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August 12, 2022

Video: Entire Township Incumbency faced with allegations of forged petitions –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 6, 2021

Seward Township, Kendall County, IL. (ECWd) –

Seward Township is approximately 35 square miles and located in Kendall County, just west of Joliet, Illinois.

Seward Township government has an elected Supervisor, four Trustees, Clerk, Assessor, and Highway Commissioner.

When candidate petition packets for the spring 2021 election were submitted to the township clerk, local residents found irregularities among the packets when they received copies of them. Objections were then filed, alleging the petitions were filed beyond the December 21, 2020 filing cut-off date, and were subsequently back-dated to make it appear they were submitted within the established filing dates.

We understand petition objections were filed, and a lawsuit is being contemplated.

Here is what we observed in the petition packets – and it certainly indicated dates were changed after receipt (redactions are ours, and they consist of signatures, addresses, and SSNs):

Anne Vickey for Highway Commissioner:

  • Sheets 1, 2, and 3: “Municipal” Election changed to “Consolidated” Election on the date it was notarized – Which election was on the page when the voters signed it?
  • Clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 10, 2020 – but the date on the stamp indicates Dec 14 on page 5, but an apparent different date (with “10” fixed to say “14”) on page 4.

Dan Roberts for Trustee:

  • Sheets 1 and 2: “Municipal” Election changed to “Consolidated” Election on the date it was notarized – Which election was on the page when the voters signed it?
  • Sheets 1 and 2: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 14, 2020.
  • Statement of Economic Interest dated Dec 17 – three days after the “corrected” FILED date on the petitions.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

James Martin for Trustee:

  • Sheets 1 and 2: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 21, 2020.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

James Fleming for Road Commissioner (no such office):

  • Sheets 1, 2, and3: “Municipal” Election appears to be whited out and changed to “Consolidated” Election on the date it was notarized – Which election was on the page when the voters signed it?
  • Sheets 1 and 2: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 20, 2020.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

Joseph Zolper for Road Commissioner (no such office):

  • Sheets 1, 2, 3, and 5: “Municipal” Election appears to be whited out and changed to “Consolidated” Election on the date it was notarized – Which election was on the page when the voters signed it?
  • Sheet 2: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 18, 2020.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

Karen Lombardo for Township Supervisor:

  • Sheets 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 14, 2020.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

Sharleen Smith for Township Clerk:

  • Sheet 1: Incomplete address at the top
  • Sheet 1: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 14, 2020.
  • Statement of Economic Interest dated Dec 17 – three days after the “corrected” FILED date on the petitions.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.

Thomas P. Fleming for Trustee:

  • Sheets 1 and 2: “Municipal” Election appears to be changed to “Consolidated” Election on the date it was notarized – Which election was on the page when the voters signed it?
  • Sheets 1 and 2: The first date written when stamped as FILED was Dec 22, 2020 – but was later changed to Dec 15, 2020.
  • The clerk signed a paper indicating the packet was received on December 22, 2020.
  • Statement of Economic Interest dated Dec 17 – two days after the “corrected” FILED date on the petitions.

There is one more candidate petition packet similar to the above, but we do not have a copy of it.

According to the Objectors: What all of this appears to indicate, is that the Township Clerk accepted these petition packets on December 22, 2020 – one day after the cut-off date, and at some point, backdated them to a date falling within the statutory filing date-range.

Watch the below video discussion held last night concerning this subject to get a better understanding of the issues involved:

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8 Comments
  • Jess Nelsen
    Posted at 19:06h, 13 January

    I have hours of township meetings recorded. If anyone wants to really know how Shelia Trost behaves.
    She is belligerent, disrespectful and a bully.
    She has turned a respectful township into circus.
    Not to mention the excessive FOIA with absolutely no cause. This has cost the taxpayers approximately $70,000 which Include a seven month IL state police and Kendall County Sheriffs investigation that resulted in ZERO misconduct, fraud, zero misappropriation of funds nor criminal activity!
    Pay up taxpayers Shelia and her minions are your watchdogs!

    • PK
      Posted at 22:00h, 14 January

      Your defamatory comments caused me to review the ECWd’s reporting on the matter, sir.

  • Sheila A Trost
    Posted at 14:21h, 24 January

    I’d like to take a moment to comment regarding the totally false comments made by Jess Nelsen above .

    Jess is the 47+ year told daughter of the current appointed Road Commission for Seward Township. In all of my 30+ years as a resident of Seward Township which includes attending meetings and functions held at the Seward Township Hall — I have only known of two instances of individuals being asked to remove themselves from the Hall for their inappropriate behavior and both have happened recently.

    First time was the current appointed Road Commissioner on November 3,2020 (Election Day). Several residents had called in formal complaints to the Illinois State Board of Elections indicating that they felt uncomfortable with the fact that she seemed to be electioneering at the entrance to the polling location on O’Brien Road. The Illinois State Election Board Representative contacted Debbie Gillette’s office and after a brief discussion of the events taking place the Appointed Road Commissioner was instructed to remove herself from the building.

    And the second time was on December 1, 2020. Seward Township Republicans were hosing their first ever Caucus at the Seward Township Hall which was open to all residents of Seward Township. Jess Nelsen was attempting to attend the Caucus and was being disrespectful with her inappropriate comments during the meeting as the Caucus began. She was asked politely several times to stop disrespecting the individuals attending the Caucus by the Chairman. The Chairman of the Caucus asked politely over and over and over again for her to discontinue her disruptive behavior and when she refused she was finally escorted out of the building by the Sargent of Arms. Unfortunately, her exit of the building was not without additional disrespectful comments which she continued to spew toward certain individuals as she was exiting the Hall.

    Both events were witnessed by many residents of Seward Township.

    I would welcome everyone to attend meetings held at Seward Township which are held the second Tuesday of each month. The meetings begin at 7:30 PM and generally last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour in length.

    Seward Township Road Commissioner, Supervisor, Clerk and Board of Trustee positions are up for re-election on April 6, 2021. And yes, I have been an active member of a watch group of individuals of Seward Township. Seward Township has NOT incurred any costs for the two investigations being conducted by Kendall County Police and the Illinois State Police. Because of my active involvement in the watch group, I have been subject to numerous treats to myself, my family, my home and my property.

    I was forced to hire an attorney in May of 2020 after threats were direct at me as I was leaving a scheduled meeting of the Board on May 12, 2020. On June 3, 2020 I was issued a 2 year Order of Protection, Case # 2020OP000134. The Kendall County Judge ruled that there was clear evidence of numerous threats made to myself and felt this Order of Protection was in fact necessary to stop the behavior of the Seward Township employee involved in the threats made on May 12, 2020 and also previously. Sadly, the current Board does not feel that this behavior of an employee be deemed grounds for dismissal even though this is a clear violation of procedures spelled out in the Township of Illinois Employee Handbook, Violence in the Workplace Prevention Policy specific to Zero Tolerance and I quote “ It is the intent of this policy to ensure that everyone associated with this Township, including employees and customers, never feels threatened by any employee’s actions or conduct”. This quote is directly from the Employee Handbook which can be found on the Township of Illinois (TOI.org) website information.

    I personally have had to bear great expense in attempt to secure my safety. I had to hire an attorney to represent me in court to obtain an Order of Protection. I have had to install extensive security cameras and alarm systems to my home after the threats made to myself, my family, and my property. The current Board is well aware of my expenses, but have not offered any compensation. I can state this clearly, as several members of the current Board testified in court on June 3, 2020.

    Again and finally, I would hope that a resident of Seward Township is in fact reading this and will begin to attend meetings at the Seward Township Hall on O’Brien Road. Community support is needed to make changes to the way the Township is being run. I am in fact running on April 6, 2021 for Clerk of Seward Township, I feel that changes need to be made in the way the township conducts business.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my statement and please fee free to reach out to me for any additional information that I am able to share.

    • Jess Nelsen
      Posted at 21:25h, 24 January

      Shelia… EVERYONE knows who and what you are.

  • Doug Wilson
    Posted at 20:19h, 24 January

    Regarding the above post by Sheila, she is on point with what she wrote. Jess Nelson is the person that was requested to leave the Republican Caucus. because she used a phone to record the closed Caucus, but refused to stop the recording.
    Anyway, the comment about calling us being “minions” is insulting, but considering where the comment comes from, does not really matter. I am also running for Trustee in order to address what appears to be mismanagement of the taxpayers money. I am a retired Court Services office that served as the Assistant Director for over 38 years. I worked for the Chief Judge of Will County and my reputation was alway considered above reproach. I had over 120 employees that I was responsible for along with a several million dollar budget. My goal is to be completely transparent and allow our taxpayers to have a voice in how their tax dollars are spent. The attitude of “my way or no way”, has to end. We need to get back to the attitude that as elected officials we work for the taxpayers and need to do what’s in the best interest of the Township, but always keeping in mine that we are spending taxpayers money and it is not our money to spend as we please. I want to make our Township a roll model for other Townships. I also want the taxpayers to be proud of the Township they live in. Above al else, please vote in April. Your vote matters!

  • Paul Scholtes
    Posted at 20:37h, 24 January

    All facts. Employee should be held to the zero tolerance clause. Why are these officials above the law?
    Why wasn’t the disrepectful, and beligerent highway commissioner removed from the December meeting, when she used vulgarity TWICE, and called out somebody as a liar, across the room? Does Jess Nelson have that meeting on video? No. She wasn’t there.
    When the Highway Commissioner presented the report from the Illinois State Police, and claimed there was no evidence of wrongdoing, she was confused. Trooper Ben Bridell said there was unethical behavior, but nothing that the Kendall County States Attorney felt was criminal. So, unethical is ok in Seward Township. Got it.

  • Jess Nelsen
    Posted at 09:15h, 25 January

    If you’re going to tell stories.
    Please be truthful and tell the entire story.

    I won’t waste my anymore of my time on this.
    Have a great day!

  • Rich McDonald
    Posted at 16:47h, 28 January

    Sounds like the whole township has problems, look whats going on at the highway dept, but do the taxpayers know what happened at the fire dept? READ BELOW

    The Lisbon Seward Fire Protection District lost a FOIA lawsuit generated by Edgar County Watchdogs and had to pay $5000.00 plus attorney fees to settle.

    The volunteer firefighters are unpaid and volunteer their time. Their is now $5000.00 less in the account, due to the trustees feeling they are above the law and do not have to respond back to FOIA requests!

    That $5000.00 plus is now unavailabe to purchase necessary equipment, make truck payments, ect.

    What a letdown to the taxpayers!

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