FORD CO. (ECWd) -
As it relates to Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen, I don't think I have read such a despicable case of lies and disrespect for hard working people in my life as those I read today in the Times Republic.
If I lived in Ford County I would be leading the charge for the resignation of Rick Bowen for clear incompetence. If I were an employee at the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department right now, I would have to speak up at the next meeting and express my anger over the comments spewing from the mouth of Ford County Board Chairman, Rick Bowen.
Considering I am neither an employee at the health department, nor a Ford County resident, I am left to simply express my view on what is now being reported by the Times Republic, who apparently got Bowen to go on the record.
From the beginning:
"We have been doing our due diligence for the last two or three months"
You are kidding me right? Due Diligence? For two or three months?
Mr. Bowen, you have not lifted a single finger to do your job and assist in fixing this mess. Many hold you responsible for it getting to the point it is at today. Your due diligence would have been to actually read the facts of wrong doing that have been presented since March, and take action to remove those responsible for it, your appointed board members! When exposed to the TRUTH, Iroquois County voted as a board to remove its members for what they were doing, which is no different than your appointments.
They were breaking the law not only by allowing the Administrator to break the law, but they themselves broke the law by paying themselves with our tax dollars and you have done nothing. When do the people get their money back that was taken in direct violation of the law? Board members who approved over $793,000.00 to the spouse of the Grant Administrator, in direct violation of the policies in place for employees. Policies that they are responsible to enforce!
I could go on for hours laying out all the failures of the Ford County appointed members, but the point is, you have done NOTHING to fix this mess.
You claim you have been doing your due diligence for the last two or three months? Hey Rick, wake the hell up! These exposed illegal actions took place over a year ago but I digress. You thought letting them violate the law and go into Indiana with Illinois tax payer money was a great idea. That tells me how stupid you really are! You sat silent and did not lift one finger to hold your appointed members accountable for the illegal solar panel project. Instead, you claimed you have seen no evidence to support their removal. You might have to open your eyes and look in order to see it. Or better yet, sign for the certified mail package of facts sent to you, which it turns out you were the only board member who did not sign for them. Signing for them might mean you have to look at the facts and we wouldn't want you to have to do that now would we.
If your actions for the last two or three months are to be considered "doing your due diligence", may I suggest you resign from public office. You either can't learn your job or are too stupid to learn. Either way you're a poor example of a leader for a county.
"Bowen said the Ford County Board is "concerned" that the topic of dissolution continues to come from the Iroquois County Board"
Well isn't that a brilliant statement for a County Board Chairman to make. Hell yes Iroquois County keeps bringing it up, because the Ford County Chairman, that would be you Rick Bowen, is an utter failure when it comes to doing his job and removing his appointed members and replacing them with competent people. May I suggest you just accept some people are just not cut out for public service on a board. It requires due diligence!
"We're reasonably sure we could survive on our own if that's what it comes to"
Is that so Rick? Why don't you tell the good people of Ford County what the numbers are to operate an independent County Health Department.
If you would do your job and replace your appointed board members with people that truly have nothing to hide and nothing to gain, you wouldn't need to even think about surviving on your own. Besides, a health department should not have to "survive" it should thrive if it's being ran properly, but I get the feeling you don't understand much about that, all things considered.
"However it's not working at this time, it appears the department is imploding from within due to resignations and lack of quality employees left on staff".
Rick you are either stupid, ignorant (there is a difference), or you need it to be shut down so nobody looks any further into your involvement.
Who has resigned?
Doug Corbett- violated more policies than we can keep track of and violated procurement laws repeatedly, yet you did nothing. The laundry list of proven wrong-doing is enough to make a normal person say two words, You're Fired, yet you did nothing! From violating FOIA, causing a settlement payment, all while still having to provide the records, to outright fabrications in public meetings. It's all documented for the public to see, and you sir have ignored it!
Mary Cahoe - Ran home health into a $1.1 Million dollar deficit in just three years.
Julie Clark - Violated HIPPA laws with my last FOIA not to mention was so involved in self serving she forgot that she was suppose to be serving the people not herself.
Amy Corbett - Operated her private business from within the health department, as have other employees.
Cary Hagen - Has not resigned yet, but has said she is done, so we will include her with the list of resignations for the sake of this article. When the accountant informs Mr. Corbett that Cary Hagen is not qualified to do the job, and she still has a job, we have a problem. When routine deposits come to a halt when eyes got focused on the health department, we have a problem. When a bank account is overdrawn by upwards of 20K in one month we have a problem Rick!
Those are the key resignations that have occurred with just a few items off the top of my head that should represent, to any normal person, it is not the resignations that were the problem!
"Lack of Quality Employees"
I suspect you might get some e-mails and phone calls for that kind of statement Rick. The employees that you claim are not quality employees are the very employees that your favorite Administrator had working for him. If they were so bad then why on earth have you not done anything about this lack of quality employees? Employees that have been providing health care services to the good people in these two counties! Please Rick, tell the public why you sat silent all this time, while knowing there was a lack of quality employees taking care of our children and seniors. Please Rick, share that with us. Why would you let this happen?
The truth of the matter is, what is imploding is the circle of self serving employees who are finally being exposed for the crap they have been doing for years. The so called "lack of quality employees" you talk about are actually quite the opposite. They are highly qualified and licensed by the state to perform their jobs, and by all accounts have more education than yourself!
Have you contacted the state to report a problem with these employees who lack quality? No, you haven't because you know it's not true. It was just an easy thing for you to say while spewing more lies and deception to a reporter.
What is happening, and has been happening at least since March of this year, is good people are trying to fix this mess by removing the problems. Iroquois County started by accepting there was in fact a problem, and they took action to fix what they had control of. You did nothing! The Ford County appointed members are still part of the problem, yet your pride and stupidity won't allow you to correct it. God forbid you might have to admit you were wrong.
"Ford County will always support the four members we have on the health board."
Golly gee willikers Rick, that's special!
Your quote in the paper says it all! Those very members have been instrumental in the implosion you speak of, yet you claim you support them. Why would you support people that have allowed so many criminal acts to take place while they were in charge? Please Rick, tell your voters why on earth you would support their actions?
To the Quality Employees working in the FIPHD, I want to say Thank You for your service and dedication to the people you serve. Your service is noticed and appreciated. I would like to apologize for Rick Bowen's comments about you, for he knows not what he says!
To the employees who have resigned, I will be short. Good Riddance!
To the tax payers of Ford and Iroquois Counties, I would like to encourage you to let your voice be heard during your next election. If you have leaders that justify and allow the things we have exposed to go on, those people need removed from office sooner, rather than later. In fact, I suggested Mr. Bowen resign clear back in June in this article, which by the way points to the same inaction by Rick Bowen!