Jim Niemann Statement re:Lawsuit


Published on October 10 2018 7:44 am
Last Updated on October 10 2018 7:44 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Here's the complete statement from Effingham County Board Chairman Jim Niemann regarding the filing of a Federal lawsuit against him and the County of Effingham by Lakeside EMS:

"This afternoon at 2:58 P.M. I received an email from Jessica Kunz of WCIA channel 3 News in Champaign Illinois asking for my response to a law suit filed against Effingham County and myself personally in Federal court today by Lakeside Ambulance. I was unaware of the suit and reserved comment until I had further information. At 3:03 P.M. I received a call from Greg Sapp of WXEF, with the same question and I gave him the same answer.

At 4:46 P.M. I spoke with States Attorney Bryan Kibler who stated he received similar calls at about the same time. He stated he had quickly scanned the suit online, and that the County had not yet been served. He briefed me that it appears Lakeside Ambulance has filed a civil rights violation against myself and the county because we are in the process of enforcing a county ordinance in local court system. He said it appears they named me personally because they feel I am favoring Abbott Ambulance Service because one of my fifty or so first cousins works for Abbott.

My response is this! These allegations are absolutely false. I believe this is politically motivated by naming me personally four weeks before an election, and in so doing, it is an attempt to influence the election by accusation without due process of law. I find it very curious that the press was contacted about this immediately after the filing as well.  

This will be referred to the County’s insurance company for legal defense. Personally, I believe this to be a politically motivated malicious prosecution and defamation of character and will act accordingly.

I have worked long and hard over my professional career to develop and maintain my good name and that of my family. The people filing this have underestimated the people of Effingham County. Our residents are intelligent folks who recognize this thinly veiled political attack. I, and the other people at the County working on this issue, have and continue to act with the public safety of our citizens as our motivation. I believe the plaintiff’s motivation as a new business is financial gain. I and the County are innocent! I not only want a trial, I DEMAND IT!"