* January 15…
Piatt County Board Chairman Ray Spencer was issued a warrant for his arrest Monday after being indicted by a Piatt County grand jury on four charges: two counts of official misconduct and two counts of forgery, all Class 3 felonies.
While the number of counties affected by COVID-19 increases across the state, Piatt County board chairman Ray Spencer has blocked his county’s ability to purchase additional health and cleaning supplies, according to a legal complaint filed against the county board.
Piatt County State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades filed the complaint on Thursday, requesting that the court vacate directives from Spencer to the county’s Emergency Management Agency director, Mike Holmes, that, among other things, have blocked the purchase of gear mandated by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and barred the agency from communicating with news media.
Following budget talks that spanned weeks and drew protests from taxpayers late last year, Piatt County board members approved a budget that underfunded the county’s EMA department, allotting a full-time department only part-time funding.
On March 14, according to the complaint, Spencer directed Holmes that “whatever COVID-19 supplies were needed, the Director must stay within his part-time 2020 operational budget.” […]
Additionally, plans to implement a county-wide, emergency mass notification system were halted due to a lack of funding, despite repeated requests to the board to fund a system that exists in counties that border Piatt.
Because that notification system wasn’t implemented within the county, the EMA “must rely upon the news media outlets and social media outlets to inform the public of emergency information and situations,” per the complaint, which noted Spencer has barred the EMA from doing exactly that.
There’s more, so go read the whole thing. The complaint is here.
Piatt County is between Decatur and Champaign.