Criminal probe urged over Atlanta, Illinois, library contract
The Atlanta, Illinois, Public Library District agreement to purchase Union Hall is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the law and requires a criminal investigation, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) contend.
According to the ECW, the vote on the contract was not properly listed on the December 2014 meeting agenda at which it was approved. The agenda listed “Union Hall Project” under "Old Business," but at that meeting the board authorized a $200,000 contract for deed on the building, with monthly payments of 4 percent simple interest for 20 years, beginning in February 2015.
The ECW accused the board of not allowing the public to weigh in the agreement, which makes it invalid.
The ECW also argued that library Trustee William Thomas owned the umbrella corporation that owns Union Hall and such a conflict was not properly addressed during the contract approval process.
Finally, the ECW accused the board of entering into the agreement solely to fulfill a requirement for an Illinois Secretary of State grant. The group said the meeting minutes show the contract would be void if the grant did not go through and that the district never made any payments on the contract. Those factors could be grounds for criminal charges, the group contends..