about it in this article but more importantly, read the computer forensic audit which is what finally proved all the malfeasance that was going on. Those employees were complaining much like we are seeing in Shelby County and we can only wonder, after hearing the vendor’s comments, are Shelby County employees concerned their actual internet usage with county computers may be exposed and they are scared to death because it may indicate they were doing something improper with county equipment and time?
Time will tell.