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Osmon lawsuit causing consternation in Herrin

Posted by on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 @ 3:08 pm.

HERRIN, Ill. - For whatever reason, Marion attorney Ron Osmon has managed to get and keep himself in the crosshairs of plenty of people in the region when it comes to lawsuits and what appears to be a situation of self-dealing.

We haven't covered Osmon in a while, but regular readers will remember him from this investigation we embarked upon in 2013, then in this situation with Marion Eye Centers roughly four years ago.

Now, plenty of mainstream media coverage in the Williamson County city of Herrin has caused some complaining in town...as well as by people NOT in town, showing the reach of the impact.

In order to explain the situation fully, the best way we can tell you about it is to let one of the concerned individuals of the public tell you. Here is a letter to the editor she submitted to us this morning; her info is at the bottom of the letter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ronald E. Osman vs. Herrin CUSD 4 – taxpayers 

Marion attorney Ronald E. Osman has sued Herrin CUSD No 4 for paying off some of their old bonds from building the high school and other district facility upgrades, allowing the school district to lower property taxes from 2008 through 2011. Now taxpayers maybe on the hook for paying that money back.

Mr. Osman does not own property in Herrin; however, he does own over 80 properties in Williamson County. Mr. Osman also benefited from lower property taxes due to property tax abatement from the school district where his properties are located. However, he didn’t file a lawsuit against that school district because it would have affected himself and other members of his family. He didn’t agree with the 1% sales tax and didn’t want it to pass in 2008. He claims the only reason it passed in Williamson County was because the schools said they would lower property taxes.

Why didn’t Mr. Osman file his lawsuit in 2008 when the Williamson County Schools were trying to pass the 1% sales tax? It was widely communicated at the time that school districts could use the sales tax money to pay off old bonded debt. The original statue was not as clear as it should have been, so on August 23, 2011, the original statue was amended to clarify that this money could be used to pay off bonds, and that this was the intent all along. 

There was no deception of the voters, the voters knew exactly what Herrin school district was going to do with the 1% sale tax revenue and yes they approved it by a majority vote. Taxpayers gave their approval to Herrin school district to use the 1% sale tax in that way.

Now Herrin school district needs to come up with about $2.5 million that was used to lower property taxes to put back in the capital development fund or sales tax fund. 

Maybe the Herrin taxpayers should consider filing a class action lawsuit against Mr. Osman for the money since he is the one who caused this issue.

Sincerely,
Sandra Walden
Sherman, Ill.



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