Shelby Co. (ECWd) -
The Illinois Government Ethics Act outlines the definition of terms and the obligations of public officials as it relates to ethical matters, including disclosure of their economic interests. There are criminal penalties for those who willfully files a false or incomplete Statement of Economic Interest.
"Compensation" means any money, thing of value, or economic benefit conferred on, or received by, any person in return for services rendered, or to be rendered, by himself or another.
"Professional services" means services rendered in the practice of law, accounting, engineering, medicine, architecture, dentistry, or clinical psychology.
Any person required to file a statement of economic interests under this Article who willfully files a false or incomplete statement shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Alan Spesard is required to file his Statement of Economic Interest in his capacity as the Shelby County Highway Engineer. Alan Spesard has reported to IDOT that he is a partner in Shelby Engineering LLC. According to the Secretary of State, Shelby Engineering was admitted in 2016 with an address that matches Spesard's home address and lists Spesard as the only Manager.
According to the City of Shelbyville, IRS 1099's issued to Spesard and Shelby Engineering reflect $1,144,441.16 was paid out since 2013. Of interest on the 1099's is the fact they were issued to both Alan Spesard as an individual as well as Shelby Engineering. Shelby Engineering LLC 1099"s totaled $1,114,983.9 since 2013 while those to Alan Spesard totaled $29,457.26 since 2013.
All of the 1099's reflect they are from the General Fund even though prior records received reflect payments made to Shelby Engineering were also done from the Water Fund, Business District Fund, and West Business District Fund.
The IRS W2's for Spesard total $102,900 paid since 1999. Of the records provided, 2003 was missing so we are not sure if he made the same $3,600.00 in that year as he did in 2002 and 2004. Assuming he did, his total payroll compensation would be $106,500.00 from the City since 1999.
We have found two omissions from Spesards SEI documents that may prove problematic if there is ever an actual criminal investigation of the matter.
1. List the name and instrument of ownership in any entity doing business with a unit of local government in relation to which the person is required to file, in which the ownership interest held by the person at the date of filing is in excess of $5,000 fair market value or from which dividends in excess of $1,200 were received during the preceding calendar year. (In the case of real estate, location thereof shall be listed by street address, or if none, then by legal description.) No time or demand deposit in a financial institution, nor any debt instrument shall be listed.
2. List the name, address and type of practice of any professional organization in which the person making the statement was an officer, director, associate, partner or proprietor, or served in any advisory capacity, from which income in excess of $1,200 was derived during the preceding calendar year.
As it applies to item #1 on the SEI documents, Spesard would have you believe his ownership interest in Shelby Engineering is less than $5,000.00 and or that he never made more than $1,200.00. We find such a position to be hard to imagine in light of the 1009's issued to the business.
As it applies to item #2 on the SEI documents, Spesard would have you believe he never earned more than $1,200.00 from Shelby Engineering in the years he filed SEI documents. Again, We find such a position to be hard to imagine in light of the 1099's issued to the business.
The problem with his omissions is found with what he did disclose. He reports in item #3 that he did, in fact, earn more than $5,000.00 from the City of Shelbyville for Engineering services in the previous calendar year. That income should have been disclosed in item #2 but doing so would have required disclosing the name of Shelby Engineering, LLC.
- List the nature of professional services rendered (other than to the unit or units of local government in relation to which the person is required to file) to each entity from which income exceeding $5,000 was received for professional services rendered during the preceding calendar year by the person making the statement.
As if the use of the county resources to run his business is not bad enough (articles here and here), it appears he has willfully filed a false and incomplete Statement of Economic Interest every year since 2014 and possibly longer. The SEI issue was included in the recent request by four County Board members and the County Treasurer in their call for a special prosecutor to oversee a criminal investigation into the matter. (article here)
Spesard signed his SEI verification year after year.
"I declare that this statement of economic interests (including any accompanying schedules and statements) has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete statement of my economic interests as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. I understand that the penalty for willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment."
We believe the County Board members who are condoning the actions of the Highway Engineer and actually defending and supporting Spesard should resign. Any support and defense of such actions is unacceptable.
A copy of his filed SEI's can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.
For those wishing to contact County Board members, click here for the applicable emails on file for them. We encourage everyone to share their concerns.