Mike Woodyard, administrator of the Morgan County Watchdogs Facebook page, recently spoke at the South Jacksonville Board of Trustees and made allegations against board member, Sonie Smith. Among those allegations is a failure to disclose certain money paid to Smith by the Village of South Jacksonville for services performed by her business, Sonie Smith Catering, during past Concert in the Cornfield events. Smith did not respond publicly, at that time, other than to silently mouth a phrase that has been interpreted by some as, “I DO have a license”.
Smith, in a discussion with WLDS Radio, stated that Woodyard’s allegations are “all a lie and I didn’t do anything illegal.” When asked by the WLDS news department if Smith planned to produce documentation to refute Woodyard’s allegations, she replied, “Probably”.
On Tuesday, June 30th, My Social Jacksonville reported that it had been confirmed that Trustee Smith did NOT have the proper license to operate her business and had not had such a license with the State of Illinois since 2011. We received the following document (certain information redacted to protect personal data) late Tuesday afternoon from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
So, at this point, My Social Jacksonville believes the following:
1) Trustee Sonie Smith owes Mike Woodyard a public apology for calling him a liar. The photo above clearly shows that her catering business is not licensed currently and has not been for just short of FOUR YEARS.
2) Trustee Smith exposed the Village of South Jacksonville to potential lawsuits, by offering her catering services at the 2012 and subsequent Concert in the Cornfield events. Had any individual that consumed her food become ill and information had reached them that the Village of South Jacksonville had employed an unlicensed caterer for the event, it may have been found liable in court, at a potential cost of thousands of dollars to the Village.
Other documentation – previously published by My Social Jacksonville – obtained via the Freedom of Information Act shows that Trustee Smith received a payment of $1,450.22 for catering services for the 2012 Concert in the Cornfield.
It is her responsibility to report any payment of $1,200 or more on a yearly form – the Statement of Economic Interests. Trustee Smith did not do so on her form for the year 2012, filed on May 1, 2013. In fact, she reported “N/A” on the appropriate lines of that form.
The Statement of Economic Interests specifically states on the document, “I understand that the penalty for willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000, or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment.”
This omission by Trustee Sonie Smith is stipulated to fall under the definition of “Official Misconduct” and, as such, is grounds for the demand for Smith to immediately resign her position as Trustee of the Village of South Jacksonville.