Central Dispatch moves closer to suing City of Sesser


The West Franklin Central Dispatch Board approved a recommendation to send one final communication to the city of Sesser before filing a lawsuit agains thte city. The Board met in continued session Wednesday night in Christopher.

The equivalent of a “Final Notice” was approved for delivery to Sesser over the amount that represents their share of monies owed to Central Dispatch. According to documents obtained by FranklinCounty-News.com, the city of Sesser is being billed for a total of $71, 480.32 representing past due and monthly funding for Central Dispatch.

The Board authorized a final letter that will be hand delivered to Sesser City Hall as soon as it has been completed. The city will have 14 days to make their account current. If this is not done, Central Dispatch attorney Rebecca Whittington has the Board’s approval to file a lawsuit against the city of Sesser on the Board’s behalf.

As FranklinCounty-News.com has reported in covering this story, Sesser is disputing the money owed. They have retained Harrisburg attorney Robert Wilson to represent them.

West Franklin Central Dispatch continues to meet obligations to the state and the federal government agencies that were owed money after major financial problems were uncovered. As the arrangement currently stands, the Board is still seeking its federal not-for-profit status as well while dealing with “clean up” of their financial mess.

In other Board actions:
  • Approval was given to purchase a time clock. The previous clock was damaged in an electrical storm.
  • A trainee telecommunicator was hired.
  • The board suggested an intergovernmental agreement with Valier that would cover other departments other than Police. This was suggested formally as a way to lessen liability for responders and maximize mutual aid opportunities.
  • The board reported that overtime excesses had been addressed with staff.

New police cooperation contract to be sought


A new contract among members of West Franklin Central Dispatch is to be formulated by Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell.  The Zeigler City Council empowered their mayor to begin negotiations with Christopher and Valier toward a new agreement.

At Tuesday night’s meeting the situation with neighboring Royalton was discussed. Zeigler routinely responded for back-up to Royalton and vice versa. Now, Royalton has decided dispatching services should be concentrated in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. That puts officers, providing mutual aid to each other in dangerous situations on separate radio frequencies. It was theorized that life-threatening information may not reach officers on a frequency they would not normally monitor.

Mitchell is to now meet with representatives of the communities left in the pact. The Western Franklin Central Dispatch has developed a lawsuit against the City of Sesser. The suit stems from payments to the IRS and state agencies over the financial scandal that rocked the entity in 2012. That lawsuit against Sesser has yet to be authorized for filing by the Board.

The Board could vote to authorize filing tonight, or could authorize a final billing statement for money alleged due to Central Dispatch by the City of Sesser.

Central Dispatch board meeting today

A meeting is planned for noon today of the West Franklin County Central Dispatch Board. Sources to FranklinCounty-News.com say that the meeting will be held in Executive Session.
One explanation for the closed door meeting could be to review the details of a tentative lawsuit that the Board has already authorized. The suit could be formally filed against the city of Sesser. The board is considering suing that member city in an effort to recoup funds already spent by other entities to correct the financial problems of Central Dispatch.

Central Dispatch Board meets


A regular meeting of the West Franklin Central Dispatch Board Wednesday night focused on three major areas being updated.

The Board heard from their attorney, Rebecca Whittington on the status of the entity’s application for 501c3 status with the state as a not-for -profit. That application is still pending with final information being added before submitting to the Secretary of State’s office. That process is continuing.

No lawsuit has yet been filed on behalf of the Board against the city of Sesser. However, a draft of a possible suit to be filed was discussed, Wednesday. The lawsuit seeks money believed owed to the Board by the city of Sesser, who is considered in arrears in payments to fund the group. The amount currently owed is believed to be around $24,000 for general funding of the dispatch center itself.The other members of West Franklin Central Dispatch have voted to sue the city of Sesser for non-payment of expenses including monies paid to the IRS as part of the recent financial scandal experienced by the group.

And, the Director of E911 for Franklin County, Rick Basso, spoke on the status of the emergency call center for Central Dispatch. A number of scenarios are being discussed among the members of the group. Dispatching from County, the city of West Frankfort and keeping the status quo have all been discussed with no decision yet reached.

The three and a half hour meeting was the final regular meeting of the calendar year.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News