Illinois Leaks | Did the criminal investigations lead to another resignation from Shelby County?

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

Both the former Shelby County Sheriff and the current Shelby County Highway Engineer are involved in criminal investigations for their activities in their official capacity.

The sheriff resigned effective June 25, 2021. A charging decision is in the hands of the Attorney General regarding the illegal gun sales and the wage fraud allegations.

Today we got a letter filed with the County Clerk by Alan Spesard, the Shelby County Highway Engineer. Although the letter is rather enigmatic, it seems to indicate a resignation.

“I am writing this letter to give you advance notice of my intention to retire no later than October 31, 2021, or sooner if you are able to hire my successor.”

Although I’m sure many enjoy his “intention“to retire no later than October 31, 2021, such wording hardly constitutes a formal declaration of retirement.

Spesard is under investigation by the FBI for self-exploitation by operating his private company with county resources, as reported in these articles. (Part I, Part II,Part III)

Although we cannot confirm that these resignations are related to the criminal investigations, it would not be surprising to learn later that they were contributing factors. Spesard hired an attorney within days of us reporting his wrongdoing and while we have little faith in a federal prosecution due to many factors, there is a chance, albeit slim in our opinion, that the attorney State can sue if the US Attorney does not. We are of the opinion that not only Spesard, but also the members of the county council who knew about the wrongdoing and allowed him to continue, who should be charged with official misconduct.

Spesard provides extensive information about the family in his letter which, upon first reading, appears like gibberish to please don’t sue me, i have kids, grandkids, elderly father and i will leave office early, please don’t sue me.

Transparency lesson for other public servants to learn from:

“I will also seek your direction regarding how and when to make a public announcement about my upcoming retirement.”

Spesard doesn’t get it, even after more than 20 years as a government employee, his announcement was a public document the second he signed it and provided it to the county clerk. We will consider this article a sufficient public announcement that another interested public sector employee is retiring.

The penultimate sentence is a slap in the face for all Shelby County taxpayers.

“It has truly been an honor to serve the citizens of Shelby County and to give back to my hometown.”

An honor to serve the citizens of Shelby County? An honor to pay to his hometown? Seriously?

What honor is there in using the office and resources of the county highway department for one’s own personal engineering venture? How are these personal transactions assimilated to the service of citizens? Perhaps he should consider taking steps to repay all the improper benefits he has obtained in his 20+ years of selfishness on the backs of the taxpayer. It could be seen as giving back to his hometown, the one he took in the first place.

Spesard concludes with“I now look forward to the next chapter of my life.” One can only wonder if the next chapter of his life will include a transition to stainless steel bracelets and government housing or a life of taxpayer-paid retirement sailing and travel. If charged and found guilty, he would lose his government pension.

A copy of his letter can be downloaded here or seen below.

Spesard retirement letter 7-2-2021

Mark M. Gagnon