In a suit filed yesterday, Andrew Gasser, Algonquin Township Road Commissioner, sued Township Clerk Karen Lukasik, plus former Road Commissioner Robert Miller and his wife Anna May, who served as Miller’s Administrative Assistant.
The new Highway Commissioner is seeking a court order restraining the three “from destroying any records rightfully belonging to the Algonquin Township.”
Gasser, noting that “no electronic records” for the Road District “are known to exist.”
“There is not a single e-mail in the records,” the filing by attorney Robert Hanlon states.”
Although the records were requested from Miller by Gasser, “to date, Miller has turned over absolutely no substantive records” of the Department.
“Miller used a private e-email account to conduct…business,” as did his wife.
The cause of action points out that there are “no correspondences between Business Agents of the international Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 and Miller exist in the records of the Algonquin Township Highway Department.
Neither are records pertaining to the bargaining with Local 150 found.
The suit reveals that upon Gasser’s taking office, “Local 150 began issuing grievances related to a purported labor agreement.”
The statement of facts then veers in credit card by Miller, revealing that there are “no expense records” to be found.
Then comes information which will probably raise eyebrows:
On or about May 30, 2017, an anonymous package arrived at Algonquin Township addressed to ‘Highway Dept., c/o Andrew Gasser, 3702 N.S. Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. The return address was the Algonquin Township offices.
Contained within the package were various records of credit card purchase on a Capital One credit card and an American Express Platinum Business Credit Card.
The total balance shown on the respective cardholder statements were expensed to the Algonquin Township Highway Department.
However, numerous purchases were for women’s clothing (including but not limited to Prada, Lands’ End, Levenger, and Orvis, another retainler of high end quality women’s fashions.
The American Express statements “are addressed to Algonquin Twnshp Hwy Robert Miller.”
Purchases, for which credit card statements are attached to the suit, include
- $384.53 – Lavenger Catalog/Webdelray BCH, dated 11-7-14
- $329 – a purse
“The stack of credit card charges and invoice documents link specific charges to specific items of women’s clothing based upon UPC codes and item numbers,” the text continues.
Over 200 pages of statements and identified purchases “suggest financial misconduct at Algonquin Township via the use of Miller’s credit card as well as other schemes and artifices.”
Next the suit moves onto Township Clerk Lukasik, who ran on a ticket with Miller.
It says newly-elected Clerk Lukasik “has articulated that she intends to destroy various records of Algonquin Township, presumably included records of Miller’s use of official credit cards for personal use.”
Revealing another angle is the assumption that gift cards purchased “were in turn used to purchase personal goods unrelated to the business of government of Algonquin Township.”
Attorney Hanlon suggests there was “a scheme…to received additional compensation beyond salaries as well as ‘bonuses.'”
The suit suggests “the pattern and practice of the use of credit cars as described herein extends many years into the past.”
The documents in the package, however only date from 2012 to December, 2016.
Gasser asks for the documents “to ascertain if the amounts charged to the Algonquin Township Highway Department served any lawful purpose.”
He also says that getting the e-mail records of the two Millers “may aid in the investigation of potential criminal conduct (i.e. the misuse of government money).
Without the injunction requested, Hanlon argues that “there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent “the People of Algonquin Township, including plaintiff,” from suffering irreparable harm, as well as “undermine the rule of law and create a threat to the enforcement of the right of the People to open government.”
Also noted is state law requires the delivery of records, but enforcement is up to a judge.
The case has been assigned to Judge Michael Chmiel.