Originally published on my blog website: generaldouchbaggery.com “Few things in life can be as disheartening as stupidity; frustration abounds when that stupidity is coupled withperceived authority.” – Me Part 1: This is Just Me, Deal with It. When I was 12 years old, my mother sent me off to military school. The very first night I spent there, I was accused of doing something that I didn’t do. My mother dropped me off on the campus of the military school, early in the day. I was sent to the ‘cottage’ I was to live in and two boys were assigned to show me around the campus. It was dead of winter and I can remember a deep chill that gripped me down to the bone as we walked around in the snow looking at buildings older than religion. Later in the evening, after showing me the gym, where we watched the high schoolers play basketball for a bit, the two boys and I headed back to the cottage. | It was around eight o’clock and the campus had a silvery glow about it from a full moon reflecting off the snow. The fear I felt earlier in the day had dissipated and I now found myself full of hope for what was to come.I’d just made new friends in the way that only kids can be friends. Innocence, light-hearted joking, and a feeling of utter invincibility. Those romantic fantasies of childhood wonder died for me on that night. We had gotten a few yards away from the gym on our way to the cottage, when seemingly from out of nowhere, a frantic man ran up to us and started accusing us of throwing snow balls at his car. He was waving his arms around, stomping, and spitting as he yelled. I was frightened because I had never been spoken to in this manner by an adult in my life. As his line of questioning degraded into cursing and name-calling, we began throwing s****.> | I will not be extorted by these people, and neither should you. I will update this blog post as things move forward. Michael A. (That’s ‘A’ God-damnit!) Hempen (11/02/16) UPDATE! (11/16/16) The lawyer I spoke with looked into my case and told me that I could win…but it would cost more in legal fees than the 324 dollars the tollway was now demanding from me. I elected to not move forward. Dave Savini talked to me once on the phone and told me he’d get back to me after he was done with a current piece he was working on. I’ve not heard back from him. I could not get ahold of any tollway authority outside of the call center. In a last-ditch effort, I sent an email to the secretary of state’s office. I mentioned way at the beginning of this blog that I was sure this would not garner any results, but I was wrong. In the email, I sent, I informed the SOS office that the tollway had threatened my driver’s license over these fines and that their reasoning was that the SOS had given them the wrong information. | I told of my adventure to the SOS office for confirmation of my correct information and that the tollway system was dragging their good name through the mud by blaming my erroneous fines on the SOS. An hour after I sent my email to the Secretary of State’s office, I received a phone call from a Secretary of State Police Office (a title that I didn’t even know existed) who we’ll call Officer Tim. Officer Tim asked for my information so that he could confirm that their information was indeed, correct. He asked for my fine numbers and told me that he’d call the tollway and get back to me. Two days later, Officer Tim called me back. Officer Tim told me that ISTHA did NOT receive the address in Smithboro Illinois from the Secretary of State’s office. He further told me that they lied when they said that Michael J. Hempen in Smithboro never notified them that they had sent their fine notifications to the wrong address. Officer Tim knew this because he called Michael J. Hempen personally. It seems that upon receiving the wrong fines, Mr. Hempen went through his OWN hoops with ISTHA trying to prove to them the he was not the person they were looking for. | They called him a liar and threatened his license as well. Mr. Hempen then contacted the state’s attorney general, who investigated Mr. Hempen’s claim and sent ISTHA the equivalent of a “Cease and Desist” letter, telling them to leave Mr. Hempen alone, he is the wrong Hempen. Officer Tim contacted the State’s Attorney General office and obtained a copy of this letter, proving that ISTHA was indeed informed that they were sending these fine notices to the wrong address. He then called ISTHA. Officer Tim told me that he relayed all of this information to the supervisor at the toll way call center (Apparently, there was no higher authority even HE could contact), they told him that they would be happy to reduce my fines to 324 dollars. Officer Tim taken aback, then said “I don’t think you understand, Michael A. Hempen pays you nothing. Not even the original tolls at this point.” He told me that in all of his years as a police officer, he’d never been talked to like the woman talked to him from the call center of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. “Mr….” she began. “OFFICER” he reminded her. “Officer Tim, I can’t waive these fines at this level, but what I can do is offer Mr. Hempen a lower settlement of 300 dollars.” | Officer Tim relayed to me HIS frustration at this point. He said he had to remind this supervisor that HE has the authority to tell ISTHA to waive fines, which he was doing at that moment. He also reminded the supervisor the ISTHA does NOT have the authority to threaten someone’s driver’s license with suspension. Officer Tim spent the next 40 minutes on the phone and eventually had all of my fines removed. ISTHA later called me to confirm this, reinstate my I Pass account and assure me that the collection agency would be notified that day. I can’t thank officer Tim enough for his help in this matter. He’ll see the entirety of this issue as I’ve given him a link to this blog, along with Dave Savini and the lawyer I spoke with, because f**k them for not being more helpful. It just proves that in life you can sometimes get help from unlikely places. If you have ISTHA issues, contact any or all of the following: Illinios Office of Inspecter General (OIG) Illinios Secretary of State Illinios Attorney General Dave Sivini via Channel 2 news website
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