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August 13, 2022

Rochester FPD Trustee Fox & McBride Attempt Selective Tyranny/Intimidation – It Failed!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 26, 2021

Sangamon, Co. (ECWd) –

More often than not, when public officials are exposed for malfeasance they rather attempt to intimidate those exposing them than actually accept the fact they got caught and should correct the wrongs.  Rochester FPD and a few of its trustees are a perfect example of total disregard for even the most basic rule of law.

During the last trustee meeting, Trustee Gary McBride and John Fox took it upon themselves to target John Kraft and I since we did not wear a mask, just as two others in the room did not as can be seen at the 2:09 mark of the video below. The meeting was the same day as the last executive order which actually exempted public bodies from the EO and mask-wearing was removed for those vaccinated.

With four people in the room not wearing a mask, trustee McBride comes to the front of our table, less than six feet away, and asks if we are vaccinated.  I have no issue with any question a person wants to ask.  I do take issue when they think I am required to answer, which I am not. As can be heard in the video, I refused to answer as my medical condition, treatments, and vaccinations are nobody’s business. Trustee Fox chose to inject himself into the discussion in an effort to justify why it was OK for them to demand an answer and then insinuate why my response was wrong.

Once they realized I was not going to put up with their intimidation attempts, Fox then tries to claim the RFP has a mask-wearing policy.

UPDATED: Fox’s actions reflect exactly why he was suspended not once, but twice during his time on the Rescue Squad, (prior reporting reflected RFPD).  He has no problem running his mouth and making claims that are not true in an effort to sound important and in charge. Sadly, he was selected as the new President of the RFPD Board of Trustees at this meeting with a 3:2 vote.

I submitted a request for the minutes where a mask policy was adopted by the Board.  Imagine my surprise to find out no such policy existed nor was adopted by the RFP.  So much for Fox’s claim they had a policy.

The issue here is not about the validity or invalidity of wearing a mask.  This is about selective targeting of the very people who exposed clear self-dealing by their Fire Chief, John Archer.  We say targeted because they only asked John and I about vaccination while less than 10 feet from me were two other people not wearing a mask and were not asked about their vaccination.

While Fox and McBride refuse to admit what they did with purchases from their Chief’s private business was wrong, it did come out that their last Fire Engine purchase was based on what they wanted rather than selecting the low bidder. That in itself is an admission of not following the law.

When I addressed the board regarding former trustee Riggs and his false statements to the Illinois State Police during the criminal investigation Fox attempted to shut down my comment because he did not agree with the content of my speech.  It would do him well to resign before he leads the RFP into a federal civil rights lawsuit for violating people’s free speech rights.

We will continue to expose the malfeasance of Fox and any other trustee who continues to ignore wrongdoing.  Their refusal to seek accountability should concern every taxpayer.

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