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Brickbat: Illinois Justice

lottery ticketsBigapplestock / DreamstimeFor almost three years, the state of Illinois seized Ruth Soukup's pension payments. Soukup was a clerk at a gas station that closed owing money to the Illinois lottery. State records showed that Soukup was neither the owner of nor an officer of the store. But officials say the way some of the lottery paperwork was filled out indicated Soukup was a part-owner or officer, so they tried to collect from her. The state stopped taking Soukup's money only after local media picked up the story.

Photo Credit: Bigapplestock / Dreamstime

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's not clear whether the lottery attempted to track down Skonie further.

    Why should they track down the actual owner when they had someone with a nice state pension ready to seize.

    Michael Jones, the lottery director at the time the debt was issued, said he couldn't recall the specific case and would not have been told of it without a hearing being held. He said those seeking hearings were treated fairly, and there were a number of occasions in which the lottery dismissed debts after hearings.

    Mike is on the fucking stick. His people gave her the runaround long enough to get beyond the 30 period for requesting one of those pesky hearings that often dismissed debts, and he got to claim no clue status. Not told of it? How the fuck many unpaid debts did the lottery have that he couldn't be bothered knowing about them all?

  • Rat on a train||

    Why should they track down the actual owner when they had someone with a nice state pension ready to seize.


    So it is a similar approach to child support. The state doesn't care if the correct person is paying, only that someone is paying.

  • Jerryskids||

    One of the sickest things I ever saw in that regard was a guy started getting his wages garnished for child support, he got a DNA test that showed he was not the father, the agency ignored his appeal so he went to court and got a court order to stop the child support collection. The agency said that he was required to notify the director of the agency and since he had sent the paperwork to the child support office instead of the director's home address the order had not been properly served and the fuckers kept collecting the child support for another 6 months before he could get the garnishment stopped. That's not a bureaucratic snafu, that's the sort of evil you need a woodchipper to eradicate.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Instead of using the official secretary of state records, which include details on every registered business and corporation in Illinois, the lottery relied on its own records. So it went after Soukup, the manager, and not Skonie, the owner.

    In June 2014, it sent Soukup a letter demanding payment and telling her she had 30 days to appeal.

    State records show [Soukup] sent a letter dated within the 30-day window in which she told the lottery she was just an employee at the gas station. But the state didn't hold a hearing. It's unclear why. The only hint is a phrase scribbled by someone at the state agency on that letter: "They did NOT request hearing."

    I see. The lottery personnel decided to rely upon their own "records" rather than the official and readily available documents, and when the individual whom they decided to take money from (Soukup) appealed within the 30 day limit a lottery employee decided that Soukup didn't specifically state that she wanted a hearing... which evidently indicated to the lottery employee that a hearing shouldn't be held.

  • Jerryskids||

  • Charles Easterly||

    You have perfectly established your point. Jerryskids.

    I am yet again disgusted by a Supreme (sic) Court ruling.

  • Charles Easterly||

    There is more:

    Records show Soukup wrote the lottery another, longer letter two months later. In it, she said she'd spoken to three lottery employees — some multiple times — but had gotten the runaround for weeks about setting up a hearing until one told her to write the letter....

    Soukup included copies of state paperwork, which didn't list her as the owner, and a letter identified as coming from the former owner, Skonie, and stating that Soukup was just an employee and "never had any financial obligation for this account."

    With this much evidence of willful misconduct I hope that Miss Soukup sues the Illinois State Lottery.

  • Jerryskids||

    You think that's bad - you should see what Illinois cops do to random people travelling with large amounts of cash.

    And by "Illinois cops" I mean all cops and by "large amounts of cash" I mean whatever you've got in your pocket.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Say what you will of the tenets of Illinois national socialism, it's an *ethos*.

  • Finrod||

    Add another entry to the list of reasons why I will never live in Illinois.

    True story: back when she was my girlfriend and not my ex-wife that she is now, we were driving up Sheridan Road to her mom's place in Highland Park, when we were pulled over by a cop, who claimed it was because one of her two license plate lights were out. After a second cop car pulled up behind the first, we knew there was something more going on. The cop tried to claim that her Illinois drivers license had been suspended for not renewing her tag, and she told them she didn't have an Illinois drivers license or Illinois plates any more, she had an Indiana drivers license and Indiana plates because she had moved.

    They arrested her anyways for having a non-existent suspended Illinois license.

    When the cop asked me if I could drive, I responded: "Yes, I've never had an Illinois license."

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