Transcript of Grafton Township Separation of Powers Case from March 11, 2011

Linda Moore Attorney John Nelson is seen sitting on the right in the audience of the last Grafton Township meeting. Moore nominated him for Township Attorney, but the four Trustees voted, "No."

If you are not interested in what is happening in Grafton Township, ignore this post. It contains the court transcript for the separation of powers case between Supervisor Linda Moore and the Township Trustees.

Of possible interest is

  • the determination of whether the Supervisor or the Trustees gets to select the computer consultant is deferred,
  • former Township Administrator Pam Fender gets reimbursed for the money she spent to put together last April’s Annual Town Meeting,
  • a decision is made regarding whether Ancel Glink may continue to give advice to the Township Trustees, even if the firm is not paid for it (Island Lake’s situation gets mentioned),
  • mention of a rule to show cause,
  • whether Moore attorney John Nelson will be appointed Township Attorney even though the Township Board rejected him 4-1,
  • discussion of whether attorney Richard Cowen, who advised Moore before she retained Nelson, should be paid

STATE OF ILLINOIS ))
SS:
COUNTY OF MCHENRY )

IN THE TWENTY-SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
MCHENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS
LINDA I. MOORE, in her official
capacity as GRAFTON TOWNSHIP
SUPERVISOR,
Plaintiff,

vs.

GRAFTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF
TRUSTEES, BETTY ZIRK, GERALD
MCMAHON, ROB LAPORTA, BARBARA
MURPHY, in their official capacity
and KERI-LYN KRAFTHEFER of ANCEL
GLINK DIAMOND BUSH DICIANNI &
KRAFTHEFER P.C., in her official
capacity as acting Grafton
Township Attorney, and GRAFTON
TOWNSHIP,
Defendants.
))))))))))))))))))))

No. 10 CH 684

ELECTRONICALLY RECORDED Report of
Proceedings had in the above-entitled cause before
The Honorable Michael T. Caldwell, Judge of the Circuit
Court of McHenry County, Illinois, on the 11th day of
March, 2011, in the McHenry County Government Center,
Woodstock, Illinois.

APPEARANCES:
NELSON & ASSOCIATES, by:
MR. JOHN M. NELSON,
on behalf of the Plaintiff,
ANCEL GLINK DIAMOND BUSH DICIANNI &
KRAFTHEFER, PC by:
MR. THOMAS G. DICIANNI
on behalf of the Defendants.

THE COURT: Linda Moore versus Grafton Township.
MR. NELSON: Good morning, Judge. This comes before the Court on status for entry on an order. I have a typed order, but I need to go over it with Mr. DiCianni.
THE COURT: Okay. We’ll pass it for now.
MR. NELSON: Thank you.
THE COURT: You’re welcome.
(Whereupon, the above-entitled matter
was passed and later recalled.)
THE COURT: Linda Moore versus Grafton Township.
MR. DICIANNI: Good morning, your Honor, Thomas DiCianni
for the defendants.
MR. NELSON: Attorney John Nelson for Linda Moore, your Honor, plaintiff.
MR. DICIANNI: Mr. Nelson has tendered me a draft of a — of an order based on the transcript and we’re for the most part in agreement on all the points. The only — the only issue that I raised and we’re asking to present it to the Court is we had moved — we had included in the motion — we had included in the motion an issue about who should be the township’s computer consultant. It really wasn’t addressed in the evidence at all and the Court — and the ruling didn’t address it and, frankly, I don’t feel that any — we’re in a position — the Court’s in a position to have ruled on it or we’re in a position to argue about it. I would just ask the Court to treat that part of the motion as withdrawn, seeing as though there’s nothing really in the record to address it and there’s nothing in the Court’s ruling about it.
THE COURT: I was just handed the transcript and, quite frankly, I think you’re right. I don’t have any recollection of the computer issue being resolved. The only thing I think about it is that I had some questions about how the computer expert retained by the trustees was in fact retained —
MR. DICIANNI: Right.
THE COURT: — in terms of allowing their original billing, but —
MR. DICIANNI: That had to do with the bill.
THE COURT: Right.
MR. DICIANNI: Right.
THE COURT: But in terms of designating —
MR. DICIANNI: Right, right. That sort of got lost in the other issues that became more contentious.
THE COURT: That’s something I guess they’ll have to iron out between themselves.
MR. DICIANNI: Yeah, well, (indiscernible) — other
than that —
THE COURT: Subject to —
MR. NELSON: Judge, there —
THE COURT: — further trips back here.
MR. NELSON: Well, Judge, the — the only question I had is, and I put — I put in my draft order the payment of a reimbursement of Pam Fender because part of their request was the payment of $312 and some cents reimbursing her for money she spent on supplies for the annual meeting, and you had — you didn’t address that particular bill, at least that I saw in the record, but overall you seemed to rule in favor of paying expenses of the annual meeting, —
THE COURT: Right.
MR. NELSON: — not paying the mailing and whatever, so I put that in there —
THE COURT: That’s fine.
MR. NELSON: All right.
MR. DICIANNI: A couple other issues. Mr. Nelson sent out a motion regarding a legal bill for Richard Cowen which I got in my office on Thursday and was out of my office, out of town actually, until Monday and I haven’t had a chance to respond to it. I don’t really know — well, I just haven’t had a chance to respond to it.
THE COURT: I’m in a position here based upon what’s been happening in front of me where I cannot make an award of attorneys’ fees no matter who has done what for whom because there is no statute that authorizes it and there is no contract that authorizes it and there is no ordinance or resolution by the township that authorizes it, but I have indicated in my ruling that each of you is entitled to be paid for your representation of the parties to this case.
MR. DICIANNI: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: So the procedure that should be followed in my judgment is that the bills should be submitted to the trustees for approval and payment, and then if it’s not, you can bring the matter back here.
MR. NELSON: It has not been — it has been submitted, Judge, and it has not been paid.
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. NELSON: It’s been denied.
MR. DICIANNI: It doesn’t fall neatly into either of those categories, so I would just like 14 days to explore it —
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. DICIANNI: — and respond to the motion if that’s even necessary.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. DICIANNI: Are you presenting this motion –- this other motion today?
MR. NELSON: Judge, I have prepared a motion for expansion of the preliminary injunctive order. My client was provided with a memorandum that I’ve attached, prepared by an attorney in Bloomington but a member of Mr. DiCianni’s office, and the Court had shrunk the injunction to Keri-Lyn Krafthefer solely. There is no language that, as many injunctive orders have, of agents, assigns, partners, employees, that kind of thing.

But we’re asking to expand it so that this kind of thing would be prohibited. The memorandum deals with current town business.
MR. DICIANNI: I didn’t know about this when it happened, but I would like time to respond. I think it’s a bigger issue than just this one — whether it should be expanded because I don’t think the Court can say or did say that the township trustees couldn’t seek legal advice from an attorney. What you said is we can’t represent the township and we can’t of course be paid for representing — for giving legal advice to the trustees.
THE COURT: They’re not going to sneak around behind the Court’s order and effectively take legal advice for routine township business from an attorney of their selection and bypass the appointed township attorney. I’m not going to allow that to happen because that simply — that simply defies the Court’s order.
MR. DICIANNI: Well, I can see — yes, that’s true, but that’s not what —
THE COURT: In this dispute I don’t have a problem, but we’re getting memoranda from a lawyer who has not been appointed as the township attorney by the township supervisor —
MR. DICIANNI: That’s — we have this going on in Island Lake right now where the trustees —
THE COURT: Well, that’s a different —
MR. DICIANNI: — have gone out and hired a different law firm.
THE COURT: — that’s a different proper.
MR. DICIANNI: I know, I know.
THE COURT: But if that’s the situation, then a rule to show cause should —
MR. DICIANNI: It’s an interesting issue. I – I — if this is going — this is going to be — it won’t happen again because we’ll be more careful about –- and, again, I didn’t know about this.
THE COURT: I’ll give you 14 days to answer
Mr. Nelson’s petition.
MR. DICIANNI: All right. Thank you.
MR. NELSON: Judge, do you want me to file this in the clerk’s office then or —
THE COURT: You can file with my clerk here.
MR. NELSON: Judge, in addition, I would be filing probably a motion — Miss Moore did attempt to appoint me as town attorney. The — not unsurprisingly that was defeated four to one. The trustees in fairness cited a conflict. If the Court has a strong feeling on –- you know, on this — but I think we have to get through that and then see where they’re going to go from there. So I’ll be filing —
THE COURT: (Indiscernible) hearing on that. The issue is, is there an articulable reason for not approving you.
MR. NELSON: Yes, sir, I understand.
THE COURT: Other than the fact that you represent
Ms. Moore.
MR. NELSON: Yes, sir.
MR. DICIANNI: Well, if that’s a motion that’s going to be presented, —
THE COURT: Yes.
MR. DICIANNI: — I guess we’ll deal with it when it’s presented.
THE COURT: When you going to file it?
MR. NELSON: Judge, I can file that within the next couple of days really or — well, by Tuesday.
THE COURT: I’ll give you 14 days to answer that.And we have at least three petitions then?
MR. DICIANNI: Yeah, that’s right.
THE COURT: And we’ll start the time to answer all of the petitions in this case on the 15th and we’ll give you until the 29th, Mr. DiCianni.
MR. DICIANNI: That’s fine.
THE COURT: And seven days thereafter to reply, Mr. Nelson.
MR. NELSON: Actually, you know, I’m going on vacation the 25th. It’s my — spring break for my son. Can I — can we get —
THE COURT: 21?
MR. NELSON: Yeah, 21.
THE COURT: That’s fine. Time to reply then is extended to April 11th. We’ll hear it on April 26th at 9:30.
MR. DICIANNI: All right. I have seven days to respond to his reply?
THE COURT: Right.
MR. DICIANNI: Did you say April 26th?
THE COURT: Six.
MR. NELSON: April 26.
MR. DICIANNI: 26th.
MR. NELSON: At what time, Judge? I’m sorry.
THE COURT: 9:30.
MR. DICIANNI: One final point, Lee Neubecker from Forensicon is in court here today. I think he might have thought that there was going to be some kind of a hearing. Obviously I don’t represent him, but he asked me if I would ask you if he could address the Court this morning.
THE COURT: No.
MR. DICIANNI: Okay.
THE COURT: He may not.
MR. NELSON: Thank you, Judge. What do you want to do about the order?
MR. DICIANNI: Well, just strike that one line, add that and we’re done.
MR. NELSON: Okay. We’ll hand it up.
Thank you, Judge.
THE COURT: All right.


Comments

Transcript of Grafton Township Separation of Powers Case from March 11, 2011 — 7 Comments

  1. Interesting…”THE COURT: They’re not going to sneak around behind the Court’s order and effectively take legal advice for routine township business from an attorney of their selection and bypass the appointed township attorney. I’m not going to allow that to happen because that simply — that simply defies the Court’s order.”

  2. There has not been an audit of the township fiances since Linda Moore was elected. Will the Judge “encourage” Linda to GET IT DONE?

  3. I heard Moore completed the audit FY ending 2009 and found almost $400K of audit adjustments. Get your facts straight if you are going to post.

  4. Interesting. I heard Moore didn’t. Did Cal publish the certified audit on this site? I must have missed it. Who knows what the facts are. Keeping the finances at home. Keeping the finances at the office. Moore here, Moore there. Linda recently admitted to not understanding how to use quickbooks, and making tons of manual adjustment. You’re probably right about the $400K. Does that seem like a lot? I bet Linda will have made moore adjustments for the year 2010. Thanks for setting me straight on Linda’s bookkeeping.

  5. Interesting. I heard Moore didn’t. Did Cal publish the certified audit on this site? I must have missed it. Who knows what the facts are. Keeping the finances at home. Keeping the finances at the office. Moore here, Moore there. Linda recently admitted to not understanding how to use quickbooks, and making tons of manual adjustment. You’re probably right about the $400K. Does that seem like a lot? I bet Linda will have made moore adjustments for the year 2010. Thanks for setting me straight on Linda’s bookkeeping.

  6. It’s interesting to see how you operate. You’re a piece of work Cal!

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