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Entire County Board Arrested Following Citizens Arrest By 2 Military Veterans


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An older post , but something to look at!     Entire county board arrested following citizens arrest by 2 military veterans

By Ocala Post on 

November 9, 2014203 Comments


Clark County, Illinois — Sometimes citizens can be so frustrated with county board members they wish someone could just place them under arrest. Well, that is exactly what citizens in Clark County, Illinois did.

Illinois’ number one manufactured product is corruption. More than 95 percent of the Illinois legislature is safe in gerrymandered districts. The incumbent governor has three current federal investigations of his administration, but the Attorney General/state’s attorney class can’t find public vice anywhere.

Residents that voted in the recent election said they are hoping officials have learned from the past mistakes of others.

So what can a law-abiding citizen do? The answer is coming from some regular guys in southern Illinois who decided to hold public officials accountable. They call themselves the “Watchdogs.”

Kirk Allen and John Kraft — two military veterans — live in Edgar County, which just might be the most corrupt county in the country. For a couple of watchdogs, it’s a target rich environment.

In an effort to take back their government from self-serving politicians and bureaucrats, Kraft and Allen established a group called the Edgar County Watchdogs. Through a combination of public pressure, Freedom of Information filings, lawsuits, and media exposure, they have created a system that deeply threatens Illinois’ corrupt, entrenched political establishment. They operate a blog called Illinois Leaks that exposes corruption at the state and local levels. The blog is so popular that it is trusted more than the local paper.

Considering the fact that, according to Forbes, their home county’s government has racked up over $79 million in debt all on its own while serving only 18,000 residents, Kraft and Allen have their work cut out for them.

By relentlessly pursuing justice for even the smallest infractions by bureaucrats and politicians, the Edgar County Watchdogs have driven 102 public officials to resign from their posts, including 33 officials in Edgar County alone. The pair busted the mayor of Redmond for attempting to hold office while living out of town. They represented themselves in court and beat Illinois Assistant Attorney General Emma Steimel in a lawsuit seeking access to state e-mails.

Officials who have resigned due to the Watchdogs’ efforts include a property tax assessor, the Edgar County board chairman, an entire airport board and its manager, the attorney for Kansas Township’s fire department, Shiloh’s superintendent of schools, and Effingham’s health department administrator, among others. After they exposed corrupt, illegal, and self-serving spending habits by the Ford-Iroquois County health department, the entire bureaucracy was dissolved. In some cases, federal agents have even stepped in to investigate and issue subpoenas to local officials after receiving tips from Kraft and Allen.

Public boards are used to facing angry crowds, but most have never encountered what happened at one recent meeting in central Illinois.

In what was one of their most epic displays of political crime-fighting, which was captured on video, Allen and Kraft held the entire Clark County Park District Board under citizen’s arrest on May 13, 2014, for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a Class C misdemeanor.

When asked if there would be public comment, one of the board members said, “I vote no,” followed by five other board members.

Board attorney Kate Yargus could be heard on video saying there would be no public comment that night and telling the board members they were “free to go,” even after Kraft’s citizen’s arrest announcement. She tried to cite statute to Kraft, but before she could finish, he said, “Just sit down, you are making yourself look like a fool.”

Deputies were dispatched to the scene, but Clark County Sheriff Jerry Parsley personally responded that night. Parsley said he knew it was a heated situation and felt it would be best if he handled it. He said that Kraft handled the citizen’s arrest responsibly, and the board was definitely in violation of the Open Meetings Act by not allowing the public to speak.

“It’s not that they should have. They’re mandated to,” Parsley said. “The people need to have their voice. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy.”

The sheriff arrested six of the board members. The seventh board member was not arrested because he voted against the other members. As they were escorted out of the building, the crowd cheered.

The board had previously laughed at the watchdog group and called them troublemakers, However, the Sheriff and the State Attorney’s Office didn’t see it that way.

Kraft said, “Every citizen, in every state, county, and city, should take note. Make sure their local government officials are working for the people and not for themselves.”

A lawsuit against the board is still pending. Their next board meeting is scheduled for late November.

–Barry Donegan, Adam Andrzejewski, and the Better Government Association contributed to this story.–


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the Edgar County Watchdogs have driven 102 public officials to resign from their posts, including 33 officials in Edgar County alone. The pair busted the mayor of Redmond for attempting to hold office while living out of town. They represented themselves in court and beat Illinois Assistant Attorney General Emma Steimel in a lawsuit seeking access to state e-mails.


well done.


but 33 public officials in a county that small still means not much is getting done! haha...

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These guys are hired by The Koch brothers to hassle people. They are paid VERY well. They literally file almost 5000 FOIA's a year just hoping to get someone to not send them information. Anyhow,... They are paid by Americans for prosperity.


 I mean, mostly they just go hassle city councils hoping they can get them messing up on ROberts rules and really minor offenses. Mostly, they are just dickks.


But, they have gotten a few legitimate  cases of misappropriations of funds.


But mostly it is just stupid stuff.  Like they made a huge deal because one city simply renewed their insurance.  The city was supposed to get bids on it. So they filed a court case against them and won.  So, the council got in trouble for not taking bids.... whoopee,.... and when they were forced to get bids, no other insurances came in lower and the company they were getting insurance through raised their rates because the city had let their long term insurance expire due to what these guys did and the city now pays 11% more for their insurance.  They were actually getting discounts prior.


So yea sure.... they "got" the city council on failing to get new bids on a longstanding policy, but they cost the city about 14,000 buckos.


They are mostly sensationalists taking billionaire bucks to go around and be dickks and interrupt council meetings.


But yes,... they have caught some crap,...



Americans for Prosperity (AFP), founded in 2004, is a conservative political advocacy group in the United States. Receiving  funding from businessmen and philanthropist brothers David H. Koch and Charles Koch, it is their primary political advocacy group.


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Just so people know, I lived in Illinois for 25 years and have a pretty good understanding of these guys.


At one city councilmeeting, they brought in 25 people who get 3 minutes to speak(Michigan is usually 2 minutes), and they literally give their names and then don't say anything for 3 minutes. Just to waste the councils time. When the council votes to end public discussion, because it is ridiculous what these guys do, they then do what they did to thisone city.

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Another recent example,  they went and protested the expulsion of a high school student who brought a gun to school.  They harassed the school board for not properly posting the Agenda of the meeting at the meeting...




 It was posted online and they had copies there, it just wasn't posted properly.

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Absolutely Willy. I totally agree with you and I am always disappointed at the low level of participation in civic matters.


I just find these guys to be very petty and hateful. They have uncovered some important problems though with misappropriation of funds and incompetency.


But what I would say, is they have driven good people out of local offices simply because they don't want to deal with such jerks showing up just to make their jobs miserable.


I am not sure how much money your local city council makes but my city pays about $40month to council members.  That job entails multiple meetings and endless phone calls from your neighbours. :-) Then you have to deal with idiots like these guys because the secretary didn't go get the tape and put the agenda on the door. Then sit and deal with them for an hour purposefully wasting your time every other Tuesday instead of actually accomplishing and working on issues and listening to actual residents in your town and how to help them and make a budget.


Most people have never read the open meeting Act ever in their life. most people have never read Roberts rules of order ever in their lifetime. So these guys show up yell at you and arrest you for making a minor oversight. 


And all of this for $50 bux amonth?


Heh.  Large cities compensate members better but the other 90% of townships towns and cities do not. The only people that run for those offices are people who can personally benefit or benefit their friends because there is no other reason to be there but the goodness of your heart. 


These guys run out the "goodness of your heart" people.

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