Watchdog group details findings of investigation on website

WATSEKA — The Edgar County Watchdogs posted a story Monday on the organization’s website, www.edgarcountywatchdogs.com, detailing information it has uncovered in its investigation into the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department.

The nonprofit group, co-owned by Kirk Allen and John Kraft, began its investigation just over a month ago, after several people contacted the group for assistance.

In its 2 1/2-year existence, the group has received requests from “all over the state” from “people letting us know of some things that are going on that need looked into,” Allen said. The group’s purpose is to hold government accountable, “which means to ensure our tax dollars are being used legally,” Allen said.

“We do Freedom of Information Act requests, and if we come across anything, we then forward that information to the governing body,” Allen said. “We’ve been fairly localized in Edgar County until about six months ago.”

Allen said his group contacted Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas “early in the investigation” into the health department.

“It was mid- to late February, and we presented the information that we had that we thought was worthy of further investigation,” Allen said, “and it’s my understanding he took that (information) to the state’s attorney.”

Allen said some of the facts his group uncovered “constitute criminal action.” Allen and Kraft attended Monday’s meeting of the Iroquois County Board and spoke about their investigation.

“We came up here this morning because we wanted to personally tell the good people of this county how proud you should be of those in your local government who have stood up and demanded accountability to clearly questionable expenditures of your tax dollars,” Allen said. “Unlike many in our county, your officials took the bull by the horns.

“We have been in regular contact with officials in this county over the last couple of months, and we are elated that our brief efforts of assisting those who have reached out for help has led the board and your state’s attorney to taking appropriate steps so quickly. That action not only leads to fixing the problem, but sends a message to others and will assist in holding people accountable now in the future.

“Amazing to us is the fact that in less that two months of our efforts, proper investigations are in fact under way. Board member removals are taking place, and potentially prosecutions will come to those that violate the public trust.”

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sanjeev11 wrote on September 22, 2016 at 12:09 am
sanjeev11 wrote on September 22, 2016 at 12:09 am
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