Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
The Shelby County forensic auditor provided a very condensed summary of his findings, which did not include thousands of pages of records. As we have said for years, many times it’s not what we are told or what records are provided that is the story, but rather what is not told and not shared.
What we know.
- The Illinois State Police received a criminal complaint about illegal gun sales and payroll malfeasance.
- The Shelby County State’s Attorney claimed the investigation was completed and that it was in the hands of the Attorney General.
- Certain records were claimed to not exist by someone in the Sheriff’s office during the forensic audit, however, in reality the records “did” exist and were in the original criminal complaint.
- You cannot destroy records without a record destruction certificate issued by the Downstate Local Records Commission, which will not issue one when the agency making such a request is under criminal investigation.
- Record destruction is considered a felony under certain circumstances which are outlined in the law.
(50 ILCS 205/4) (from Ch. 116, par. 43.104)
Sec. 4. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Section, all public records made or received by, or under the authority of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of any officer or agency shall not be mutilated, destroyed, transferred, removed or otherwise damaged or disposed of, in whole or in part, except as provided by law. Any person who knowingly, without lawful authority and with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony.
The auditor’s words were clear:
“The records are part of your natural records retention policy, and many of these in relation to some of these periods have been destroyed. I’m not going to say rightfully or wrongfully, it’s not for me to judge that.”
If records were destroyed without lawful authority, those responsible need to be held accountable for such destruction. We know this matter is going to get much bigger as things move forward because we have certain records that the Sheriff’s office claimed were destroyed. We know the ISP has copies of those records.
The million-dollar question is, is the Attorney General ever going to act on this case? If they close it and do not prosecute, all the investigation files will be public and then the rest of the story can be told, and we know from what we have obtained, former Sheriff Koonce has a lot of explaining to do. He should start with why his son received more pay per hour than his actual pay schedule.
The video is set for the time when the auditor spoke about the destroyed records.