UPDATE 3:45 p.m. Monday:
ROBERTS, Ill. (WCIA) – Residents of the tiny Ford County village of Roberts are being asked to use water for essential activities only through at least Tuesday morning after the primary water well failed. It’s a situation that the village president says is linked to a former employee accused of falsifying village documents.
Village President Matt Vaughan said the well failed sometime in the last 24 hours, but officials are not sure why. Vaughan said the village’s back-up well is not working, and the village’s water tower will run out of water in the next 24 hours. So, Vaughan is urging residents to use water sparingly, such as flushing the toilet. He warned that not doing so could lead to a boil order. Vaughan said residents who need a big supply of bottled water would need to go to Paxton or Gibson City. He said the village could also have water trucked in from Danville. Vaughan said local fire departments are also on standby if there’s a blaze in Roberts and lots of water is needed.
Vaughan said the village is bringing in outside companies to assess and fix the problem. However he warned it will not be a quick and cheap fix. Vaughan pointed to issues surrounding former water superintendent Paul Theesfield, who was fired around one year ago after being charged with sexual assault and kidnapping. Vaughan claimed Theesfield falsified documents related to Roberts’ back-up well, leading officials to believe it was in good order when it really wasn’t. Vaughan said Theesfield was never charged for forging the documents. His sexual assault charges were dismissed in state court after federal prosecutors picked up the case.