When former Sheriff Keith Nygren refused to release his report exonerating his Undersheriff Andy Zinke in his dealings with an executive of Rita Corporation, First Electric Newspaper Publisher Pete Gonigam took him to court.
Gonigam had an Illinois Attorney General’s non-binding decision to use in his attorney Mary Gardner’ suit.
The Freedom of Information Act allows those who win court cases to receive expenses.
Those include court filing costs, witness fee, transcripts, etc. of $1,062.46. There is another $1.306.62 which Gardner says any other client would have paid.
She spent almost 317 hours on the case.
“Because of the significantly delayed and contingent nature of the fees herein,” she wrote in a court document filed May 29th, “Petitioner asserts that $325 per hour is a fair and reasonable hourly rate for her time.”
“…this is a FOIA case in which the Office of Sheriff of McHenry County was found to have no basis an exemption for certain documents and to have waived any exemption to the most important document.”
The total request is for $93,896.75, plus the $1,062.46 in costs.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office thought that amount too high because First Electric did not get everything made public.
In fact, a June 26th filing indicates no attorney’s fees should be paid for the two years of litigation.
In her reply, Gardner made some corrections pointed out by the State’s Attorney’s Office and added the cost of preparing her rebuttal.
The total request for payment now is $97,884.25.