ELGIN, Ill. (SCS) — He went to a driver service center at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to get new license plates and ended up with a sprained ankle, and he blames the state for his injury.
Matt Kobal said he didn’t want any money from the state, he just wanted them to fix the multitude of potholes that litter the parking lot where he was injured.
Kobal will admit it wasn’t the proudest time in his life.
“Very embarrassed by what happened,” he said.
Last month there was confusion at the Secretary of State’s office in Elgin, when workers could not help him get new plates, he had to go to another facility.
“I was frustrated and left,” he said.
Returning to his car, staring at the papers, Kobal said he had walked into a pothole with his left foot.
After sweeping it, he left to pick up his children, but later that night said he “could barely walk”.
“I couldn’t put weight on my foot,” he said.
A doctor gave him a boot for a sprained ankle, but Kobal made sure he returned to the driver’s department, taking a closer look at the terrain. He counted more than a dozen potholes in a row.
“All of varying sizes and depths,” he said.
We counted 18 potholes in an alley of parking spaces.
“It’s not something that developed overnight,” Kobal said.
The embarrassment turned into a push of responsibility.
“In my opinion, they put other citizens and taxpayers at risk,” he said.
He filed complaints online with the Illinois Secretary of State and appealed in person. not for the state to pay medical bills, but to fix the parking lot used by hundreds of drivers every day.
It turned out to be an even more bumpy road for someone to listen to.
“I didn’t feel like I was being listened to. There was very little empathy,” he said.
The secretary of state’s office told CBS 2 that they received Kobal’s complaint – and were sorry to hear what happened, adding that any questions about grounds maintenance must go through by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.
“My biggest concern is that the people I’ve spoken to here have been gathering information and it’s come to nothing,” Kobal said.
CMS did not provide answers on when the lot was last repaired, saying only that they will be in contact with the Secretary of State’s office to fix the potholes.
Kobal said he just didn’t want what happened to him to happen to anyone else.