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August 18, 2022

Election Interference: Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District Using Taxpayer Funds To Support Referendum –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 4, 2020

Darien, IL. (ECWd) –

Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District has made contributions to a Political Action Committee (“PAC”), The Friends of DWFD in Support of Debt Reduction Bond Referendum.

The PAC indicates in-kind contributions from the Fire Protection District for PRINTING and POSTAGE in the total amount of $2,454.97 – these are public funds, property, and credit used to support a referendum for more debt.
The District has an $8 million Debt Reduction Bond referendum on the ballot for November, and the PAC was formed by District Trustee Christopher English and the Firefighter’s Union President Nicholas Anastos.

The District discusses the PAC business in public meetings: http://www.dwfd.org/uploads/4/8/5/1/48517017/5.20.2020.pdf

From all appearances, with the Agendas and Minutes from the Jun, Jul, and Aug meetings, they are treating this PAC as a committee of the Fire Protection District.

The Campaign Disclosure Act (in the Election Code) prohibits this activity and provides for criminal penalties:

5/9-25.1 Election Interference. (a) As used in this Section, “public funds” means any funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly or by any political subdivision of the State of Illinois. (b) No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated for political or campaign purposes to any candidate or political organization. This Section shall not prohibit the use of public funds for dissemination of factual information relative to any proposition appearing on an election ballot, or for dissemination of information and arguments published and distributed under law in connection with a proposition to amend the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

(c) The first time any person violates any provision of this Section, that person shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon the second or any subsequent violation of any provision of this Section, the person violating any provision of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor

We urge any resident of the District to contact their local authorities and ask that this be investigated and the rule of law upheld.

They are using your money, in an attempt at getting you to give them more of your money, and it violates state law.

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10 Comments
  • William Murphy
    Posted at 20:57h, 04 October

    Thank you for your excellent research. I will be contacting the DuPage County States Attorney.

  • Bob Grogan
    Posted at 20:59h, 04 October

    Typo in title

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 21:52h, 04 October

      Thanks

  • Kathiann
    Posted at 03:55h, 05 October

    Boy they just keep coming out of the woodwork, don’t they? Does anyone ever read the handbook anymore?

  • Mags
    Posted at 07:34h, 05 October

    I hope more people will start paying attention to their local governments. For many years people have been too busy to pay attention. If just a few more people attended meetings, asked questions, and put in FOIA’s, we could avoid some of this.

    I do hope with all that is happening now, that it is a WAKE UP call.

    Most people don’t pay attention until they feel the pain personally and sometimes by then it is too little too late.

    An honest media would go along way also, but that is another matter. The entire media system needs to be drained, like the swamp.

  • PK
    Posted at 10:02h, 05 October

    Given the ECWd’s recent reporting of officials’ conduct in both the districts Darien-Woodridge of Dupage and Stewardson of Shelby, it seems likely there would be more violators of election law. Does the attorney general take interest in election law violators patterned through oganizations formed under the special districts statute? Has the attorney general ever done so?

  • Pete Marwick
    Posted at 15:26h, 05 October

    The signs in the streets for this referendum only say to vote for debt reduction, no mention that there is more to this referendum than that. Hopefully people will read the entire referendum before they vote.

    • PK
      Posted at 22:20h, 05 October

      The referendum is not linked to this article. Provided the street signage causes folks to be interested in reading the referendum; that’d be fine. However, the issue flagged in this article relates to a special district using a PAC to run interference not weather the referendum can be read in spanish.

  • George Drosnokowic
    Posted at 10:28h, 07 October

    Seems they still mismanage their money. They have been trying to take more money from us residents for years. I remember them running referendums many many years ago begging for money for debt back then. If they can’t manage and haven’t been able to manage their money, why should we vote yes and trust them with more? Look at the salaries when they are published. Many of them make close to $100,000 a year. Do your research everyone before you give away more money to crooks. Did you know they just got raises? Public records are a beautiful thing. Ask more questions!!! I’ll be voting NO! Stop letting corruption win!!!

  • William Murphy
    Posted at 13:18h, 15 October

    PK. With due respect I must say the information in the Illinois Issues article is linked to this referendum.. The issue in the DWFD article is directly related to the District illegally using taxpayer dollars to promote the referendum..

    Also, 2 Trustees are up for election in the Spring, the District Headquarters would have petition information available for interested individuals. Petitions would be due sometime in December.

    Vote NO for the illegal use of our tax dollars.

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