Coles Co. (ECWd) -
We recently covered the Illinois State Police Report on the alleged malfeasance by the Coles County State's Attorney in this article. The short version, a criminal complaint alleged that Jessie Danley, the Coles County State's Attorney, used or allowed the use of public resources on matters related to a private lawsuit he was involved in.
We published the ISP report along with the letter from the Attorney General who declined to prosecute in that first article linked above and raised questions which were apparently never asked.
We recently obtained a copy of an envelope that was mailed to the individual who was involved in the private lawsuit. While most may not initially see anything wrong, rest assured there is plenty. According to the ISP report, the employee being questioned during the criminal investigation told the ISP the following: "Parker also stated she used her personal computer, which she uses for work at home. Parker did all work on her breaks and stated that the first few correspondences she used stamps and letters from her house without being compensated."
How special the investigators missed a key statement by Parker: "the first few correspondences she used stamps and letters from her house".
It appears her claim of using stamps and letters from her house was qualified and it should have resulted in follow-up questions.
- So the first few correspondences you used stamps and letters from your house but what happened after the first few correspondences?
- Did you use county envelopes and stamp machines for matters related to the private lawsuit of your boss, yes or no?
Looking at the actual envelope, it appears that not only is the envelope from the office of Coles County State's Attorney but rather than having a stamp, a postage machine was used. It would appear from this overlooked evidence by the ISP that Ms. Parker's statement was qualified for a reason. The public property appears to have been used in a private matter. This statement is based on the recipient's acknowledgment that he received it in relation to the private lawsuit matter.
I reached out to Mr. Danley five days ago and asked him if the postal stamp tracking was going to point back to a postal stamp machine in an office in Coles County? He has not responded.
These facts point to what may be a problem for the State's Attorney in an upcoming hearing on a motion to appoint a special prosecutor in this matter. While the Attorney General has declined to prosecute, it's clear from our first article, as well as this one, there are key points and evidence not addressed in the original investigation. Those facts should be considered in the hearing on Friday of this week, at 9 am in the Coles County Courthouse.
While we understand many will come to the defense of those in question and try to minimize the matter as nothing but an envelope and postage, the fact remains there are plenty of unanswered questions and responses that appear to be evasive by design.
Use of public funds, property, and credit by a public official for a private purpose, violates the State Constitution and can constitute Official Misconduct, which is a Class 3 felony in Illinois.
The question that must be answered is simple. Were public funds, property, or credit used by the State's Attorney's office for his private lawsuit matters, and if so, by who?
As it stands, an official envelope with a postal meter paid postage appears to point to the affirmative.
If a special prosecutor is assigned to this matter, then we would hope a more thorough investigation would be done so the whole truth is exposed, regardless of a prosecution decision.
We will provide an update to Fridays' court decision as soon as a ruling is issued.