Andrew Gasser Responds to FOIA Lawsuit from Local 150 of the Operating Engineers

Andrew Gasser

Bob Miller

Yesterday, McHenry County Blog reported on the Freedom of Information denial suit against the Algonquin Township Road District.

Today, we’ll look at the response penned by Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser’s attorney Robert Hanlon.

It asks for a temporary restraining order stopping all arbitration “pursuant to the purported collective bargaining agreement until the invalidity of the purported is determined.”

Reasons include

  • there is nothing in the Algonquin Township Board’s minutes about any collective bargaining agreement
  • June 9th Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers filed for arbitration with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Gasser’s answers each of the FOIA suit allegation from Local 150 as one would expect.

Then a countercomplaint plows new ground.

It points out that Gasser’s predecessor, Bob Miller, said he turned over all records, but no electronic records pertaining to “the purported collective bargaining agreement” were found.

“There were no records relating to any demand for bargaining with Local 150.”

Further, a search of Algonquin Township Board meeting minutes during 2017 turned up “the appointment of any person to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of Algonquin Township or any of its entities.”

Hanlon then refers to state statutes conferring authority on township highway commissioners:

“The enumerated powers of the Road Commissioner do not include collective bargaining.”

The filing also notes that no Algonquin Township Board vote ratifying a collective bargaining agreement with Local 150 has taken place.

Nor has notice been given the public of Algonquin Township entering into negotiations with that union.

Nor has any authority to negotiate of sign such an agreement been authorized.

“The Algonquin Township Board of Trustees and the former Highway Commissioner, Robert Miller, lack the power to strip the authority of the Office of Highway Commissioner by way of a purported collective bargaining agreement with Local 150.”

The counterclaim notes that Gasser asked Miller, before taking office, if there were any labor agreements with Local 150 to which Miller replied in the negative.

In addition, Miller provided not labor agreement before May 15th, when Gasser took office.

The document reports that Gasser terminated three employees on the day he took office.

The result was grievances being filed by Local 150, moving on to a demand for arbitration.

Written in the countersuit is that Gasser told Local 150 and others that he would “repudiate any purported collective bargaining agreement extending into his term of office prior to May 1, 2017,” and he did so.

Now Local 150 charges that the Road District has committed an unfair labor practice because of the repudiation.

His attorney charges that the “purported agreement” violates the Open Meetings Act because no notice of any collective bargaining agreement was given the public and no meeting of the Township Board occurred to discuss it.

“Irreparable harm in their duties as public officials” will occur unless the requested injunction is granted, the motion argues.

Continuing it says that Gasser has an “inadequate remedy at law” and the suit is likely to succeed.

“The public interest requires that elected officials be required to engage all the functions of their
offices and not be bound by unauthorized practices or agreements for which they have no knowledge.”

More tomorrow.


Comments

Andrew Gasser Responds to FOIA Lawsuit from Local 150 of the Operating Engineers — 61 Comments

  1. Tick tock, tick-tick tock

    Looks like Union’s gonna be boner-blocked!

    Better than a seat at ‘Trump’s CNN Body Slam’

    This just proves the newly elected commish – Is The Man!

    Pass the Pepsi, the Goobers and the popcorn
    as we settle into our arm chairs that’r showing they’re worn

    From watching and rooting as the many news stories unfold
    Hoping the tale of Miller & his Minions is never again told.

    We can learn from mistakes, we can learn from our past
    Drain the Swamp of this snake, but surely, don’t make him your last!

    There are still too many awful politicians to be outed
    who get elected to office- lie, steal, cheat, – and they’re just getting started

    Never wanting or intending to fulfill their campaign promise
    but are only in it for themselves – As We Predicted- like Nostradamus.

  2. Unfortunately the Road district board is made up of two people, the clerk and the commissioner.

    Bob Miller knows this well.

  3. Withholding public information without justification..

    Eh, pretty sure that won’t end well.

    Good Luck with that one Andrew!

  4. Huh?

    “Unfortunately the Road district board is made up of two people”

    Can you explain?

  5. Does anyone have the singnature page from the 150 ‘agreement’?

    Was it ever filed with the clerk?

  6. It seems that not only Miller, but also every one of his minions are total lying crooks.

  7. The clerk is not a member of any board. Get your head outta your rear and read a book

  8. More attorneys lining their pockets because local township officials don’t understand their job.

    The township board has no real jurisdiction over the highway commission.

  9. Aren’t the board suppose to approve any road district contract spending $20K?

  10. I’m truly shocked at the Miller camps cheers.

    They espouse hope for failure by the newly elected, they openly support the conduct this blog has reported, they are gleeful that King Bob (under the cover of darkness) executed an agreement that he was never bound by in his term, they seam to think using the government credit cards for Disneyland is ok and more.

    They still cheer for bob and Andrews demise.

    With all this now known, I’m just curious where their integrity lies.

    Really, is this what good people do when a friend is exposed for the truth of what was done?

    Perhaps some self reflection is in order.

  11. 150 is on a witch hunt against Gasser.

    Another DEMOCRAT ploy designed

    to create confusion and chaos.

    This lends credence as to why public sector unions must be abolished.

  12. Andrew is taking the slings and arrows against the morally bankrupt and utterly corrupt public service unions.

    The back room dealings of the former commissioner to protect patronage employees is shameful at best and criminal at worst.

    Que the rat inflatable.

    An accurate representative of local 150/Miller partnership and a beacon/rallying cry for the hardworking taxpayers of Illinois represented by Gasser!!

    Thank you Andrew! Stay strong.

  13. What a Joke Andrew.
    Why don’t you tell us why you skated out on your commitment of paying child support for your three kids?

  14. I cannot believe Andrew cannot even support his own household but thinks he is going to manage the township. Dead beat dad’s have no place in our government of any kind. Resign

  15. How is it that The State of Illinois won’t give a fishing license to a dead beat dad but will allow one to hold an Elected office?

  16. I supported Andrew without knowing he is a deadbeat dad.

    I cannot believe we elected a person to hold office who does not pay or support their children.

    OMG this is outrageous and should not be tolerated by anyone.

  17. In IL if you dont pay child support tour license gets suspended and tax refund seized.

    Proves your all serving up a pile of steaming BULLCRAP.

    GO ANDREW GO, they know you are right so they attack your character just like the Alinsky radicals they are.

  18. Gasser is Unmasking the RINOs (Democraps) and Crooks and that’s why they can’t stand him.

    He’s doing some Legendary draining of the swamp in this county and he’s no shrinking violet.

    They obviously don’t understand what drives him.

    Joseywhales, You’ve never supported supported Gasser.

    All we have to do is put your stupid name in the search bar, you idiot!

    Miller probably taught you everything you know about ripoff tactics.

  19. The really stupid people that cannot spell or put together a coherent sentence are now hitting the posts as hard as their little minds can figure to make a grand slam. Too bad nobody is impressed by your dirty little scam. The voters have spoken and they will rally against your moronic accusations. (We get it that you want to take him down; even though no one can understand your gobbledegook. You just aren’t smart enough to convey why you hate.)

  20. All the deadbeat dad comments come from the same IP address: 107.77.87.94.

  21. Remember, big brother, free loader, sunshine blogger is watching…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  22. Standfortruth cannot stand to see her corrupt system get exposed to ……. the light of truth.

    Her shameful lies are typical of the Orwellian leftists angel and Pacco et all.

    I can just imagine at your last wine chugging party you put your muddled minds together to come up with “brilliant” plan. LOL.

    please keep it up, it helps our cause when you expose who you are.

    The true moderates are waking up to your lies, your assanine accusations and are a reflection of your low intelligence and contempt for taxpayers.

  23. Perhaps joseywales, algonquin watchdog, and Pacco are one and the same poster.

    It isn’t even a nice attempt to deflect the issues raised in this article.

    Shame on you.

    There is no unpaid child support.

  24. “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
    ― Socrates

    Personal attacks, insults, attempted character assassination, false accusations, are all invalid arguments.

    Come on, you can do better.

    Stick to the issues.

  25. Now I see Cal’s comment.

    Thanks cal.

    He or she was hitting below the belt with false nonesense.

  26. Hopefully the States Attorney is reviewing ALL the Miller’s operational actions and tactics.

  27. LOL Cal.

    Good one.

    Same IP address.

    LOL Save that for the state’s attorney for when he starts the dragnet while draining this swamp.

  28. Joseywales, algonquin watchdog, stand4truth, pacco, you made a critical mistake.

    A mistake that will expose you for who you are.

  29. Please don’t try to blame this on “Democrats.”

    You Republicans own this one lock, stock and barrell.

    that said, let’s clean up this cesspool.

    I never understood how this mysterious union contract appeared out of nowhere.

    Glad we’re getting to the bottom of it.

  30. The suit by Local 150 will succeed because all of Hanlon’s contentions can be defeated.

    Miller only agreed to what we road district employees demanded of him: that we wished to be represented by that union.

    We initiated the collective bargaining agreement, crafted on our existing wage and duty structures as is our right under Illinois labor law.

    We did this independently and solely to protect our jobs, as speculation was that Gasser may fire the entire crew, replacing the employees with a private firm.

    We saw evidence of potential bidders of this work following our trucks in the weeks proceeding our firing.

    Finally, the township board has no authority to override decisions of its road commissioner or its employees.

    No vote or approval by the board was needed for our action.

    This aggregious act by Mr. Gasser against the hard-working men of the Algonquin Township Road District will be exposed for what it is: a political act of support for Bruce Rauner’s union-busting “turnaround adgenda”, and it will fail.

  31. IF you were honest and upright workers in the first place, you wouldn’t have such a fear that you say you acted upon.

    Just tells me what slimeballs we had working for our township.

    Thanks for proving that we are definitely cleaning up the swamp.

  32. These workmen are and have always been “honest and upright” men, devoted to their jobs, some for over 4 decades.

    They have faithfully served the taxpayers of Algonquin Township, plowing their snow at 3:00 am, cleaning roadways and ditches, shoveling asphalt in 100 degree heat.

    The foreman was a 19 year veteran who chose working with this crew and Miller over a career in law.

    Trust me, the fear was real and palpable.

    Sorry you see this kind of devoted worker as a “slimeball”.

    They were a great team of men and I was proud to have worked with them.

    I hope you never have to deal with the type of threat to your livelihood that we continue to suffer through.

  33. Free Markets are what keeps everything in check.

    If you were so great, no one would have been looking for replacements.

    How long were you employed with Alg. Twnshp?

    It’s an unforeseen stroke of luck that the Union 150 was what got the whole legal ball rolling on the Miller-Gate.

    Oops.

    Oh well.

    Something good had to come out of this awful mess.

    Nothing wrong with Rauner Turn Around Agenda.

    Scott Walker had support to make it work for the citizens in WI.

    Maybe why so many Illinoisans are going there.

    The DemoRats will do anything to protect their coveted union power at the expense of the rest of us who have to pay for it.

    Your comment only helps Gasser’s case.

    That’s what we WANTED him and other elected officials who vote, to do.

    Support the Gov’s Turnaraound agenda! Duh

    I think this its wishful thinking on your part that Union 150 will beat this.

    Are you a lawyer, Nick?

    The unions will sell you a hot pocket of BS to keep you paying your newly accumulated dues.

    That whole brotherhood thing, a total myth.

    Everyone in a union is out for themselves.

    Either way, Millers not gonna come out of this without eating the equivalent to Michelle Obama’s school lunches daily for years in the pen.

    Thank you Union 150!

  34. When were you hired Nick Cheerios?

    Before or after we voted Bobby out?

  35. Nick….you were only hired as a political pawn and nothing else!!!

    Everyone knows this.

    What experience did you have?

  36. THIS IS RICH! Look at Nick Chirikos’ Daily Herald questionnaire:

    Key Issue 1

    “The most important issue in the campaign is the questionable integrity of certain incumbent members. Ongoing investigations and backroom politics need to be brought to the light of day, so the voting public can make informed choices about who will represent them. It is time for the voters of District 1 to hold their elected representatives to a higher standard of ethics and responsibility. Our community deserves committed, well informed and articulate people who will serve honestly and enthusiastically. I am such a person.”

    YET NOT A WORD ABOUT BLATANT WRONG-DOINGS AND “QUESTIONALBE INTEGRITY” OF THE MILLER KLAN!
    LOL

    Is this pitiful or what!

    Key Issue 3

    “A thorough re-examination of all expenditures by County Government with a focus on holding property taxes at current levels or reducing taxes. This would include all administrative salaries, software purchases and maintenance costs, and expenditures for lobbying. No government’s right to tax is absolute. There are limits to the amount of money taxpayers are able to pay. Many I have spoken with tell me we have reached or exceeded those limits.”

    AGAIN, NO WORD ABOUT NEEDED INVESTIGATIONS INTO NICK’S FORMER BOSS, HWY COMMISSIONER BOB MILLER AND HIS SPENDING OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS/TOWNSHIP MONEY AND QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER!!!!

    But THANKS FOR THE TIP, NICK!!

    Investigations are in play!

    Nick is against Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda so he must have been lying when he said he believed ‘there are limits to the amount of money taxpayers are able to pay’.

    AS LONG AS THEY”RE PAYING HIM, THERE SHALL BE NO LIMITS!

    Tax away!

    Wow, kinda makes me think if we squeezed Nick’s head all we’d get is a bunch of crap!

    Andrew Gasser could have said those exact same things.

    The only difference is he would have meant it as he’s DOING those things now!

    Gasser and other Republicans that are worth their salt will call out these BAD Republicans (RINOs)!

    The day in the life of a RINOs or Democrat, it’s ‘deny and defend to the end’, actions that are unethical to criminal! Gotta protect their scam at all costs.

    For more of Nicks total BS, click here:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120918/submitted/309189759/

  37. Nick, seriously, you’re not actually helping your cause or Miller’s son-in-law by saying
    “foreman was a 19 year veteran who chose working with this crew and Miller over a career in law.”

    Sure he did because he earned more than he ever could as a lawyer of his skill, and he had a LOT more free time and benefits all paid for by the taxpayers, (they all did) and only being accountable to “the Family” he wasn’t accountable at all like he’d be if he worked for anyone else.

    And let’s just state the real reason.

    He was also poised to take over the Alg Township Miller Family Dynasty Scam when Miller retired or died.

    Their all about Keeping it in the Family and that would help the truth stay supressed.

    But I should just let Nick rattle on.

  38. Bob great comment, but what facts exist that demonstrate there is a criminal investigation pending?

    I truly hope there is; but all thats been reported is speculation, can you share something of substance?

    Seriously, we would like to see it, but if it’s speculation then we should not be alleging it.

    Keep us posted.

    If something public happens, let us know or correct me if I didnt see it.

  39. Gameon in agree that there is no proof a criminal investigation has begun and we should temper our remarks until we know.

    What I do believe is the 150 overplaying their hands will no doubt lead to more reasons to examine the dead of night, on a napkin union negotiation by the previous commissioner.

    The optics are horrible and the circumstantial seems to be pointing to a pattern of illicit activity.

    Maybe, maybe not but as long as the 150 keeps pressing, the known unknowns become more visible.

    Thank you to the 150 for adding to the cloud that is forming.

    I for one have called the NW Herald (voicemail u fortunately) and will keep calling to ask the editor why the silence in such an important local story.

    I’d like the others to follow suit.

    Hard to shame a leftist editor but they do need other people’s
    Money to feed their families.

    losing subscribers is an issue for them.

    Thanks for keeping the spotlight on this Cal.

  40. Gameon, I didn’t say there was..

    That is yet to be determined as no one can legally comment on whether there is even a subpoena.

    My opinion is, with what’s been uncovered so far, it’s not looking good for the former group in charge at Alg Twnshp.

    Time will tell.

    Maybe once that happens, the news will actually cover the findings.

    The ‘unethical to criminal’ was a general statement regarding RINOs and Dem politicians and their supporters by me saying it’s ” All in The day in the life of a RINOs or Democrat, to ‘deny and defend to the end’, actions that are unethical to criminal! ”

    Look how the Dems will still defend Clinton.

    Impeached yet is trotted out as their golden boy.

    Hillary and all her proven wrong-doing, yet they still voted for her.

    If they can’t Deny, they’ll certainly Defend.

    But no defense goes to the guy who was voted in and done wrong.

    But no defense goes to the taxpayers who were taken to the cleaners.

    It’s unreal.

  41. The court will decide the law, not me and certainly not you.

    I was hired primarily because I had applied five years ago and again after my construction superintendent gig ended, and only after Miller determined that the crew needed one man to replace the two that faced retirement.

    I was on track to get my CDL for trucks and plowing, which every man is expected to do.

    Algonquin Township has the lowest number of employees of any of the townships in the county, primarily because Miller invested heavily in modern, efficient equipment and vehicles.

    We were expected to cross-train on most equipment.

    I have the experience and knowledge to fit that beginning employment model and Miller has known me for decades so he trusted that I would do my best in the job.

    When his offer became known, I was very surprised and did not expect it.

    You can say what you want about unions, but they provide a means of balancing the power of employers like Gasser who arbitrarily lower wages and terminate workers without notice or grounds, as he has done.

    Your “nepotism” cries are weak in the face of Nick Provenzano’s son Ryan taking a job under the new township supervisor.

    The difference is I don’t hold it against Ryan.

    Everyone needs a job.

    Enjoy your reverie while you can, because if the court rules against Gasser, our jobs will be reinstated.

    All we seek is our day in court and justice for our families.

  42. Nick: isn’t it funny how indispensable all three of you were!

    Yet life goes on without you.

    Go taxpayers!

  43. Mr. Chirikos, you have no credibility until you redeem it through honest disclosure, due to your remarks on County Board that ‘property taxes aren’t that high’ in this County.

    At that time your own property taxes reflected a horrifyingly low assessment value.

    Your assessment seems to have risen in the interim.

    Are you willing to publicly revise your opinion of property tax rates in McHenry County now?

  44. Yeah, remember THAT doozie of a remark!

    But hey this is a good Letter to the Editor from the other Bob Miller.

    “Letter: No answers at Algonquin Township meeting
    By –
    June 29, 2017
    To the Editor:

    On June 14, I attended an Algonquin Township meeting to learn more about the wasteful spending during the term of former Highway Commissioner Bob Miller and trustees.

    Upon arrival, I found big balloons outside from Local 150 and a heavy atmosphere inside the meeting hall.

    I quickly realized I wasn’t going to find answers to the double dipping by Anna May Miller, or the wasteful and abusive spending of ex-Highway Commissioner Bob Miller, such as airline tickets for his daughter and grandchild, a Disney trip and other excessive credit card use.

    Instead, I found the Local 150 members being disruptive and obnoxious because of the release of Bob Miller’s sons-in-law and the new hire.

    I say enough is enough.

    As a parallel, Hillary lost the election because of her corruption, and Mr. Trump won.

    Bob Miller lost, and

    Andrew Gasser won because the taxpayers of Algonquin wanted to get away from the last 50 years of “good old boys,” and move on to new ideas.

    I urge everyone to attend the board meetings and share your thoughts and support.

    Thank you, Andrew Gasser and also Rachael Lawrence for the good you are doing, from a taxpayer of Algonquin for almost 15 years.

    Robert Miller

    Algonquin”

  45. This is most ridiculous sign of people who just don’t have a clue.

    How can you support a person who has nothing to show for himself other than a self proclaimed idealism of himself.

    Not to mention the attorneys who work with him that are lining their own pockets at taxpayer expense.

    You People need to get real.

  46. Do you prefer to be addressed as stand4truth, Pacco, joseywhales, or algonquin watchdog?

  47. Perhaps you have some other handle(s) that you like even more?

  48. Stand for nothing – you assume multiple prosonas allege untrue facts about Andrew and we should care about what you say?

    The IP address returns to your cell carrier AT&T Mobility LLC.

    In any event Andrew may give you the opprotunity to tell the truth, in a subpoenaed deposition.

  49. LOL, You assume facts not supported by any evidence and you of all people should know, you don’t make public comments about any litigation.

  50. Mr. Chirikos, you were VOTED OUT.

    Mr. Gasser should have rid us of ALL the current/old employees and hired a private firm.

    Also ridding us of insurance and pension responsibilities.

  51. This is an opinion blog.

    People are commenting on their opinion regarding what’s being released so far.

    And obviously people are interested in this more than any other news based on the number of comments.

    Hanlon Inc is doing a great job.

    Keep this stuff coming, Cal.

  52. Susan

    Those remarks, which were made during a 2 minute comment period at the League of Women Voters forum (and taken quite out of context) were meant to address the relative disparity between then current property taxes (which were relatively high because of significant property value increases during the mid 2000’s) and both the significant decline in those values within a few short years, coupled with a sharp decline in average family income from about 2007 through 2012.

    Property taxes are assessed annually but averaged over three-year periods, I believe.

    No one complained about property taxes until citizens began to realize that their home values and income were declining.

    That is what I meant, trying in a few words to explain what seemed to be a drastic rise in taxes, but was a much more complicated set of circumstances, one which I was just beginning to comprehend.

    Much of my short time on the board was given to learning the intricacies of this and many other issues relevant to my job on the board.

    With regard to taxes for my home, I bought in 1976 for the mid 5 figures.

    Since my basis was so low, I enjoyed low taxes, coupled with the fact that my property is restricted by a conditional use which negatively affects the value.

    As a builder, I embarked on a massive rebuild of my home in 2009.

    What you saw in the pictures of my home in 2014 was the shell of a room addition which was not to be completed and reassessed until 2015.

    You will be happy to know that my taxes are now almost 9k, and that job was the key to my being able to remain in my home.

    But like so many others in this county, I will most likely be taxed out of it eventually.

    I think that our property taxes are ‘way out of proportion to what we get here in McHenry County, but this has been my home for over 40 years.

    I want to live here as long as I can because I love this community.

    Given the vitriol, hateful remarks and childish name-calling I regularly see on this blog, I really don’t feel it is a good place for reasonable discussion but I thought you might appreciate an honest attempt at answering your questions.

  53. I do appreciate it.

    When we treat one another like fellow humans we have a chance of survival.

    Now that you comprehend the devastating impact of full fair tax burden most of us have borne all these years, I hope you will join our fight to decrease levy demands to within normal boundaries considered fair by communities all over America.

  54. Relative to Cal’s comment about all the comments from the same IP address, I wonder if the comments posted by Chirikos come from the same IP address?

    Those of you who voted for Chirikos for County Board, the comment: “Algonquin Township has the lowest number of employees of any of the townships in the county” is an indication of how out of touch he is with reality.

    I have read elsewhere that Alden Township has a full time Road Commissioner and zero other full time employees.

  55. Right, Questioning, not to mention that he failed to include that they are some of the highest paid.

    And now with their unionization they aren’t nearly as attractive.

    Makes a good case for abolishing this particular township.

  56. Name calling on this blog? Are you kidding me? This is just how compassionate conservative discuss the real issues; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. No racially charged insults nor character assassination remarks are allowed by our free loader, sunshine blogger who is respected and admired by all of us as a living example of courageous journalism and commitment to the truth. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

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