Ancel Glink will soon get a big pay day.
Grafton Township Trustees went to court Monday seeking payment of $100 per diems for past meetings and tens of thousands of dollars of legal fees to their law firm.
“She has to pay our fees. Nothing else has been decided,” Ancel Glink attorney Thomas DiCianni said, summing up the day in court.
Under former Supervisor John Rossi, the Trustees had been being paid quarterly, but in May, according to Trustee Betty Zirk, the only one from that side of the case in court, the Board voted to be paid monthly because “a couple of trustees were having trouble.”
“The reason Ms. Moore is refusing to pay the bills, in my opinion, is she’s vindictive because she lost the appeal [of Judge Michael Caldwell’s ruling that Moore could appoint the Township Attorney of her choice, which in this case was her litigation attorney John Nelson],” attorney Thomas DiCianni said.
Supervisor Linda Moore (who is also the Treasurer of the Township and Road District) cut the checks for all but one meeting prior to the court hearing, so that part of the motion was ruled “moot” or irrelevant.
The meeting in question was a committee meeting of the Senior Transportation Advisory Board for which state law prohibits payment. Moore called a special board meeting for it in order to prevent the Board from violating the Open Meetings Act.
Asked if Grafton Township had the money to pay the almost $50,000, Moore, “Yes, (but) the effect of these legal bills over time is going to cause the township to limit expenses.
“The Trustees always have the option to go with more reasonable attorneys.”
After observing, “I don’t know under what authority she doesn’t pay bills approved (by the Township Board), DiCianni asked Judge Michael Caldwell to hold Moore in contempt of court and “sanction incarceration.”
“Take her away today and show her the game she is paying should end.”
“Procedurally, this case is now ready for (that),” Caldwell replied.
Moore attorney John Nelson said the hearing consisted of two elements:
Nelson asked if Moore were in a position to “debate” the Ancel Glink bills, whether they were “reasonable and proper.”
- the payment of Trustees, which he argued had nothing to do with the state statutes cited in support of payment of the per diems and
- “Mr. Dicianni’s attorney’s bills.”
Nelson objected that the motion filed “tends to pack both issues.”
Nelson noted that his bills had been subject to discussion.
“Even though my rate is higher, my bill is lower.”
Nelson observed that the Court could say, “this is a mess the Grafton Township officials have gotten themselves into and they have to pay the bills.”
DiCianni pointed out that some bills were from before Ancel Glink was dismissed as Grafton Township attorney.
There was discussion about Assessor Bill Ottley’s wanting to remodel his office.
Nelson said Moore had discussed it with him.
“The Assessor wants to do a project in excess of $20,000 and (is trying) to do it in a piecemeal basis, which is illegal,” Nelson said.
Before ruling that the Ancel Glink legal bills should be paid, Judge Caldwell said,
“I do not have any discretion to determine the propriety or reasonableness (of the bills).
“The payment of these bills is a ministerial act and should be done.”
The Court added that he didn’t have any standard with which to compel Moore to pay the Trustees’ per diems.
“If she wants to do so quarterly, she can do so,” he said.
There won’t be another court hearing until January 20, 2012. It will be a 1:30 in the afternoon.
The subject of hearing, DiCianni said, will be “what else has to be done to bring this case to a conclusion, other disputes coming up that were not covered by the original order.. I think he’s seeking concrete suggestions.”
Nelson wondered if DiCianni wanted a final court order, so he could it appeal parts of it to the Appellate Court.