By: Diane Benjamin
Remember back in 2014 when the Edgar County Watchdogs did a Citizens Arrest of the entire Clark County Park District Board? See these two stories: https://blnnews.com/2014/05/17/more-on-clark-county-citizens-arrest-video/
The Park District Board still hasn’t learned laws matter. They also haven’t learned not to mess with the Edgar County Watchdogs.
One of the Watchdogs, John Kraft, filed more than one lawsuit against them for failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. Sound familiar?
Obviously the Clark County Park District thinks they are above the law. The Watchdogs have a long history with the District, see a list of their stories here: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/index.php?s=Clark+County+Park+District
Some of the allegations against the District and Board are:
- Violation of the Open Meetings Act
- Forged petitions
- “Illegal” perks for Board members
- Sketchy accounting
- Failure to comply with FOIA Requests
The Clark County Park District doesn’t understand they ONLY exist because money is taken from taxpayers. When the Board spends taxpayer money, the taxpayers have a right to know when, where, why and how that money is spent.
Recently these “public servants” attempted to circumvent the law again. John Kraft had a lawsuit pending to obtain documents. The Board was dragging the court case out as long as possible and attempting to charge Kraft to obtain “the people’s” documents. Kraft agreed to drop the case if the District paid his legal expenses and allowed him to scan the documents he wanted. The Board only agreed if John signed a Confidentiality Agreement:
Government, paid for by taxpayers, can not hide payments and legal documents. As soon as the lawsuit was dropped, a citizens submitted a Freedom of Information request for this document. Sorry Board, your actions are being blogged, reported, and communicated to the people paying your bills.
Worse, the Board thought they could legally take away John Kraft’s first amendment right to free speech.
Clark County Park District Board: You Lose. How much money did you waste?