EFFINGHAM CO. (ECWd) -
What happens to a society that allows law enforcement to break the laws, while at the same time they are the ones arresting others for breaking the law? Disrespect for starters, but more importantly, it whittles away what little public trust people have in our law enforcement.
Where do you suppose Sheriff Monnet got the idea that it was OK to give away public property just because a deputy retires? I know after attending a fair share of retirement gatherings in the Military there was not a single time that we used the backs of the taxpayer to give away appreciation gifts in the form of public property, but that’s exactly what Monnet has done……….and admitted to it!
As you can see in this FOIA response, the Sheriff thinks that it’s OK to give away a weapon by calling it “retirement of a duty weapon.” The fact that he gave it to a retiring deputy raises even more concern. Considering there is in fact a statute that states deputies can’t participate in any sales of the Sheriff, I guess he ‘‘deemed” it ok since it was not a sale. Sadly for him the law doesn’t work that way.
Dillon's rule, a topic we have covered at length for the last couple years, clearly states that if the law is silent you can’t do it! It’s not any different than those in Washington only having the powers granted to them by our constitution. Sheriff Monnet, you only have the powers granted to you by law, and as you pointed out, the law doesn’t allow for the giving away of public property!
“I’m not aware to the best of my knowledge of any State of Illinois Statutes that specifically allows or prohibits the retirement of a duty weapon and presenting it to a retiring Officer”
For starters Sheriff, we didn’t ask for the statute that prohibits the act of giving guns away at retirement. We asked for the statute that allows giving guns way at retirement and note we didn’t call it “retirement of a duty weapon”. Since there is no statute for the “retirement” of a duty weapon one must wonder what other public property has been “retired” and given away? Who determines who gets the public property paid for by the tax payers? Is the recipient of that gun any more entitled to it than the common citizen down the street?
What is so sad with this whole matter is the fact that the top law enforcement officer in the county clearly didn’t research the matter, because if he had he would have known, as he now points out, there is no statute that allows his actions and I suspect he now knows it. Instead of making it right the path of justification has now been taken which only makes matters worse in light of all the other wrongdoing coming to light under his watch, of which some of it was covered here, here and here.
Using this Sheriff’s logic why not give away the police cars, computers, and any other public property? It's simple; any person with any common sense knows public property is anything purchased with public funds and when that property is considered surplus it can be sold! Purchased guns are no different.
It's high time the State's Attorneys start doing their job and charging public officials with Official Misconduct and removing them from office! If law enforcement is allowed to freely break the law then where does it end?
In closing, Sheriff Monnet, did the tax payers pay for a “retired weapon” from the City of Effingham when you retired from there?