Background on Algonquin Township Freedom of Information Act Violations

Article Reprinted with permission from Illnois Leaks:

Algonquin Township – The Circus tent is alive and well…ok, not so well

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –Algonquin Township Attorney James Kelly has provided some interesting information to the Road District’s Attorney Rob Hanlon regarding our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Township. 
Interesting because it appears to contain false information.

Jim Kelly

“It is my understanding that the Supervisor and Highway Commissioner, the parties, have discussed how to structure a settlement with the Plaintiffs.

“The conclusion of the discussion was that Mr. Gasser ‘volunteered’ to attempt to negotiate a global settlement of this lawsuit. The parties are free to talk between themselves.”

According to email communications we have obtained, it was not Mr. Gasser who volunteered to attempt to negotiate any settlement.

How Kelly came to such an understanding tells us he is either being lied to or making up talking points to satisfy the communication.

Andrew Gasser

“I never agreed to unilaterally start negotiations on behalf of the Township. 

“I was asked by Trustee David Chapman over the phone to see if Mr. Hanlon would be also willing to negotiate for the Township. 

“I stated to Trustee Chapman that it was a possibility, however, only after getting approval from the Supervisor. 

“Supervisor [Chuck] Lutzow called me and said he would appreciate this.” Andrew Gasser

What is rather comical in this matter is that it appears at least one trustee and the Supervisor have little faith in their legal counsel James Kelly.

This perception comes from their seeking a different attorney to negotiate the FOIA suit they are involved in.

Most telling!

More concerning is Kelly’s reference to a “global settlement”.

Considering the date of this communication is after our signed settlement with the Road District, we have no clue what “global”settlement Kelly would be referencing.

“The Supervisor will consider any thing presented by Mr. Gasser.”

One can only wonder why an attorney for the Township would think Mr. Gasser is in any position to discuss a settlement on behalf of the Township.

All that aside, why on earth would we ever negotiate with anyone other than the very entity we are in litigation with?

To date, there has been no discussion from the Township or its Attorney pertaining to any resolution of our FOIA case.

All indications are Kelly is more interested in fighting transparency and charging fees for the obstruction being done by his client.

A good starting point of resolving the FOIA suit is to provide the records requested.

You would think Kelly would have instructed his client to provide those records to avoid further expense.

Failure to provide public records is the norm for Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Miller Lukasik, who spent a small fortune of taxpayer dollars to have the courts rule that yes, she is the keeper of the records.

Now that the world knows Lukasik is the keeper of “all” the Township Records as well as those of the Road District, why is no one on this board demanding she turn over the requested records?

I think Hanlon’s comment to Kelly pretty much sums up the situation.

“This isn’t rocket science from the Township’s legal perspective. It was caught with its pants down, and its time to zip up.” 

Once again we urge the termination of James Kelly as the attorney for the Township and ask that the Clerk resign immediately for her failure to follow the law and release the requested public records.

You can download the comical communications between James Kelly, Rob Hanlon, and Andrew Gasser at this link.

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Background on Algonquin Township Freedom of Information Act Violations — 25 Comments

  1. No, Mr Allen, by continuously stirring the pot and adding gas to the fire, you increase the billable hours by all the attorneys involved. They are not the only problem.

  2. The only problem is noncompliance with FOIA. There is no reason an attorney has to be involved in FOIA…unless it is to increase billable hours or to hide things they should be providing. When public bodies do these things, they always blame the FOIA requester for costing them so much money, when the costs is entirely from their own failure to follow the law.

  3. No question there are problems with records at Alg Twh, has been since Gasser took office and rifled through them.

    Actually there was a records problem because the last few previous Clerks seem to not do the job properly.

    Now the problem is also the Dog’s piling on, over 100 FOIA requests, after being fed by Team Gasser info on FOIA.

    Some of the Gasser/Dog request ask for files that don’t exist, which they know don’t exist, or they already have copies of them.

    You Dog Dudes and even Cal Skinner are adding to the problem, no waltzing that fact.

    You are not helping the tax payers Dog’s, in fact you are making thing worst by playing games and now looking for some of our tax $$$$ to support your apparent hobby.

    Watch Dog’s hardly, they just report, you dudes are into intervention and lobbying for personal gain.

  4. You never seem to talk about what your agenda is. All you babble about is the non compliance. Sir you are part of the problem.

  5. Nob, your post made zero sense. Who is the dog, the dog dudes and the watch dogs you reference? And if the township records are (were) in Order FOIA requests aren’t that hard to answer.

    Every post on Algonquin township makes me sad, angry and disgusted.

  6. ECWDogs Joe.

    The records were not updated and put on disc, I heard 1987,(that date maybe wrong) was last time hard records were legally destroyed.

    Previous min two clerks didn’t do their jobs.

    Before this clerk was given access to all the records, Andrew Gasser rifled through them, that’s how they got on the NWH and this site.

    The ECWD are asking for records that don’t exist.

    The present clerk is also making mistakes, no question about it.

    The ECWD are piling on and some of the requests aren’t just two minute look up deals.

    It’s over the top from all sides Joe, and we’re getting screwed from all the BS games.

  7. Nob maybe you tossed them in your daughter’s garbage witch was recorded, hahaha idi8

  8. Robin, you continue to lie. We have not submitted 100 FOIA requests and you know that.

    If the records don’t exist then all they have to do is say so. Not responding in compliance with the law is the problem.

    And I do agree the past CLERKS failed miserably and presto, one is now your Supervisor who continues to violate FOIA.

  9. The records that appeared on McHenry County Blog came from the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

  10. Mr. Allen, what is your agenda for these records? Is it just to have them or just to continue to ask knowing you can up the ante at the money grab? What is the purpose? It sure doesn’t seem to benefit anyone but your organization. We the taxpayers sure aren’t getting any benefit.

  11. Kirk Allen for Illinois Governor!

    Illinois Leaks is GREAT!

    McHenry County and its crooked township BLOW!

  12. Oh I’m sorry it was 97 FOIA requests that are shown on the lawsuit.
    Close enough to 100 Kirk!

  13. Cal, how many records about have you requested/FOIA directly from Alg twh since the May 2017 change over?

  14. When Taxpayers have been illegally taxed, and taxpayers refuse to take the time and effort to discover&prove this, and some watchdogs take the time and risk at their own expense, that is just following the only mechanism provided by Illinois law.

    Yes, it would be cheaper to taxpayers to do their own research, show up at public meetings, and hold elected officials accountable for failure to follow Illinois law.

    Taxpayers have declined to do so.

    Net result?

    Taxpayers still better off when watchdogs find taxing bodies taking advantage of taxpayers, and hold those violators accountable in the only way made possible by Illinois law and the laziness of taxpayers.

  15. Where are the records the clerk can’t seem to find to fulfill FOIA requests?

    Maybe unauthorized “friend(s)”, that were allowed access to the records area and rifled through and read records, “mislaid” them.

    Maybe records were “relocated” by outgoing people.

    Maybe records were “lost” to discredit incoming winners.

    Possibly many hands in the records pot between the election and the winner taking over.

    Or maybe they are actually there and

    1. being told otherwise

    2. too lazy to look

    3. refusing to do job

    4. wanting to make another look bad?…

  16. “Maybe unauthorized “friend(s)”, that were allowed access to the records area and rifled through and read records, “mislaid” them.”

    Sure, Team Gasser rifled the records, that’s how they appeared here, on the NWH, and maybe got intentionally misfiled or just not returned.

    “Maybe records were “lost” to discredit incoming winners.”

    More likely to discredit the losers since that is Team Gassers end game.

    The Dog’s have said they even FOIA records they already have copies of, or know there are no records.

    Piling on with a payoff of tax $$$$ in the near future.


  17. You can name yourself a Watchdog organization, but in fact a more correct name would be Edgar Co Advocates and Lobbyist.

    Rachael Lawrence Facebook:

    Which non-profit (“legal charity”) will you be donating to: American Watchdogs, Inc. OR Edgar County Watchdogs, Inc.?

    Speaking of getting paid, you reported to the IRS $60K+ on this year’s filing for American Watchdogs under the Employee Salaries and compensation. So who got paid? Just curious.…/813432164_201712_990…

    Honestly the worst thing about Kirk Allen and John Kraft is that they have done SO much GOOD in so many places, but they’ve invested too much work into Algonquin Township for too long to take a step back and see the big picture.

    I honestly feel a little sorry for them both, because it’s almost as if they’re too far “in” to turn around now, or even fathom the notion that they were used.
    Just like a looooong line of others.

    They can’t or won’t admit they might have been wrong–about ANYTHING.

    It’s a shame, because I truly believe they started out on this journey with good intentions, but somehow somewhere, those lines got blurred. OR, maybe it’s just too lucrative for them to resist now.
    Who knows.

  18. the nob, nice try. Is the above a copy/paste from another story?

    You keep convincing yourself it was/is not the previous regime and that the villain is Gasser.

    Repeating it over and over still does not make it true.

    It was the clerk that was on video letting unauthorized person(s) access to the records and reading them aloud.

    Keep trying, nob.

  19. outwiththeold – What does make it true is the inept way he has gone about his business. Maybe villian isn’t the right word, but idiot, fool, moron, lunatic and a few others all come to mind. He is costing us thousands of dollars stroking his ego. I voted for him, I believed the Miller clan was corrupt, but I don’t think they cost us as much as this complete idiot. There is no way you can justify Gasser’s term so far as being competent. The next election can’t come fast enough. This lunacy needs to end.

  20. Tell me friend, was the so called Miller Clerk the one that let out all the info out to this blog, NWH, and the Dog’s or a member of Team Gasser?

    No one is saying Miller or the Clerk are without some fault.

    Take the blinders off, the piling on by the Dog’s are costing Alg Twh residents $$$$, $$$$ to run the Road Dept, not to chase a vendetta.

    The Dog’s are asking for records they have already or don’t exist and they know that.

    If that isn’t playing political game at tax payers expense what is?

  21. Robin, you still lie and misrepresent the FOIA matter. We have not filed 97 FOIA requests nor does the court record reflect 97 requests. Our complaint was a 16 count complaint, tied to 16 FOIA requests.

    There are approximately 100 records not provided from those 16 FOIA requests. Why do you continue to lie across this board and social media about this fact?

    What you also fail to realize is the fact we need original sourced documents to validate what we may have on hand from whistleblowers. Just because we have a document from one source does not mean we accept it as real and write about it. We have to get it from the source to make sure we are not being set up, which we believe one board member tried already but failed miserably.

    Why no mention of the 2nd phase of the investigation that was passed to the Appellate prosecutor?

  22. Word games Kirk, 100 is 100 no matter how you Waltz it friend.

    You’re a advocate for Team Gasser and piled on taking advantage of our personnel and records problems.

    Suiting for $$$$ is wrong, it doesn’t benefit the tax payer in anyway.

    Why don’t you, the expert on all Alg Twh, tell us all about the second investigation?

    The past isn’t important, it’s the future spending we can control.

    Team Gasser’s actions trying to play GOD has cost us way to much.

    Go away!

  23. Again, nice try nob.

    still saying it over and over to try to make it true?

    You make no mention of the current clerk allowing an intruder to view, read and possibly “lose” records?

    We know where the problems and costs originated and continue.

  24. Y’ll like to imply criminal intent, yet have no proof of such by the Clerk or the elected official that help her.

    When you have proof those two lost records, produce that.

    Right now the Clerk and Supervisor say records are missing, and we know for a fact Team Gasser rifled the records and released copies of those to this blog, NWH, and to the Dog’s

    We also know the Dog’s are FOIA for around 100 copies of records they already have or know never existed.

    Watchdogs observe and report, they don’t take advantage of a bad situation for financial gain.

    Waltz away, support wasting tax money for political gain.

  25. Robin, Word games is what your playing, not us.

    The courts are clear on what a request is vs a record.

    One request for emails may produce hundreds of emails but it is still one request, not hundreds.

    And even if we did FOIA records that we have, we have to get them from the public body to validate them so that we don’t get set up, which some people have tried to do by providing bogus and fabricated documents.

    I don’t know what never existed and to imply such a thing shows your ignorance.

    Some records I suspect they don’t have because they are not doing their job properly but that means they just have to say they searched and no record exists.

    Pretty simple to comply with FOIA and this group refuses and continues to have Kelly take care of all of it and costing the taxpayers more money.

    Interesting how silent you are on his billing and making money off of FOIA each and every time ANYONE submits one.

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