Prosecuting What?

By:  Diane Benjamin

The former Allin Township Fire Chief (Standford) is being prosecuted for theft.  His name is Josh Deterding.  Allegations are he stole over $10,000.  I’ve been investigating and filing Freedom of Information Requests for documents for the last month.  Josh did reach out to me because he had no one who would listen to his side of the story.  I independently validated the facts, or course I was suspicious of everything he said.  The only documents I am using that I received directly from Josh are copies of his W-2’s for 2013 and 2014, all others are directly from the Fire Protection District lawyer.  This story is only part of the problems in Stanford.  The Attorney General is investigating, and I believe there is an insurance fraud case being investigated – not against Josh.

According to the bird-cage liner, Josh put money in a petty cash fund so he could steal it.  ( )  This supposedly occurred over a two year period, January 2013 to January 2015.  I FOIA’d the bank statements.  There are numerous cash withdrawals from the petty cash account.  The bank statements are addressed 104 E Main – PO BOX 47 – Attn:  Scott Eidenmiller.  This address is the fire station, but I see no proof this was a secret account set up by Josh.  Scott Eidenmiller is the Secretary/Treasurer.  He is also the Treasurer for Stanford and Mackinaw.

If Josh is guilty of theft, Scott should be charged with Official Misconduct as an accessory.  If Josh was stealing money for over two years, all Scott had to do to prevent theft was look at the bank statements.  Did he ever do a bank reconciliation?  Did the trustees ever examine any bank documents?  Since I received all of the statements by FOIA, Scott had access to them too.

Josh has an extensive worksheet of items he bought or rented for the Fire Protection district using this cash.  Evidently, the sheriff’s department didn’t want to talk about his list.  I’m sure it will come up at trial, that part I can’t independently verify without viewing the items and interviewing the people who used them.

Other problems are also evident with the bookkeeping.  Quarterly Statements are required to be filed with the State of Illinois for unemployment taxes.  The dollar amounts paid for each quarter are listed on the official forms.  Adding all 4 quarters together should equal the Gross Salary listed on the W-2 issued to Josh to file taxes.  For both 2013 and 2014, the State reports do not match his W-2.

Salary reported to the State for 2013

1st Qtr   2830.00

2nd Qtr  2315.00

3rd Qtr  5009.00

4th Qtr  7666.79


Total $17,820.79

Link to the Reports filed:  2013 Reports

Reported for tax purposes on the W-2 was $18,320.79.   Why is it off $500?


2014 is worse

1st Qtr  9,416.24

2nd Qtr  8,417.05

3rd Qtr  1,600.00

4th Qtr  10,735.00


Total  $30,168.29

Link to the Reports filed: 2014 Reports

Reported for tax purposes on the W-2 was $36,972.29.   Why is it off $6,804.00?


There is no reason I can think of that these reports shouldn’t match.  Josh is required to pay federal and state income taxes, plus FICA and Medicare on the Gross salary listed on his W2.  Did he really make $30,168.29 but paid taxes on $36,972.29?  Or, was the amount reported to the State incorrect?  At best, it’s sloppy bookkeeping.

So far payroll has been sloppy and reconciling bank statements has either been non-existent or the district was well aware of Josh’s actions and didn’t object.

One additional less than legal item:

Below is a sample agenda used for trustee meetings.  I received numerous agendas and meeting minutes, the agendas are all pretty much the same.  One item violates the Open Meetings Act.  Nothing can legally be voted on at a meeting unless the public is properly notified by a posted agenda 48 hours in advance of a meeting.  “Any other items or action” violates the official notice requirement.  Salary increases or frivolous spending could be slipped in under this language, the public would never know unless they attended the meeting.  Acting on items from the Executive Session may also be a problem since the language isn’t specific.

Agenda 7-8-15a

Plenty of things about this case smell fishy.  Meanwhile, Josh is out of a job and is forced to spend money to defend himself.  This isn’t a Dixon Illinois case where an employee hid bank statements and accounts.  This may be closer to a case of small town politics and incompetence by unqualified officials.

I may be adding more at a later date.

7 thoughts on “Prosecuting What?

  1. With book keeping like that how can they prove anything? And that guy is the treasurer for three township departments…. LOL

  2. I know Josh and his father. I knew his Grandfather also. Stanford is a small town of about 700 people. In a small town everyone knows everyone. Most every body trusts every body around them. I hope this all gets worked out for the good pf everyone.

  3. Sorry but all math aside, you cant dispute facts that state he used debit card transaction at bars and clubs. That money is for use on the fire dept and all purchases need voted on before any spending. Theft pure and simple.

    1. He says it was to reimburse himself for money he spent etc. It doesn’t change the fact that this went on for two years and nobody said a word. There is more to this story that I will be printing at some point.

  4. Good reporting Ms. Benjamin. Thank goodness someone out there listens. Keep up the good work.

  5. I have some experience with small town politicians and board members. They all think they’re Bill Clinton, but they’re really Billy Carter.

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