Details of Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller’s Last Minute Street Sweeper Purchase

Take a look at this November 8, 2017, email from Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser’s attorney Robert Hanlon to former Algonquin Township Commissioner Bob Miller’s attorney Tom Gooch:

Mr. Gooch:

In an effort to be as direct as I can be with you, attached are several correspondences between Robert Miller and others of and concerning the bids for a Street Sweeper purchased by Algonquin Township at the direction of Mr. Miller after he lost the primary.

[See from McHenry County Blog

These documents were obtained via subpoena previously served upon you.

You may recall our discussion related to that subpoena. I suspect that you have already learned of my reaching out to Standard Equipment.

They are represented by Sonnenshien (whatever the latest name is today).

I will be forwarding to you a separate series of subpoenas in the next few days after I serve them along with other counsel in this case.

The emails attached hereto depict the following:

  • On 3/15/2017 Kevin Watts of RNow solicits Bob Miller for a Street sweeper providing a brochure.
  • On 3/20/2017 Richard Bakken of Standard Equipment delivers specs to Bob Miller on an Elgin Crosswind Machine.
  • On 4/04/2017 Richard Bakken revises the Specs and delivers the revised specifications to Bob Miller.
  • On 4/07/2017 Bob Miller orders for publication in the Northwest Herald/Shaw Media an advertisement to appear on 4/10/2017.
  • On 4/10/2017 Northwest Herald Publishes Notice of Invitation for Bids using the language from the Richard Bakken list.
  • On 4/10/2017 Richard Bakken delivers to Bob Miller a revised spec sheet that is thereafter used as the official bid package spec sheet.
  • On 4/17/2017 Richard Bakken seeks an “Official Bid Package” and the Official Bid Package is delivered to him using his exact same document as what Richard Bakken prepared – all the way down to the font used.
  • On 4/26/2017 Richard Bakken sent an e-mail to Bob Miller with his “official bid” signed and  indicating that he will bring an original bid sheet to the meeting for opening the bids later that evening.
  • On 4/26/2017 the bids were opened.

Wm Nobbe Co. Regenerative Sweeper                   $253,700.00
Standard Equipment, Elgin Sweeper                       $307,719.25  (Richard Bakken’s Company)
RNOW, Schwartz                                                    $267,622.00

Standard Equipment revised its bid down to $297,000.85 beause it did not comply with the bid package it prepared. (I find that amusing)

Yet Standard Equipment was awarded the contract on the basis that it matched the specifications in the bid package as opposed to the competitive bids.

The street sweeper from a brochure provided to Bob Miller by Standard Equipment Company.

Also attached are the clothing allowance information from the records maintained by the Township as of the date Mr. Gasser took office.

You will note that the established policy does not allow for the type of clothing set forth in the complaint.

Also attached is a copy of the Road District Personnel Policy and Procedures Handbook in effect at the time Mr. Miller left office.

That was the last policy found in any electronic record or any physical record at Algonquin Township Road District or the Township itself.

If you are open to a settlement discussion, I have a few ideas.

Robert T. Hanlon

The emails include ones between Standard Equipment Company’s Bob Bakken and Road Commissioner Bob Miller.

On March 31st Bakken sends Miller revised specifications for a street sweeper, the original suggestion having been sent on March 15th. That was followed by “a [second] revised Crosswind spec” on April 4th and still another one on April 10th

Below is how second revised version of the bid specification starts:

Top of 13-page Algonquin Township street sweeper bid specifications specification sent from Standard Equipment Company, the winning bidder.


Details of Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller’s Last Minute Street Sweeper Purchase — 12 Comments

  1. (720 ILCS 5/33E-6) (from Ch. 38, par. 33E-6)

    Sec. 33E-6. Interference with contract submission and award by public official.

    (a) Any person who is an official of or employed by any unit of State or local government who knowingly conveys, either directly or indirectly, outside of the publicly available official invitation to bid, pre-bid conference, solicitation for contracts procedure or such procedure used in any sheltered market procurement adopted pursuant to law or ordinance by that unit of government, to any person any information concerning the specifications for such contract or the identity of any particular potential subcontractors, when inclusion of such information concerning the specifications or contractors in the bid or offer would influence the likelihood of acceptance of such bid or offer, commits a Class 4 felony. It shall not constitute a violation of this subsection to convey information intended to clarify plans or specifications regarding a public contract where such disclosure of information is also made generally available to the public.

  2. Publius thank you for the law on this.

    It’s helpful.

    If those emails are from the email account used at the township are they public record too?

  3. Nob defended his buddy Bob when bob picked the high bid. I’m curious if after reading this article and publius comment if he’s seen the light.

  4. Were there campaign donations to any of the Millers by Bakken or Standard Equipment?

  5. BOT approximately $2,320 over several years.

    Looks like standard Equipment Company makes routine donations to incumbent candidates.

    That is not illegal.

  6. I remember being slightly involved in purchasing some routine items for the county.

    I asked the question if we always had to buy at the lowest price.

    The answer was if it is the same item then “yes” but a similar item could be bought at a higher price if it justified through service availability, quality of product and things like that.

    She added that unless you want to go to jail, you must be very careful and always buy what is the most reasonable and makes the most sense.

  7. Exhibits 345 and 346 for the Prosecution, United States v. Bobby Miller, et al., Northern Dist. of Ill.

  8. Publius, thanks for the info, but the laws of Illinois never applied to Bob Miller.

    At least that’s what he thought and how he operated for decades.

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