EFFINGHAM CO. (ECWd) -
For months now we have been receiving credible tips relating to things going on in the Effingham County Sheriff's office, and by all indications, that place is not much different than what we had here in Edgar County with our former Sheriff, Tim Crippes. Many may recall our story on the illegal gun sales, which can be found in this article.
We have submitted a few FOIA's pertaining to weapons seized and in the control of the Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet, and we suspect the response to be telling at best. Specifically we asked the following.
- Copy of all records of gun/firearm sales/transfers within the past 5 years – this includes confiscated, forfeited, and/or firearms that were owned and used by the county, the sheriff department or its employees and/or deputies.
- Copy of the Sheriff Department evidence locker log(s) indicating guns/weapons/firearms confiscated, logged in, and/or out in the past 5 years.
- Copy of all records of gun/firearm sales/transfers within the past 2 years
The reason the response will be telling, is it appears from history with other agencies they think they can respond with claims of no sales when in fact we already know there have been. It becomes a two edge sword because if they are caught lying on the FOIA it's a compounded problem for them, as it relates to Official Misconduct. Any predictions on how the Effingham County Sheriff will respond to these requests?
As is customary with our work, we welcome any and all information people are willing to provide regarding this public office because it is We The People that ensure accountability from our government.
We are at the early stages of our investigation but we do know that as recently as yesterday a formal request for the Sheriff's resignation has taken place. That request outlines some very damaging issues surrounding the Sheriff and his office and is supported by a detailed timeline of work by 911 board member Ted Heath, however that is just the tip of the iceberg of information we currently have.
Has the Fox been running the hen house? It makes you wonder, especially when the Sheriff's Chief Deputy up and resigns after a few FOIA's are submitted. Apparently Chief Deputy John Loy submitted his resignation a few months ago, effective sometime this month and did so because the requests for information were "giving him chest pains". We know all about Chief Deputies. Here locally in Edgar County, the former Chief Deputy that should have been charged with Official Misconduct was allowed to retire with his pension.
What happens with corrupt deputies that are not prosecuted for their crimes? They come back and run for Sheriff because they now know they can get away with the crimes they commit. Chief Deputies KNOW where the skeletons are located, as well as all the guns!
Effingham County however may have some larger issues here, because we not only have a Chief Deputy who resigned from what appears to be demands for accountability, but we also have a recent fire and suicide of a local Gun Dealer just prior to that resignation.
Steve Habing, owner of Habings Guns, had been briefly detained by Effingham police in early August during an interview with Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm agents at the police station according to this local story. A few days later Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffy reported that he responded to a call at the request of the County Sheriff's Office and pronounced Steven Habing dead at the scene.
I don't know about the rest of our readers but when you add up a laundry list of FOIA's asking for information that leads to chest pains, an apparent suicide by a Gun Dealer that was briefly detained during an interview with ATF, and then a Chief Deputy that resigns and now a clear exposure of inappropriate spending by the Sheriff coupled with a resignation request you have to admit something stinks.
As always, we ask that the good citizens of Effingham County stand up and take action! This is your call to action! If you know anything pertaining to any of these issues feel free to contact us though our tip line, and a special thanks to those who have already provided so much supporting information on these matters!