EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
In yet another fine example of non-compliance with the law, County Board Member Mike Heltsley is either lying about his Open Meetings Act training or violating the law by not providing his training certificate to the County Clerk. We suspect lying and will lay out the foundation for that belief.
In February I submitted a FOIA for the OMA training certificate of Mike Helstely and after a couple emails back and forth from the County Clerk, the response at that time was as follows:
"Kirk, Mr. Heltsley told me that he completed the course, but was unable to print the confirmation. He is in dialogue with the Attorney General's office on how to retrieve a copy of his certificate. Augie"(Click here for a copy of that FOIA that contains the above quote)
Shortly after that response I submitted a FOIA to the Attorney General Public Access Counselor for a copy of his certificate, because if the above quote is to be believed then they AG would be able to confirm it. Any guess what they said?
"We can confirm, however, whether an individual has completed the Public Access Counselor's training program."
"Please be advised that this office has conducted a search, and we have located no records indicating that Mike Heltsley completed the FOIA training in 2013 or 2014." (Click here for a copy of the AG letter containing the above quote.)
In fairness to Mr. Heltsley, the FOIA asked for FOIA training certificate and not OMA, however, compliance with either one would have produced a sign-in record for him, which it did not. The sign-in to take either training course is the same, so once your signed in you can take either training.
Again, in fairness, I submitted yet another FOIA on March 31st that was for confirmation he complied with the OMA training and once again, the answer is NO!
"Please be advised that this office has conducted a search, and we have located no records responsive to your request" (Click here for a copy of the AG letter that contains the above quote)
Then at the May 14th, 2014 meeting I raised several issues pertaining to illegal activity that the State's Attorney, County Board, and Sheriff should correct. Illegal activity of law enforcement personnel to include Roger Hopper and Dee Burgin! The video is pretty clear on that so no need to write another article. My comments begin at the 3:50 minute mark and are self explanatory.
Well guess what, a FOIA submitted to the County Clerk after that meeting where Mike Heltsley once again claimed to have taken the training resulted in the following.
"John, There is no copy of said certificate on file in my office. Augie"(Click here for copy of that FOIA containing the above response)
So after yet another round of no one having any record of Mike Heltsley's certificate of training, we are left with only the records available to the public and those records support that Mike Heltsley has not complied with the OMA requirements of a County Board Member.
The law is clear: "Each member successfully completing the electronic training curriculum shall file a copy of the the certificate of completion with the public body".
(5 ILCS 120/1.05)
Will the State's Attorney step up and demand compliance with the law for his clients?
Only time will tell!