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February 21, 2024

Mahomet Township Road District – ISP Report Released – Do Laws Matter Anymore In Illinois?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On February 6, 2024

Champaign Co., Ill. (ECWd) –

The Illinois State Police (ISP), investigation report of the Mahomet Township Road District Highway Commissioner, Christian A. Doenitz, has been released after the Attorney General chose to ignore the findings in the report.

With shocking admissions by Doenitz, documented by the ISP, one can only wonder what laws matter anymore in Illinois.

Shocking and confusing findings in the report:

  • Doenitz said there is not a detailed account as to what time employees arrive at work, leave work, or what duties they did during each day.
  • Doenitz pays overtime (time and a half) to employees who work over eight hours.

Can anyone explain how you pay overtime when you have no detailed account as to what time employees arrive at work or leave work?

  • Doenitz admitted Rob Harper works full-time for him on his farm, as well as at the road district. Doenitz also admitted that Harper has worked for him on his farm while getting paid by the township. Doenitz said Harper is paid full-time for both places at the same time. So, when Harper is getting paid to work at the road district Harper is also doing work on Doenitz’s farm and getting paid by Doenitz. Doenitz believes it’s legal and acceptable for Harper to be paid by both places at the same time (double dipping), because Doenitz pays Harper an hourly wage accordingly from both places: Harper is paid $ an hour by the township and by Doenitz. Doenitz said Harper gets paid considerably less than Paul Christie and Greg Richardson. Plus, Harper is on-call all the time. Doenitz said this is done at his discretion.

So, in Illinois, it must be OK to use government funds to pay people to work on your private farm.

  • Doenitz denied ever using Township or Road District money to pay for anything that he uses for personal use.
  • Reference the purchase of 80 large concrete blocks in 2015 from CSI Concrete Supply in Tolono, Illinois. Doenitz admitted the Road District purchased those blocks to make bins to hold cold patch (used for road repairs) and other things. Doenitz admitted not all of those blocks are at the Road District: Blue Ridge Township (in Mansfield, IL, Piatt County) and Newcomb Township (just north of Mahomet, in Champaign County) borrowed some of them. When Newcomb Township returned them, it was after hours and delivered them to Doenitz’s residence/farm and used Doenitz’s backhoe to unload the blocks. Doenitz admitted approximately 15 blocks are still sitting at his residence and have been for about 2 years just because he hasn’t taken the time to move them to the Road District facility.
  • Doenitz said Blue Ridge Township still has “several” of the blocks. Doenitz denied ever using the blocks for personal use. Doenitz said Blue Ridge Township may have used the concrete blocks for a tractor-pull track in Mansfield under the water tower.
  • Doenitz did not have a written agreement as to how long the other townships would borrow the blocks for, what they would or could use them for, nor when they would return them. Doenitz has not charged the townships rent for the blocks, and neither township have offered to purchase any of the blocks from Mahomet Road District.

I wonder how the taxpayers feel when their tax dollars are being used to provide materials to other townships rent-free so they can use them for private purposes.

  • Doenitz denied ever having any Road District or township equipment, supplies or materials at his residence or property.

So he confirms he has Road District materials (concrete blocks), that have been at his residence for about 2 years in one statement, then denies there are any Road District materials at his residence.

  • Doenitz verified he has a son, Christopher Ryan Doenitz and he goes my Ryan. Ryan works at the Road District on a part-time, winter basis, but used to be full-time until this past March. The Road District has a laptop they use for diagnostic tests on their trucks that Ryan would use. Doenitz admitted Ryan would keep the laptop in his personal service truck and use it for personal use because Doenitz “didn’t care.”

So even when confirmed government property is being used for private purposes for a for-profit business the Attorney General does nothing.  So much for the Illinois State Constitution, specifically Article VIII Section 1.

What signal is being sent when there is no accountability for an elected official who uses government funds to pay people whom he has no detailed account of actual work hours, uses government funds to pay people to work on his private farm, purchases concrete blocks with road district money that just happen to be at his private residence for about 2 years, and even allows his son to use the government computer for his private business?

Nope, nothing to see here folks, move along.

Doenitz ISP Interview (003)

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21 Comments
  • chris
    Posted at 12:22h, 06 February Reply

    This state is lost. It is time to admit defeat at the hands of the Democrats. As long as Cook County produces Democratic vote totals, whoever gets elected or serves in the rest of the state is immaterial. Some political hack will cover up for another political hack to keep the graft going.

  • Droopy: Master Sergeant
    Posted at 12:44h, 06 February Reply

    Sounds familiar. Shelby county highway engineer ran a private business and used county employees. Attorney General refuses to prosecute. He refuses to prosecute payroll fraud I. Shelby county. He is a political hack but when democrats control that is what you get. Way too many government employees at every level benefit from the corruption and they vote their friends in.
    Until the benefit stops and the votes won’t stop.

  • Dave
    Posted at 13:14h, 06 February Reply

    Liberals are ideologically driven and have no love or respect for the law. They are unconcerned with whether their desires for government action are legal. Their basis for what is right or wrong is how strongly they ‘feel’ about it. If they think something ought to be this way or that, then they don’t care what the Constitution says or the reasons it was written that way.

    • kathiann54
      Posted at 11:21h, 07 February Reply

      I believe you are correct sir.

  • GLG
    Posted at 22:31h, 06 February Reply

    Where is the Champaign County States Attorney on this?

    • Brian K Anderson
      Posted at 08:09h, 09 February Reply

      I believe the Champaign States Attorney referred this matter to the Attorney General based upon a conflict of interest. The conflict arose from Doenitz being a prior member of the Champaign County Board.

  • kathiann54
    Posted at 11:24h, 07 February Reply

    Why is Harper’s pay per hour for the township redacted? Isn’t that public information?

    • Brian K Anderson
      Posted at 09:11h, 09 February Reply

      I have listened to the audio recording of the interview. Based upon that recording, I believe the redaction is that of what Doenitz pays Harper hourly. FOIA responses show that Harper is paid $18 per hour by the road district. Based upon the interview recording, Doenitz pays Harper a similar wage while working on the farm. If I calculate properly, Harper is at times earning approximately $36 an hour for farm labor while tax payers receive nothing from their tax dollars. I am yet to comprehend Doenitz justification based upon comparing Harper’s wage to that of other employees. This interview raises so many questions. Even ISP notes “double dipping” yet make no effort to pursue or investigate the matter further.

  • John K
    Posted at 13:10h, 07 February Reply

    This goes on in all of Illinois among all parties. Sangamon County, GOP Bigwig Frank Vala serving on both the Woodside Township Board and the Airport Authority.

    https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2018/03/frank-vala-unqualified-for-office-of-springfield-airport-authority-commissioner/

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 14:43h, 07 February Reply

      Frank is no longer on the township board – since a week or so after that article in 2018.

      • John K
        Posted at 19:57h, 07 February Reply

        He was in violation of state statute … until you outed him. If you think Frank Vala was the only instance of the Sangamon County GOP violating the law …

      • Amy L Vala
        Posted at 01:36h, 16 February Reply

        Thank you. came here to say that.

  • Bob Anderson
    Posted at 15:57h, 07 February Reply

    Said it before, saying it again. Illinois townships are a Political-Tap-Pit of Cronyism, Nepotism, Patronage and Waste. Republicans must not be overlooked when looking at the township taxpayer rip-off and actions.

  • Craig Anderson
    Posted at 10:32h, 08 February Reply

    First of all, thank you John and Kirk for taking an interest in this issue. I know you have FOIA’d for information from the Mahomet Township and the Road District, attended meetings at Mahomet Township, and spoken to several of the concerned taxpayers. Why would the attorney general office choose to ignore this!? This is just the interview with Road Commissioner Doenitz, his side of the story on just a few of the taxpayer concerns. The ISP surely interviewed others, correct? Where are the other interviews to get the other side of the story, that caused some taxpayers to finally speak up (and enduring the ramifications of speaking up and out) about what has been going on at the road district for many years? There is no oversight or authority over the road commissioners it seems. Therefore some of them seem to feel like they can do whatever they want with no ramifications. Where are the morals or ethics of elected officials, regardless of party affiliation. Both parties in this state have been guilty of corruption. How can it be legal and acceptable for the road commissioner, or any elected official, to use full time government employees that are supposed to be on the job, being paid with taxpayer funds, work instead for their personal business? Even if you claim you are personally paying them an hourly wage? It’s not possible to work both places at the same time, right? This is such a shame and disheartening. I know there are bigger fish to fry by the attorney general, but I feel this is just as important as important as investigating a governor or speaker. I could go on, but I won’t. My thanks and kudos to those taxpayers who have stuck their necks out, put their reputations on the line, and endured the blowback that comes from speaking up, out and challenging things in our government.

  • Brian K Anderson
    Posted at 09:28h, 09 February Reply

    Road Commissioners are one of the most powerful elected officials in Illinois. They account to no one. Once their budget is approved, it’s hands off. Challenge them and you are met with threats of, or actual legal action.
    Challenge a township board, file FOIA requests, and speak out, you are sued by township officials on a personal basis for harassment, abuse of process, defamation, false light, and civil conspiracy,
    This is not a “party” specific problem. Mahomet Township is GOP ruled.

  • NMWTLS
    Posted at 10:28h, 11 February Reply

    If it actually is “hands off”, that policy should cease once they break the law. There are many ways to hold the Township Highway Commissioners accountable – board scrutiny of receipts, maintenance logs, fuel and mileage logs, time card logs for employees, insistence on statutory compliance, security cameras, drive by or stop in and check things out once in a while for example. The taxpayers deserve at least that oversight and boards who whine that they can’t do anything about highway commissioners and the road district are either taking the easy way out or are complicit in some way in the bad behavior. If there is no oversight, why does the township board vote on the budget, approve payment of bills, supply the road district clerk (by statute the township clerk) and also the road district treasurer (by statute the township supervisor)? Be assured that there are people who know what is going on in these corrupt districts.

    • Brian K Anderson
      Posted at 09:39h, 12 February Reply

      Logs, timecards, statutory compliance? Surely you jest! No records, no accountability is our motto! Scrutiny of receipts? We have things to do, get these meetings done in 20 minutes so we can go about our way! Whine? That’s the easy road, we sue taxpayers for getting involved in our business! People who know? We won’t listen to nonsense from the peasants of our village! We will remain mute and complicit!

      NMWTLS, you have too much common sense. You will not be welcomed in Mahomet Township!!

      Why would we expect our Township Board to take any action to correct the problems if the Attorney General can find no basis from the ISP investigation? If the top dog can’t find anything, there must be nothing to see. Sad.

      Totally agree with all your statements.

  • Craig Anderson
    Posted at 11:13h, 12 February Reply

    Thanks Brian for replying to NMWTLS, I was just about to do that myself. All of his comments were spot on. Current and previous Supervisors and Trustees were made aware of taxpayer concerns regarding the road commissioner and road district. They all basically didn’t want to hear about it or do anything (like the things NMWTLS mentioned) about it, even after they were presented proof and documentation (from their own records via FOIA requests). Since it seems road commissioners are an absolute authority, some of them can convince the supervisors and trustees they have no say in what goes on in the road district. What would happen if the supervisor and trustees decided to ask questions, and not initial and sign off on time cards and bills because of taxpayer concerns? It creates a conflict between the two township entities, right? Then attorneys for both entities get involved, but they are already on the payroll, right? Then maybe things would change, get cleaned up. It would probably get ugly and be difficult, but it can be done. Just look at what Wapella Township did a couple of years ago when the road commissioner there was buying personal items with road district credit card and then altering the receipts. Road commissioner was forced to resign, and I believe he was finally charged with some crimes, but don’t know how far that has gone. Concerns were discussed with quite a few taxpayers in Mahomet township. It seems quite a few said they understood what was going on but didn’t want to get involved. Those that did get involved and spoke out, as Brian said, have suffered the consequences. Just pay your damn taxes, shut up, and mind your own business! Very disheartening!

    • Brian K Anderson
      Posted at 16:37h, 12 February Reply

      When a township FOIA officer admits that public payroll records were altered before providing them to the requester is a pretty good indication that people are well aware of what’s going on.

  • NMWTLS
    Posted at 21:36h, 12 February Reply

    When you get right down to it, I am actually in complete agreement with Bob Anderson who comments often regarding the fact that township government (including township road districts) has lost its way from the original intent and needs to be eliminated.  While I do believe we were never meant to be governed by a “central” government, I also realize we are no longer able to ride herd on these out of control townships and they no longer serve us as the government closest to the people. It is a fact that there is a lot of overlap between townships and other taxing entities – another reason for townships to go the way of the dodo.  The problem with getting this done is the huge industry sucking off of the township tit.  T.O.I. (Township Officials of Illinois and there is nothing official about them – they are a lobbyist group), accountants, lawyers, auditors to name just a few, will fight tooth and nail to preserve this candy jar of opportunity.

  • Craig Anderson
    Posted at 08:51h, 20 February Reply

    Saw this in todays local paper. Illinois Attorney General finds reasons to charge Director of Tolono Park District after a concerned citizen decided to FOIA for financial information and reported findings to authorities.
    How is this any different from what Mahomet Township taxpayers did in regards to what they witness the Road Commissioner doing, and attorney general finds no reasons to file charges? Just doesn’t seem right. Never saw one article about Mahomet Township Road District in local paper. Maybe if there had been some articles in local paper, more taxpayers would have been concerned, raised their voices and asked questions.

    file:///D:/Downloads/ChampaignNewsGazette_20240220_A01_4.pdf

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