McHenry County Board’s Secret Special Prosecutor Meeting Passes AG’s Muster

It couldn’t be characterized as “transparent,” but the secret meeting the McHenry County Board held on Feb. 14, 2011, to discuss legal bills from Special Prosecutor Henry Tonigan doesn’t qualify as “Illegal.’

Former McHenry County Board member Lou Anne Majewski filed a complaint about it on March 28th with the Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office about the closed door session.

In a letter dated June 3, 2011, Assistant Public Access Counselor Amanda Lundeen ruled that the Board was discussing “pending litigation.” Weighing in on the matter is the fact that the County is an intervenor in the case involving the appointment of the special prosecutor. Majewski argued that the Appellate Prosecutor was the intervenor.

Majewski also argued that the meeting concerned the payment of the special prosecutor’s bills in his criminal case against McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, which she contended was not eligible to hide from the public.

The Public Access Counselor’s Office ruled that the resolution concerning Tonigan’s bill was discussed “only as a part of the Board’s overall litigation strategy”… and, therefore, was “proper” to discuss in private.
Prior to issuing the opinion, AG Office staff read the minutes of the Executive Session and listened to a tape of the meeting behind closed doors.

Yesterday, Kevin Craver wrote an article for the Northwest Herald in which three members of the McHenry County Board’s Legislative Committee were reprorted to have met in private.

The Open Meetings Act provides that a majority of no committee may meet in private and, in any event, must give 48 hours notice.

Democrat Kathy Bergan Schmitt told the paper that such action was “inappropriate.”

The three committee members involved were Marc Munaretto, John Jung and Nick Provenzano.

Munaretto said that the three were not in the room at the same time, that when a third one came in another left.

The NW Herald has referred the matter to the Public Access Counselor, the article says.


McHenry County Board’s Secret Special Prosecutor Meeting Passes AG’s Muster — 5 Comments

  1. You forgot the name Ken Koehler.

    People should be reminded of this behind close doors, under the table deals at election time.

    Term Limits!

    Vote these sorry examples of leadership out.

  2. Too bad that the P.A.C.’s office wimped out on this one. There is no way that legal fees are “pending litigation”. Sure, the pending litigation is “pending litigation”, but the fees for it are not.

    The P.A.C. should have ruled that the fees needed to be discussed in public!

  3. Gus, how on earth could you possible know what is and what is not pending litigation? You are not a lawyer, you are not a board member, you are nothing!

    How about this POSSIBLE scenario which I will not report as if it were a fact (as you so often do):

    Tonigan and his crowd, having not received payment have issued a demand for payment along with the threat of legal action to collect what they feel is owed to them. Double check, but I think that the exemption applies to actual, pending, contemplated or threatened legal action.

  4. The McHenry County Board is accepting applications from persons interested in appointment to the McHenry County Ethics Commission.

    Two (2) vacant positions are available for terms ending February 1, 2013.

    Application forms are available at the County Board Office, Room 209, McHenry County Government Center, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock, IL 60098 (815-334-4221) or the Application may be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page. Applications should be returned to the County Board office no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 17, 2011. If mailing your application, certified or registered mail is recommended.

    Mailed applications should be sent to the following address: McHenry County Board, 2200 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098.

  5. Who attended the secret closed door MCC Board meeting on Monday Feb 14, 2011?

    What was the location and time of the secret meeting?

    Was there a Meeting Notice for the secret meeting?

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