CLARK CO. (ECWd) -
The first meeting I attended for the Clark County Park District Board was telling. So telling that I was shocked when an illegal act was sitting right in front of the attorney for the board, and not a single person on that board said a word.
One invoice raised a ruckus as the director pointed out she had no idea what it was for or who ordered the work to be done. Not a single board member would fess up to who ordered the work to be performed yet there lay the invoice waiting to be paid.
During public comment I asked if any board member authorized or requested the work to be done, and instead of a direct response Ron Stone made a point to let everyone know that the bill was not going to be paid. I assured him I was not asking if it was going to be paid. I want to know if this board authorized the work. The answer was NO, the board DID NOT authorize that work to be done.
If the board did not authorize the work to be done, then they have sitting in front of them an invoice, a demand for payment for goods and/or services, which would constitute a false claim in most cases.
In an effort to get all the facts behind it I submitted a FOIA for all invoices presented to the Clark County Park District Board for the last 5 years from Francis & Associates, more commonly known as Bob Colvin, the guy who has claimed to be an engineer when in fact he is not! I also asked for all minutes that documented any request for work was approved.
Is it any surprise what I got back?
Over $17,000.00 worth of invoices from Francis & Associates and not a single set of minutes reflecting work was approved by the board.
Why is board approval for work so important? Because it's the law! For months we have been getting tips about Ron Stone and his actions on this board and would it surprise anyone that the very invoice that raised the flag just happens to have his name on it?
Many times a company will put an invoice together and the name of the person requesting the work to be performed. In this case, as you can see from the invoice, Ron Stone was the name, so we assume, as we have no way to prove he was the one requesting the work. We do know, as referenced above, he was the one insisting it was not going to be paid. Anyone find that strange? (Click here for copy of the 1 invoice that started the exposure of wrong doing.)
Even stranger was the fact that during last weeks meeting the board stated that this particular invoice has been rescinded because an individual paid it already.
Now isn't that interesting! A person steps up to pay an invoice for the park for goods and/or services that were never authorized by the Board. An invoice that was the focal point of our questioning the board's actions and now they think this all goes away without any problem because somebody paid it? Who in their right mind pays a bill for the Park District when it's not their bill?
I can only speculate, but since Ron Stone was so insistent on opening his mouth about the board not paying it when questioned about who authorized it, a cover up appears to have been put in play.
A coverup, because any board member that created any debt, obligation, or claim for the Park District has broken the law. Who authorized the work? It's a simple question that appears will only get answered through a criminal investigation once a criminal complaint is filed.
So there is no confusion from those who chose to speak out about how great these board members are, you might want to do your homework before putting your foot in your mouth! The law is clear!
70 ILCS 1205/4-6) (from Ch. 105, par. 4-6)
Sec. 4-6. No member of the board of any park district, nor any person, whether in the employ of said board or otherwise, shall have power to create any debt, obligation, claim or liability, for or on account of said park district, or the monies or property of the same, except with the express authority of said board conferred at a meeting thereof and duly recorded in a record of its proceedings.
(Source: Laws 1951, p. 113.)
I do want to clarify that it appears there are a few board members who are trying to do right by the law, and for that I thank them. However, the 2 or 3 that think they can do as they please because they think they run the town are sadly mistaken. The people are awake and they are not going to sit idly by while others break the law.
It was pointed out in a previous article how perks were being given/received by board members, so maybe it's high time those board members remove themselves from the board for braking the law! (Click here for the illegal perks story)
For those not familiar with our Illinois Constitution, these board members receiving these perks are not only in violation of the state law as it relates to compensation of board members, but they are also in violation of our State Constitution!
Article VIII - Section 1. General Provisions (a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes.
Can ANYONE please tell me what PUBLIC PURPOSE a free boat pass or discount to past and current board members serves?
Violation of that Constitutional section constitutes Official Misconduct and is a Class 4 Felony.
At what point will those who took an oath to uphold the laws of this state be held accountable when they violate them? These members should resign immediately and at a minimum return the funds they so blatantly stole from the public!
At what point does an attorney advise their client that they are breaking the law? By all indications so far, the attorney for this board has enabled that process and is directly tied to it considering her family has been the recipient of those "perks".
Stand up people! Demand justice, just as they cite in the pledge before each meeting!
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