CORRECTION & RETRACTION: Simpson, Force Reinstated; Cleared of Wrongdoing by Chandlerville Board

By Benjamin Cox on October 27, 2023 at 4:11pm

A mixed-up timeline has caused an error in our reporting.

On Thursday, WLDS News reported that Village President Tim Richards had resigned October 17th and that he had previously removed Fire Chief Cory Simpson and Assistant Fire Chief Tanner Force from the Chandlerville Fire Department following an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency investigation into an improper burn of an abandoned building.

This information also appeared to have been corroborated on a follow-up report by the Jacksonville Journal-Courier today, and was originally attributed to initial reports by the Cass County Star-Gazette in their Wednesday, October 25th edition.

According to a press release this afternoon from the Chandlerville Fire Department, after a special meeting held by the Chandlerville Board of Trustees with the Chandlerville Volunteer Fire Department on Monday, October 23rd both Simpson and Force were reinstated to their original position and cleared of any wrong doing.

Former Village President Tim Richards told both the Journal Courier and the Star Gazette that an IEPA investigation had been instigated into the burn, but the IEPA investigation has not been corroborated. An inquiry to the IEPA was sent by WLDS News on Thursday morning and has not been returned.

The burn is said to have occurred on the evening of Wednesday, October 11th after the roof of a dilapidated home was removed and the building was pushed into a pile of boards and remnants. There was no standing structure that was burned.

According to Richards, he received a call on October 12th from a member of the IEPA, according to the Journal Courier. Richards issued his resignation to the Board of Trustees on October 17th. On October 18th, Richards is said to have removed both Simpson and Force from their positions from the fire department after his resignation had occurred.

We apologize for the error in our reporting.

In a press release the Chandlerville Fire Department says they apologize for any confusion over the situation that may have been caused.