"Town Hall" Litigation over in Grafton Township, 2010 Fall Elections Will Settle the Issue

The following has been received from the office of Jim Bishop, attorney for Dan Ziller, Jr., et al, in their successful case against the Grafton Township Board’s attempt to build a new township hall without voter approval:

The Illinois Appellate Court officially ended the legal battle of the stalled Grafton Township Town Hall project. No negotiations with respect to settlement are either appropriate or necessary.

The Appellate Court ended all speculation with its Decision of September 18, 2009, ruling in favor of the Grafton Township residents that filed suit against Grafton Township Officials, the Appellate Court ruled that there must be a the then Township Supervisor, John Rossi and the other Trustees.

The Appellate Court has ruled that the issue must be placed on the ballot for the vote of the residents of Grafton Township at the November 2010 General Election. The referendum will determine whether the project to construct a new township hall, estimated to cost in excess of $5 million, will proceed.

For more than seven months, the residents of Grafton Township have pleaded with, and finally sued, the Grafton Township Board of Trustees to delay the construction until a referendum could be placed on the ballot concerning this important matter.

Over a period of many months, the Grafton Board of Trustees refused to halt the project necessitating the litigation.

The Appellate Court sided with the residents on all issues in the Court’s 12 page published Opinion.

Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore, who has been steadfastly opposed to the Town Hall construction project, has been continuously thwarted by the actions of the majority of the Trustees, which led to the recent resignation of Township Attorney, Joseph Gottemoller.

The continued refusal of the majority of the Grafton Township Trustees may well lead to additional litigation against the Township in order that the residents may see certain financial and other documents relating to various expenditures over the past 4 years.

James Bishop, attorney for the Plaintiffs in the “town hall” litigation has recently filed a Freedom of Information request with the Township Clerk, Dina Frigo, and has indicated that should the Trustees continue to refuse to provide such financial documentation, another lawsuit will be forthcoming.

Among financial documentation sought by Bishop are annual

  • Township audits for the years 2006-2009,
  • monthly bank statements, check registers,
  • contracts relating to the sale of the existing township property,
  • contracts and other documentation.

By law, the township is required to respond to Bishop’s FOI request early next week.

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Seen at the Grafton Township meeting when attorney Joe Gottemoller rendered his resignation are, from left to right, Township Clerk Dina Frigo, Township Trustees Rob LaPorta, Betty Zirk and Gerry McMahon. Trustee Barbara Murphy has her back to the camera. Township Supervisor Linda Moore was medically indisposed. If you wish, you can read Gottemoller’s parting advice to the board.

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