Today the venue was the McHenry County Courtroom of Judge Thomas Meyer.
Grafton Township Trustees successfully sought a Temporary Restraining Order to change phone and internet lines back to the way they were before Supervisor Linda Moore rerouted several township numbers, including the one listed in the phone book as “Township Supervisor.”
The judge ruled,
“Linda Moore is hereby ordered to refrain from interfering, altering, transferring or otherwise directing AT&T to transfer telephone, fax or DSL service for the township’s phone numbers 847-669-3328, 847-669-9256, 847-669-8500, 847-669-1171 and 847-669-1064.”
Township Attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer was made the contact person with the phone company.
What caused the court action, which undoubted cost of $1,000 in legal fees?
“She took all the phone lines to her house,” new-hired Township Administrator Pam Fender told me.
“She could have told us at the meeting on Tuesday. She could have told us at Bingo. We had the internet missing on Wednesday. I tried calling AT&T on Wednesday, but they wouldn’t talk to me. I don’t have a pass code. They won’t do anything without a court order.
“Once again, we have seniors waiting around. Now, they can’t make reservations. Friday is a busy day.
“He (the judge) said OK to h ave some kind of an emergency order.”
Judge Meyer had made his decision and Krafthefer was writing the court order.
Then the clerk said,
“I’ve just gotten an email saying Linda Moore is here for the TRO.”
Then, Linda and David Moore entered the room with two township attorneys, Fender and Trustees Gerry McMahon and Betty Zirk.
Moore explained that her attorney John Nelson, from Rockford, was a single practitioner, and in court elsewhere.
She did, however, hand the judge a rebuttal that Nelson had written after receiving the papers from the township attorney’s firm, Ancel, Glink last night at 8:30.
“The long and the short of this matter is that the petitioners for the Temporary Restraining Order come to court with unclean hands and their petition should either be denied or set over to be heard on April 14, 2010 when other matters are heard.”
In addition, Moore’s attorney argued,
“The defendants have hired a woman who they have designated in their pleadings as the Township Administrator to usurp the plaintiff’s position as township supervisor, an obvious attempt for them to claim that the plaintiff has abandoned her duties and should be removed from office.
“As part of the action of the defendant they have made it impossible for the township supervisor to do her duties on site at the Grafton Township Hall.
“Following the advice of one of the defendants when the issue was discussed at a Township Board meeting, she has temporarily moved her office to her home until the matter is resolved. As such it was necessary to transfer the telephone number of the Township Supervisor of Grafton Township to her home.
“The Supervisor should be running the day-to-day operations of the township and would be, but for the unlawful interference by the defendants.
“This includes answering the telephone. In Grafton Township what remains of a transportation system for the elderly that employees three drivers while the Supervisor is easily able to run the system—which appears to exist without any statutory authority under township law—the plaintiff Supervisor of Grafton Township is forwarding all request(s) for bus service to the Township Administrator until the matter is resolved…
“The defendants cannot force the plaintiff out of her office and complain she ‘hijacked’ ‘their’ telephone number.
“The plaintiff submits that it is much more important that the Grafton Township General Assistance applicants be referred to the proper place with maximum confidentiality than any real claim that can be made by defendants. They have telephone service, it’s simply the listed number for the Grafton Township Supervisor and Grafton Township should go to the CEO.”
The judge asked Moore to try to contact her attorney.
After numerous attempts, she was unsuccessful.
Explaining to Moore what had happened before she arrive, Meyer said,
“They’re saying you had the phone numbers re-routed. They want to undo that.
“I granted the relief they requested and then set it over until Thursday so that Judge (Michael) Caldwell, who is more familiar with the case (can decide whether to make the order permanent).
“The purpose of my order is to preserved yesterday’s status quo and let you get your two cents in.”
When Moore tried to comment, Meyer warned,
“I am specifically saying, ‘Don’t argue your (case).’”
Then Meyer asked Ancel, Glink attorney Thomas G. DiCanni,
“If you could give her the order.”
“My order is to preserve yesterday’s status quo,” he repeated.
“I don’t know your side of the story. Talk to your attorney. (I would prefer you) not to speak for fear you might say something you shouldn’t.”
Meyer said that he could set the next court date on Tuesday or Wednesday and Moore indicated that Nelson would be available Tuesday.
The township attorney expressed his problem “that we’re going to lose a whole day,” if the judge’s order were not entered Friday.
After considering Nelson’s pleadings, Meyer concluded,
“I’m going to go with my first decision…I’m not going to hold it on the basis of the (Moore lawyer’s). I petition. I think (the Trustees’) petition is adequate.”
Later he said, “In reading your attorney’s response it was helpful to me, but (not persuasive).”
I”m just addressing the phone numbers,” the judge emphasized.
“’I think the equity lies with them.
“If your attorney can make it Tuesday, let’s put it on for 9 o’clock on the 30th.
“My order will only have effect until Judge Caldwell has a chance to extend it.”
To the court, Fender revealed, “They changed it on Monday. One took effect on Wednesday. The other took effect yesterday.
“If you want to call your attorney (again), I’ll be here (for a while),” Meyer told Moore.
When Moore came back she said her attorney wanted it noted that the order was “entered over our objections.”
That was noted.
After the hearing I asked Fender how soon service could be connected the way it was.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“No comment,” said Trustee McMahon.
“No comment,” echoed Trustee Zirk.