Edgar Co. (ECWd) -
It has been reported in the local paper that the county board plans on reappointing the entire ETSB (911) board. If they do that, it once again shows this county board has no interest in ever holding anyone accountable for the criminal actions and outright malfeasance that has taken place within this 911 board since its inception.
For starters, Merl Clark and Cindy Belt have been on this board since day one. The laundry list of illegal actions taken while they have been on this board is enough to justify their removal. Before we go into that list, let's not forget what happened the month before the Democrat controlled board under the misguidance of Jim Keller did several years ago.
Jim Keller drafted up a resolution to reappoint the entire 911 board for 3 years. When that happened the three Republicans on the board were fuming as they claimed it was time for change, but everyone knew this was done to protect Nannette Crippes, who was supposed to work for the Sheriff - yes, it has always been in the Resolution that she works for the Sheriff, the forged document produced claiming otherwise is in itself a crime.
When the old guard was voted out there was a push to remove some of these corrupt 911 members and it was blocked by the State's Attorney, with the claim the law does not permit them to be removed because it only claims they have the power to appoint, not remove.
We took the matter to Springfield and a new law was enacted with a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and the Governor's signature. That law allows for the removal of any board member for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office. There is no question any one of those three reasons can be substantiated.
Fast forward to this month, and we have Karl Farhnam leading the charge to keep the status quo of corruption in place. He disagreed with what Keller did years ago yet now wants to do the same thing with basically the same people. Only in Edgar County!
A perfect example of wrong-doing exposed, and nothing being done about it can be viewed in the video below. I encourage everyone to watch the video, specifically public comment, to better understand why these people must be removed from office. My presentation began at the 5 min:54 sec mark and went through 17 min: 10 sec mark.
Below are the reasons why no less than Merl Clark, Cindy Belt, and Troy Eades should be removed from the board.
- Allowed Nanette to draw TWO county paychecks while working the same hours. One from ETSB and one from her husband's budget, former Sheriff Crippes. (Exposed in the above video)
- Illegal pay raise provided to Nanette - failed to get majority of the members to vote yes, yet they gave it to her anyway. (Article here) and (Article here)
- Over $6,000.00 spent out of petty cash without ANY receipts, of which over $900 went directly to Nannette Crippes. (Article here)
- Illegal contract issued to Nannette by secret meeting over the phone (Article here)
- Attempted to mislead the public with public comment rules that had nothing to do with the OMA statute (Article here)
- Authorized the spending of money on radios for fire departments which is in violation of the law.
- Fabricated lies regarding the authorization of pagers for county fire departments and refused to provide the same to Kansas Fire.(Click here for that article)
- Authorized the spending of money on DUCKS for the Paris Lake duck races. (gambling with public funds)
- Was a party to fraudulent documents pertaining to parties held by the 911 board. Minutes properly reported them as parties, however, the claims turned into the county reflected they were for planning sessions. No planning session records have ever been produced, nor did any planning take place at those parties. (Article here)
- Allowed Nanette to file false claims to be paid for meetings that never took place. (theft)
- Illegally hired a private attorney with 911 funds that were later recovered because of our exposure. (false claims) (Article here)
- Failed to move forward on ISO matters that would help save property owners on their insurance.(Article here) and (Article here)
- Took action in closed session meetings authorizing a vehicle for Nanette.
- Authorized travel pay to Nanette to come to work and go home because she lives in Chrisman
- Pushed for a 4 year contract to protect Nanette, and never put the contract out for bid. (We now have case law that reflects that action was illegal! )
- Allowed Nanette to push her duties onto the Highway Department as they put up the signs for her, which proves her claim that she needed a car was a lie because she claimed she needed it for putting up signs.
- Allowed 911 to never be licensed by the state until just recently.
- Allowed dispatchers to dispatch medical calls without having been certified for at least 6 years. (Minutes prove they knew they were not trained) (EIU News covered it)
- Claimed our 911 system was "Enhanced" which requires no less than 2 dispatchers to be on duty, which is not the case most of the time in Edgar County.
- NEVER had a budget until we forced that issue
- Banking done with bank Merl Clark worked at prior to them firing him.
- While working at same bank, Merl Clark allowed illegal loan to be taken out by former County Board member Jim Keller that put the county $300,000.00 in debt for the Ambulance building for Burgin's benefit. (Article here) (And here)
- Secret ballot votes that the AG forced them to redo.
- Giving compensation (gifts) to board member Cindy Belt (Exposed in the above video)
- Over $11,000.00 spent on gift cards yet no record of who received them. Nanette and Merl claimed they were given to the deputies and corrections officers yet many deputies said they NEVER got anything like that. (Click here for that article) (Also exposed in the above video)
- Petty cash disbursements to family and friends (Click here for that article) (Also exposed in the above video)
- Tax evasion - failed to report income tax for hired family member and friends of Nannette Crippes. Paid from petty cash. (Also exposed in the above video)
- Authorized the cell phone plan for Nanette and her whole family.
- Allowed the use of county credit to purchase fuel in amounts that exceeded the capacity of the fuel tank in the car provided, which means other tanks were getting filled.
- Failed to pay the monthly balance on the card and paid numerous late fees, all on charges created by Nanette
- 9 months of refusing to give up records only to be forced to by the AG - (article here)
- Numerous confirmed FOIA and OMA violations.
All of these things having taken place under the watch of Clark, Belt, and most of them while Eades was on the board, yet not one example of any accountability can be found. Their position is, we stopped it, so let's move on. They should all be removed from public office as it is clear they don't know what they are doing and have no interest in protecting the taxpayer dollar.
This county board wonders why things are percolating to the surface and legal actions moving forward need wonder no more. When they refuse to hold anyone accountable for such a laundry list of wrongdoing it is time to hold them accountable.
Both action and inaction have consequences!