ECWd’s – Coles County
“No one can seem to come up with the right answer” - WTHI News anchor March 17th, 2013
We came up with the right answer and although we didn’t need any more proof of that fact, we have once again been vindicated by recent legislative action!
We have exposed several Sheriffs violating state law as it relates to weapons and even when the facts are clear as a bell, Sheriffs will justify their actions to reporters by claiming they can in fact sell seized weapons. Many reporters take their word because they are the Sheriff and surely they know what they can or cannot do.
When we reported on the Coles County Sheriff’s violation of state law he took the position that we were working for his opponent in the 110th District race, which was a lie but no one followed up to make him back up his words. Why not?
He also took the position that we are not a credible news source. That may be his opinion but we have a very simple question for Sheriff Darrel Cox: If we are not a credible news source then can you explain why your campaign chairman contacted us in an effort to get us to report on claimed federal law violations by one of your opponents, which by the way turned out to be a false accusation?
You see this is typical behavior from those running for office who lack any foundational principals of right and wrong. We were credible enough to them in hopes of getting negative information about an opponent broadcasted to the public but when negative information exposes themselves we are all of the sudden not credible. Most refer to this behavior as hypocritical.
After last week’s votes in the House of Representatives I think we can put this issue of selling seized weapons to rest.
It’s illegal to sell seized weapons!
State Representative Brad Halbrook was the Chief Sponsor of a bill to provide an additional option for judges in their decision on how to deal with seized weapons that are no longer part of criminal proceedings. That additional option would allow them to be sold through public auction just like other property in their possession. (Click Here for NRA report on the legislation).
Had it ever been legal to sell seized weapons, as Darrel Cox has claimed, there would be no need to pass legislation to make it legal! That being the case, its clear Darrel Cox violated state law when he sold and or traded seized weapons.
Now with pending legislation I don’t suspect he will be held accountable to the illegal acts for selling the guns if the bill passes the Senate and gets signed into law by the Governor, however that doesn’t mean he is off the hook.
Court orders are the key to this whole issue and when the court orders weapons to be disposed of and instead they get sold, those doing the selling are violating court orders.
Looking at the numerous court orders issued to Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox, it's clear to see that in most cases the guns were to be disposed of. A few of the orders do permit his office to to use them as permitted by law, however many of the guns he sold were not even allowed to be used by his office, thus he violated court orders by selling them. (Click here to read all the court orders).
What happens to the common citizen who violates Court Orders?
Just as we correctly reported years ago, the sale of seized weapons is a crime and upheld as a prohibited act by the Appellate courts. We appreciate the legal minds in Springfield who clearly agree with our interpretations and thank them for taking steps to allow the sale of those weapons. It’s a revenue stream that I think most agree can help fund our local government offices.
We do ask that the States Attorneys start doing their job and enforce the laws being broken by their own law enforcement officers, as allowing them to break the law only continues to erode the public trust.
In the case of Sheriff Darrel Cox, he should be facing Official Misconduct charges, not only for violating court orders but for his documented Conflict of Interest by submitting invoices from his private business to his own elected office for payment.
If our Sheriffs are allowed to break the law with zero accountability can we allow them to enforce laws on the rest of the citizens?