The overwhelming consistency we see with County Sheriffs, is the disregard for the law when it gets applied to themselves. This is part one of what will become quite a series of exposing unlawful acts by those in charge of not only enforcing our laws, but actually took an oath to uphold our laws, which also apply to them!
This limited coverage will relate to Effingham County Sheriff John Monet, Former Edgar County Sheriff Tim Crippes, and Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox, who happens to be running for higher office...........for now!
The pattern of behavior appears to fall into 5 basic categories, of which some of those would be felonies if ever prosecuted by the State's Attorney's Office, which we all know is lacking in possessing any testicular fortitude in most counties.
- Official Misconduct
- Conflicts of Interest
- Illegal weapons transactions
Official Misconduct and Conflicts of Interest are pretty simple to understand and all public officials are subject to compliance with those laws, however, due to the close political nature of our local officials, few are ever held accountable and especially a County Sheriff.
Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox used his Gunsmith business, Darrel Cox Gunsmithing, and then turned invoices in for payment for work done on guns within his control as Sheriff (transaction history). That is a prohibited act by statute and is Official Misconduct because his actions constitute a clear conflict of interest as outlined by law! Couple that with selling confiscated weapons, and we have ourselves yet another Fast & Furious, except now it's Coles County style! Lots more to come!
Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet gave public property away, which costs the taxpayers! Many consider the act of giving public property away to be theft. Sheriff Monet thinks it's OK to give a gun away to a deputy who retired(proof). Why not give him his squad car? A Sheriff is not permitted to give away public property, let alone keep the money from sales of public property. Those funds are required to be turned over to the county treasurer, however, by all indications from documents we have in hand, such did not happen with the sale of a police car until after questions got raised about the missing funds! Lots more to come!
Former Edgar County Sheriff Tim Crippes used his own vehicle repair facility to work on vehicles in his control at the Sheriff's Office. That is a prohibited act by statute and is Official Misconduct because his actions constituted a clear conflict of interest. Couple that with his gun-running and it's clear, he should have been charged with Official Misconduct! (Previous Tim Crippes articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
Incompetence & Mismanagement
Coles County Sheriff budget - Worst year in office we have identified, $133,000.00 over budget! Most interesting comments as they relate to his budget? (Sheriff Darell Cox was informed that federally mandated military deployment pay has been miscalculated over the past few years in the amount of $197,090.00.) That would be a $197,000.00 oops!
Effingham County Sheriff Budget - Worst year identified so far $78,865.00 over budget. Most interesting comment from the auditors? (The Sheriff’s department opened a bank account in the County’s name without the Treasurer’s knowledge. In addition, the Treasurer and County Clerk were not authorized signers on the account. The Sheriff’s Department misunderstood that the awards are county money and should be reported in the county’s financial statements).
I wonder if this is related to the approximate $170,000.00 of confiscated drug money in a secret fund and spent without proper oversight?
Does anyone believe that an elected official doesn't understand that he has to report all revenues to the treasurer of the county?
Former Edgar C0unty Sheriff Tim Crippes - Worst budget year - $157,351.00 Over Budget. How much of that over budget expenditures went into his own pocket through work being done in his own business garage?
How bad is it? This is just a taste of what is yet to come out as it relates to Sheriffs in this article.
- Sexual Harassment (confirmed court records)
- Illegal gun sales (supported by public records)
- Lying under oath (confirmed with court records)
- Failure to follow county policy (supported by public records)
- Failure to follow FOP Contract (supported by public records)