By: Diane Benjamin
See this Edgar County Watchdogs story for background:
Click on any images below to enlarge.
A homeowner in Stanford signed a temporary easement for drainage work on his property in 2010. In 2015 the Village of Stanford attorney, McGrath, filed a document changing the status from temporary to permanent without the homeowner’s knowledge or approval. He only found out when he received a letter from McGrath in 2016 stating he was not allowed to build anything on the easement.
This letter from McGrath states the original easement was permanent, even though the original document CLEARLY had an end date and was titled TEMPORARY (Temporary Easement):
McGrath devalued his land when he filed the Scrivener’s Error document in 2015 (see it here: Scriveners Error), and assuming he was working for the Village of Stanford when he did it, the Village Board is equally guilty. Most people think theft is a crime.
Below is an email Mr. Veselak received from the Stanford Police Chief:
Theft of property is civil?
Since Mr. Veselak did not believe the Stanford Police were doing an investigation, he attempted to get the County Sheriff to investigate. I filed a FOIA request for documents from them. This was the response on September 22nd:
I also filed a FOIA with Stanford for any investigative documents. I received this response from the Police Chief on September 21st:
My request was denied on September 28th because of the criminal investigation:
The Stanford Police Chief thinks filing false documents is CIVIL. My FOIA was rejected because it might interfere with a CRIMINAL investigation!
I responded to the denial with the email from the Police Chief saying “civil”, therefore the failure to answer the FOIA is improper. NO RESPONSE!
I filed one more FOIA with the County for documents in the possession of the State’s Attorney. I haven’t received it yet, I should next week.
4 property owners had temporary easements. McGrath changed all 4. Mr. Veselak was the only one to contact me.