CLARK COUNTY, IL. (ECWd) -
Amazing things happen when you sit down and read the laws applicable to the local government that you are a board member of. This simple concept is foreign to Ron Stone, Joe Ewing, Glen Kuehnel, Terry Stepp, and their attorney, Lorna Geiler. They tend to wait until other people point it out, then try and find a way to weasel around the law's requirements, then if that fails, grudgingly (if ever) comply.
Park Director Charity Murphy knew of this requirement, but failed this mandate. She knew, because she had employees fill out the paperwork and never sent it to the Illinois State Police.
A long-standing requirement, PRIOR to anyone working at a Park District in the State of Illinois, is that the park district initiate a background investigation, with payment, to the Illinois State Police.
The Park District Code, 10 ILCS 1205, Section 8-23, Criminal background investigations, states:
(a) An applicant for employment with a park district is required as a condition of employment to authorize an investigation to determine if the applicant has been convicted of, or adjudicated a delinquent minor for, any of the enumerated criminal or drug offenses in subsection (c) of this Section or has been convicted, within 7 years of the application for employment with the park district, of any other felony under the laws of this State or of . . .
Upon receipt of this authorization, the park district shall submit the applicant's name, sex, race, date of birth, and social security number to the Department of State Police on forms prescribed by the Department of State Police. The Department of State Police shall conduct a . . .
No park district shall knowingly employ a person for whom a criminal background investigation has not been initiated.
During the last meeting I attended, I spoke on this issue and asked the board why no such background investigation had been initiated on any of their employees, including Charity Murphy.
There are numerous reasons for this requirement, first and foremost is the safety of the district's customers and visitors. The law requires the background check to be initiated PRIOR TO employing anyone. Imagine if there were child molesters, convicted spouse abusers, and convicted drug addicts allowed to work there unchecked...they would have free run of the camping areas as government employees.
Several days after my comments, the district finally initiated background investigations on 13 employees of the district (based on the $208.00 payment sent to the ISP). These investigations cost $16.00 each person.
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