So, after hearing of the counter suit filed the Monday before last by township trustees against Supervisor Linda Moore after Moore filed her Separation of Powers suit, I wrote the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office asking whether a governmental body could file suit without a public.
No complaint, mind you. Just a general question that seemed to cover what was happening.
Then after hearing the enigmatic motion made and passed by the Grafton Township Board Tuesday night, I put in a call to find out if the State’s Attorney’s Office had come up with an answer.
Upon hearing that no law had been broken, I asked,
“You are saying that a public body can sue someone without the public body’s making a decision to do so in a public meeting?”
“In a word, ‘Yes,’”
I was told by First Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Carroll.
“It’s not that we would condone avoiding having such discussions in a public forum. as that is certainly the most appropriate place for them, but the Open Meetings Act doesn’t require it.
“We have spoken to the attorney about the decision and her opinion on it, but we have not yet gotten the minutes.
“Her take on it is she took action as she felt necessary to protect the interests of the township/her client, that she did speak to township trustees individually, offered advice and recommended that she follow it.
“What’s going on in Grafton is certainly unusual, but the circumstances would put the attorney for the township in an awkward position to offer advice to her client in open or closed session regarding litigation strategy when one of the parties to that litigation is present. That could come as an added expense or detriment to the client.
“Our office’s purvey is limited to the Open Meetings Act and whether there has been a violation of it.”