A detailed explanation on this budget issue is presented in this short video and I encourage everyone to share it across the district as it's high time we start calling out these spin masters who continue to mislead the public with half truths.
At some point people have to realize that you shouldn't trust what most political figures say while campaigning, nor can you trust the words of a lot of those supporting them. Blindly supporting people, which is what it's called when we "think" we know them because of a long relationship or friendship with them. The saying that the "Truth Hurts" is directly tied to those situations! We MUST learn to evaluate the truth for what it is without the spin so many political experts have learned to do.
I reported 100% factual information in a previous article on Darrel Cox and his claims about his budgets. The information was all taken from the county audits and those were provided in the article for everyone to download so they can see for themselves.
Please, don't simply take our word for it just because we put it online! You see, I don't want you to believe us either! I want you to do your best to prove us wrong! The reason is, if you can't prove us wrong, then that makes it pretty clear we are correct in our reporting.
Due to a phone call from Phill Wilson, a Coles county resident apparently closely involved with those numbers published, he called me in quite a rage and insisted that what I published was completely false. It turns out, after quite some time on the phone, he was upset about a flyer he received and was under the impression we sent it out. I had not seen the flyer until today.
After looking at it (flyer), it's clear the claims on that flyer exposing Darrel Cox were in fact 100% accurate but what was of great interest, which many may not have noticed, was the footnote. A footnote that clearly referenced the same exact page numbers for the county audits that we did in our previous article on this.
Now, the Coles County finance committee member is attempting to spin there way out of this on Facebook and does a terrible job of spinning the truth by talking about how the budgets were amended so they could spend grant money that came in. Sadly for them, simply amending a budget for a grant item expenditure doesn't change the over or under budget situations when you simply put a number in to increase it then spend that money which basically balances out that specific line item.
Nor does amending a budget at the end of the year, giving the public the impression the budget is balanced or over budget, a proper accounting method. That gimmick is a political party tactic used to make the public think you're doing great and managing your budget when in reality it's just an accounting tactic that falsely represents the real picture. Sadly, the real picture is in the numbers but the common person doesn't see it unless they have a clear knowledge of accounting. That is why we focused on "Original" budget and Actual expenses!
Wanting a professional opinion we provided those same audit documents to a CPA in Bloomington, Dian Benjamin. What she had to say pretty much tells it all!
"In reviewing the yearly audit reports, budgets seems to have little meaning. Many over-budget expenses appear to have little to do with emergency spending, like training, equipment, crime prevention, and automobiles."
"The Sheriff as well as the County needs to institute and enforce policies requiring all over budget expenditures be approved in advance of the spending".
What is so exciting to us is the fact that it's very clear by the recent spin attempt from the Cox camp, they have in fact acknowledged with their own type written words that he was in fact over budget. You see, they go to great length to explain why he was over budget in 2007, which is the number used in the flyer, and their explanation has nothing to do with the basic fact that he was over budget. No one has judged why he was over or under. It was simply reported that he made claims on the campaign on video that he was not over budget and even sent out a flyer claiming that his last 7 years he had a balanced budget, which is not true.
When you send out a flyer making such a claim we are going to evaluate it and in this case, just as reported, Darrel Cox's flyer was totally false.
More disturbing is the claim they amended the budgets, yet in a FOIA for all agenda items for 2012 you don't see a single Sheriff's budget amendment listed (2012 Agenda's). How do you amend a budget without a legal vote on it, which requires it to be on the agenda? Yet another example of how not only does Darrel Cox not know how to manage his budget, but the county board didn't follow the statute.
And for the final straw on this lame attempt to defend Darrel Cox, Mr. Metzger claims the year that was referenced on the flyer was because of veteran deployment pay requirements and claims Darrel Cox was the one that brought it to the county board, attempting to make him out to be the hero for bringing that to their attention. Sadly for Mr. Cox and Stan Metzger, Darrel Cox did not identify this problem as implied. Yes, he may have taken it to the board but it was not him who discovered the failure to comply with the law.
It was a veteran deputy that pointed it out and ensured things were being done properly. Need more evidence that it was not Darrel Cox behind that little fact? (Darrel Cox informed deployment pay was miscalculated "over past years"! )
The reason that is so important is it points out that not only was that pay being miscalculated, it proves that they knew about the requirement for the deployment pay. The fact they claim it was "miscalculated" over past years directly implies that they were calculating something for that pay so how is it that Darrel Cox brings something to the board that no one knew about?
I find it ironic that the only thing they are attempting to defend is the budget issue and they are staying silent on the illegal gun sales, breast grabbing, lying under oath, drinking before going on duty, obstructing justice, etc. Not only are they silent on these facts, they delete any truth posted about it on their campaign Facebook page.
Pages directly from the County Audit for the Sheriff Department: