The chickens finally came home to roost today in the Edgar County Watchdogs’ (publisher of Illinois Leaks) Freedom of Information suit against the Algonquin Township Road District.
It is costing taxpayers $55,000, $15,000 more than if the Algonquin Township Board had paid the bill in October, when Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser explained the settlement his attorney
Robert Hanlon had negotiated on his behalf.
Yesterday, Associate Judge Thomas Meyer ordered the bank to turnover of the funds.
Today Illinois Leaks attorney Denise Ambroziak will go to the American Community Bank to get the $55,000 check resulting from the eight failures of Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasiks’ to provide answers to Freedom of Information requests.
The price for Lukasik’s failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act started out with a settlement agreement of $40,000.
Because the Algonquin Township Board took no action in October, even though being told them the cost would go up $5,000 for each month’s delay, the price escalated.
Attorney’s fees are included in the settlement figure, although state law says they could be levied separately.
In the only other high profile FOIA suit, the one filed by Peter Gonigam (First Electric Newspaper) against Sheriff Keith Nygren for the report on Undersheriff Andrew Zinke, Gonigam received $5,000, while his attorney, Mary Gardner, received $104,000.