Edgar Co. (ECWd) -
I received a tip shortly after labor day of a domestic violence call that involved an Edgar County Corrections Officer and her sister, a dispatcher for Edgar County 911. I was told the matter was being swept under the rug and the tipster wanted our help to ensure this did not happen.
I filed this Freedom of Information request on September 27th, 2016, with the Edgar County Sheriff. The Sheriff's office violated FOIA and has yet to comply with the requested 911 call and other records, nor have they provided a proper denial of the request under the law.
A duplicate request was made with Edgar County 911 Director Nanette Crippes, which also has not been responded to in compliance with the law, and is now overdue.
Once again, two public bodies in Edgar County are violating FOIA but the real story may point to the good-ol-boy system in action once again. A system that tends to protect and ignore wrong doing when it comes out of the Sheriff's office.
We will never know, and they will never admit if our FOIA had any influence on the matter being pursued but we have now confirmed charges have been filed against Edgar County Corrections Officer Stacey Hawkins as follows.
Count 1 - Domestic Battery - In that the said defendant knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Harold Davies, a family or household member of said defendant, in that she struck Harold Davies in the face. In violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a) (2) Class A Misdemeanor
Count II -AGGRAVATED ASSAULT - In that the said defendant in committing an assault, in violation of Section 12-1 (1) of Act 5 of Chapter 720 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, and armed with a deadly weapon, a maul splitter, placed Sherry Ricketts in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. In violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-2 (a) (1) Class A Misdemeanor
Ironically, I confronted Sheriff Wood about the tip I received and the situation and he assured me the matter has been taken care of. I asked what has been done and he told me it was under investigation? I failed to understand how something that is taken care of is actually taken care of when it is under investigation? Shortly after that discussion, I received a text informing me of the above charges being filed however I found it very strange that the Sheriff made no mention of the charges being filed during our discussion.
What has yet to be exposed is what role the dispatcher played in this call involving her sister. It was reported to us that she had communications with her sister after the sheriff's deputy was dispatched and tipped her off that the deputy was on the way. It may be that matter that is still under investigation.
Another problem identified from the filing of these charges is the boilerplate document used reflects the former Circuit Clerk as the one swearing to the filing of the charges when in fact it is signed by someone else. Contact with authorities has ensured us corrective steps are being taken to correct that issue.
We have requested the full charge sheet and mug shots from the Sheriff's office and will update upon receipt.
Photo of Stacey Hawkins from Stacey Hawkins' facebook page.
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