This afternoon in Judge Michael Caldwell’s courtroom, five attorneys were on the clock in Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser’s suit against predecessor Bob Miller, his wife Anna May and newly-elected Township Clerk Karen Lukasik.
David McArdle, representing Clerk Lukasik, asked the judge to prevent the destruction of records by Gasser and Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow, mentioning specifically security camera footage.
McArdle asked specifically that “Chris Welky of Ace Security Works or any other independent computer technician to make copies.”
This was modified to appoint Joe Gottemoller to hire someone to make copies of the security disk and those of copy and scanning machines, turning them into the court for distribution.
Commentary while waiting for an attorney reported to be representing Anna May Miller, revealed some other interesting information.
Lukasik was said to have walked into the office on May 5th (after the election, but before being sworn into office) and seen a cabinet full of documents.
On June 1st those cabinets were empty, McArdle revealed.
An unidentified third party was reported to have been seen on May 12th and 13th removing boxes from Algonquin Township offices.
McArdle convinced Judge Caldwell that “everybody will be served by freezing the evidence.”
Robert Hanlon, representing Gasser agreed that “preservation of records is paramount in this case.”
He suggested that “there has been misconduct.”
Hanlon objected to the hiring of the security service which had been providing the cameras and video recording, explaining that it had “refused” to provide “passwords” when requested.
Hanlon read from the stature that tells of the duty of every person going out of office to leave public records, the definition of which includes “digitized electronic material.”
He added a mention of the purchase of purses and “trips to Disneyland.”
Thomas Gooch, representing Miller, pointed out the Gasser’s case “assumes my client has access for records.”
“I don’t know where this Disneyland charge came from.
“My clients took no records with them on May 12th.”
Gooch said he did “have a problem with ‘all persons'” being in the Temporary Restraining Order.
He said there was no allegation that Bob Miller took township records.
“He took no records and there is no allegation that he took any records.”
Hanlon immediately brought him emails.
“Not a signal email was left.
“They were not present because he kept them in a forum outside the township,” Hanlon stated.
He then cited the case in which the Chicago Tribune sued Mayor Rahm Emmanuel for access to his private email account, which was used for official business.
Caldwell concluded, “If we are going to restrain one party, we should restrain all parties to the case.”
Gooch argued that if his client was gong to destroy records, “they would be long gone.”
Jim Kelly, representing Supervisor Chuck Lutzow, then raised privacy issues regarding General Assistance recipients and Social Security numbers of employees.
Judge Caldwell agreed that should be in his court order.
The final attorney was Mark Gummerson, also representing the Township Clerk.
In other news, Judge Michael Chmiel, who was originally assigned the case, recused himself, the result being that Judge Caldwell got the case.