CLARK CO. , IL. (ECWd) -
Usurp: To take by force, or without authority...
I am alleging Ron Stone is ineligible for office for the following reasons:
The Illinois Park District Code states that a person is not eligible to serve as park commissioner if that person is in arrears in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the Park District.
By accepting free boat passes in violation of the law, he is in fact indebted to the district and is in arrears in the payment since he never paid for the boat pass received. This is documented and you can read about this theft of public property (here).
Additionally, by accepting the "free boat pass" he violated the Illinois Constitution in which a violation of this type has been recently used as a predicate of felony official misconduct charges - and upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Apparently he believes he is above the law, but I believe he should immediately resign or the board declare his seat vacant.
The following is part of a letter I sent to Mr. Ron Stone in mid-July 2014:
- Ineligible to Serve / Qualification of Office:
The Park District Code, Section 2-11 [70 ILCS 1205/2-11], declares that “A person is not eligible to serve as park commissioner if that person is in arrears in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the park district or has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony.”
Commissioner Ron Stone, had been accepting “compensation” as a board member, or former board member, of the Park District by accepting a “free boat pass”, and other items. I base my assertions of indebtedness in this situation, on the fact that according to Section 4-1: “…The members of such governing boards shall act as such without compensation...”.
- Free boat passes and other items, based on being a board member or past board member, are considered “compensation”.
- It is impossible for a commissioner to act as a commissioner while accepting compensation without also violating the Park District Code and the 1970 Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph (a) which states that: “SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes.” [A boat pass is public property].
- The legislature specifically excluded all compensation from commissioners, therefore the “free” boat passes and other items received, based on his services as a commissioner, could not have been used for public purposes.
Since the previous paragraphs are fact; one can rightfully state that the “free” items are in fact considered to be“indebtedness to the District” and are/were also “in arrears” at the instant he took possession of the item(s) without providing payment, and when Ron Stone became in arrears of indebtedness to the district, he automatically became ineligible to serve as park commissioner and forfeited his claim to said position.
Section 2-25 tells us what is considered a vacancy of office:
Sec. 2-25. Vacancies. Whenever any member of the governing board of any park district (i) dies, ... or (viii) for any other reason specified by law, that office may be declared vacant.
The corporate authorities have the authority to determine whether a vacancy has occurred, and if they determine that a vacancy exists, the office is deemed vacant. The “any other reason specified by law” is listed above as "indebted to the District". This is not optional.