Attorney Jim Kelly’s Advice to Algonquin Township Board Questioned

Reprinted with permission from Illinois Leaks:

Algonquin Township – Did attorney provide misinformation on bogus Resolution?

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Once again the Algonquin Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow and his clown act have brought laughter to the legal industry with the help of his advocate, attorney James Kelly.

Algonquin Township Supervisor Jim Kelly faces Township Attorney Jim Kelly.

We exposed all the reasons why the Supervisor did not have the authority he claims and outlined key factors in this article.

Basically, you can’t delegate your elected duties to another elected official, but in the eyes of James Kelly and the lead Clown, Lutzow, last night’s circus act was a real high wire thriller that even included some magic.

For years we have heard people try to imply that since we are not attorneys we don’t know what we are talking about.

No problem for us, as to date we have yet to have one of those people prove us wrong on paper.

Lots of lip service, but that’s where it ends 99% of the time.

If they do have the courage to put it in writing, we have found every time they have failed to apply the law and case law properly.

Many of those saying we are not attorneys are an attorney.

Amazingly, those all-knowing legal minds voice their opinion, much like Kelly did at last night’s circus, and just because an “attorney” said it, it is gold.

Never mind that those same attorneys get shot down by judges on a regular basis.

Last night’s legal input from Kelly to the Algonquin Board brought laughter, sadness, and real concern.

Attorney Jim Kelly chats with McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy, who attended the subsequent meeting.

Supervisor Lutzow claimed he wanted to know what the best way to hire a person was.

We suspect, as did trustee Lawrence, the reason was based on the Supervisor taking the hiring and compensation setting for a township employee into his own hands, which we exposed in this article last month.

It was nice to see Trustee Chapmen and Lawrence vote NO on the bogus “delegation of authority resolution” drafted by attorney Kelly, even though no one asked for such a resolution in the first place.

Algonquin Township Trustees Melissa Victor and David Chapman.

I don’t think I would pay that legal bill since it was confirmed no one asked him to draft a resolution.

As the board discussed the resolution, Kelly chimes in to clarify language in the statute pertaining to employees.


“It says “may”

That may be one of the only accurate statements we heard all night from the attorney.

Yep, the township statute on employees says the Board may employ and fix the compensation of the Township employees that the board deems necessary, excluding the employees of the offices of supervisor of general assistance, township collector, and township assessor.

Read it for yourself with a full explanation in this article or the statute at this link.

Why do we laugh at that?

Because the statue does not say the Supervisor may employ and fix the compensation for the Township employees that he deems necessary.

Not really hard to see that the law is a specific duty that they may exercise if they deem it necessary, with specific exclusions.


“it doesn’t, bar, there is no prohibition against the supervisor hiring an employee”

This is the oldest word game in the book and we see both elected officials and attorneys use it all the time to make their argument.

It reminds me of our former, keyword former, county board chairman who after being informed they did not have the power to do what they were doing chimed in and said, I agree, the law does not give us that power, but it doesn’t forbid it either.

Wrong answer, much like Kelly’s comments that snookered the lead circus clown Lutzow along with his juggling support team, trustees Shea, and Victor.

Chapman and Lawrence saw right through the word game.

The law “does” bar and there is, in fact, a prohibition against the supervisor creating a position of employment and setting the compensation, other than for General Assistance.

But oh don’t take our non-lawyer word for it.

Take the high courts words for it, which are the ones that get to tell lawyers like Kelly they are wrong.

“They come within the principle of law that where the legislature has withheld a power it is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited by law. (Ashton V County of Cook

In this case, the legislature provided clear language regarding the power to employ to include restrictions on that power.

The law was silent on the power to delegate and applying the high court’s language on such silence, that silence is the same as though the exercise of the power was prohibited.


Jim Kelly

At the 26:10 mark of this video [recorded not by the Township, but by a private citizen], attorney Kelly represents the Supervisor has authority to hire because a circuit court ruling outlined that he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Township.

What Kelly so craftily failed to point out was the word game he was playing, as well as the fact the very case he was citing was overturned by the Appellate court.

In the case he cited, Judge Caldwell made it clear that the Township Board of Trustees has the authority to employ and fix the compensation of Township employees and cites the same law we did.

He went on to point out a key difference in “employ” and “hire”.

A fact Kelly conveniently left out of the discussion.

In short, the Township Board is in charge of employment, compensation, benefits etc, as pointed out in his opinion on page 32 of the order found in this article posted on McHenry County Blog.

Reading Judge Caldwell’s opinion, then reading the Appellate Court opinion, which Kelly failed to make reference to, it would appear the resolution they passed is not worth the paper it was written on.

The reason is two-fold, as we outlined before.

For starters, Kelly is dead wrong as it relates to an elected official being able to delegate their authority to another elected official.

There is absolutely no authority for such action.

In fact, reading the case Kelly points to makes it clear any rule that infringes on the rights of the Supervisor is an illegal restraint on his express and implied statutory powers.

One only need to change the word Supervisor to Township Trustees to see that the same applies to them.

You can’t create a rule that infringes on the rights of the Trustees.

Doing so is an illegal restraint on their express and implied statutory powers.

Even Judge Caldwell points out the Township Board is the one that controls employment.

They do this by first deeming such employment necessary.

Before a Supervisor can “hire” anyone, the Board of Trustees must first deem such employment necessary and set the compensation.

Kelly provided wordsmithing to the board that in our opinion misled them on the law.

Of interest in the higher court’s ruling that overturned the lower court Kelly referred to is this statement:

“Quite simply, the legislature granted to the Board the power to consent (which, by implication, entails the power to withhold consent, otherwise consent would be meaningless). Out of due respect for the legislature, let alone the Board itself, the trial court should not have interfered with the discretion possessed by the Board on this issue.”

Applying the same logic, the Board of Trustees has the power to employ.

When they deem employment necessary, the Supervisor can hire someone for that established employment need.

It would appear, if the board were to deem such employment no longer necessary, the employment would end with such a decision.

Additionally, the language used by the higher court makes us wonder why on earth Kelly would cite the lower courts case?

“That the trial court was interfering with the prerogatives of a unit of local rather then state or national government provides no justification for its order.”

In closing, the court overturned the only portion of the case before them, the lower courts order to the board to confirm the appointment of the attorney.

“In light of the foregoing, the order of the circuit court of McHenry County directing the members of the Board to confirm Nelson’s appointment to the position of township attorney is reversed and this cause is remanded for whatever further proceedings are appropriate.”

The case was reversed and remanded however we have not obtained any copies of further proceedings, assuming there were any.

We will update when we determine if any further proceedings took place.

With all this in mind, may we once again urge Supervisor Lutzow and Township attorney James Kelly to resign!


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Attorney Jim Kelly’s Advice to Algonquin Township Board Questioned — 20 Comments

  1. Kelly is committing malpractice on a daily if not hourly basis.

    It’s time for an ARDC complaint for deliberately misstating the law to support his patronage job.

  2. Kelly is the same lawyer that got John Rossi and the Grafton Township people in trouble a few years ago by approving the then Grafton Township Board’s purchase of land and development of construction plans for a new office building.

    Disgruntled residents had to hire their own attorney who got an injunction against the Township Board because they never got authority from the voters to buy land or build an office building.

    That fiasco cost Grafton Township residents hundred of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

    Should have never happened.

  3. Kelly? He’s just a symptom!
    Townships are the Disease on the body politik.

    Won’t it ever end!!!!?????

    “The last few months have been hard times for practitioners and supporters of township government.

    Zion Township taxpayers learned the township’s cellphone service plan also paid for Supervisor Cheri Neal’s daughter’s friends-and-family minutes while the daughter was in high school and college.

    The township supervisor did, however, reimburse taxpayers for the charges.” [After he got caught!] [Jim Condon, in McHenry Township, does the same damn thing with his underlings, if not kids]

    Then, Zion Township taxpayers discovered Assessor Larry Wicketts charged them for decorating the walls of his office at 2816 Sheridan Road with an assortment of Chicago and Green Bay sports memorabilia.”

    from –

  4. All these shocking personal attacks on Jim Kelly!

    Really, people?

    But the sad fact is, THEY ARE ENTIRELY JUSTIFIED! (and they are understated)

  5. Would Lazy Lutzow survive 2 days in the jungle, 1 day in the tundra?

    Answer: NO

    Would Lazy Lutzow survive in the private sector for a week?

    Answer: NO

    But he did find his evolutionary niche for survival: Townships

  6. All three of these clowns need to be removed from office. Victor looks like one mean witch.

  7. I totally agree with “Fred” regarding Jim Kelly’s advice causing Grafton Townships problems.

    I would have never gotten elected as Grafton’s Supervisor to stop the current supervisor if it hadn’t been necessary to stop the construction of a Taj ma hall.

  8. Well I am very happy that people are waking up to the fact that Many Villages, Cities, Townships, find
    themselves in a quagmire with the help of their Attorney’s.

  9. Jim Kelly needs to be investigated. He somehow bills an astonishing number of hours. Get his records for ALL his clients and find out how many hours there are in a day and week and month. Compare the two sums. Something stinks!

    Alert the public to how Kelly is a double agent for the Miller clan and does such ‘respectable’ legal work for the ripped off taxpayers.

  10. When I opened my Webster’s to look up the word ‘Shyster’ …. there it was: a photo of Jim Kelly!

    I had no idea his notoriety reached such levels.

  11. Well said Linda Moore, and Lakewood had Rich Flood for the Lakewood Golf Course, you know the one that gave
    Lakewood “The Golden Screw Award”.

  12. I get a kick out of this blog, even though I don’t live in McHenry County.

    Your sad-sack SA, Pat Kenneally, isn’t the only SA sheltering and coddling township crooks at our expense:

    For those following Dundee Township politics, the Braasch case recently came up in the news when it was released that the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute Braasch for reportedly keeping money given to him for culvert replacements. The people following this case are scratching their heads and wanting answers, and luckily I was able to get them from the source.

    Being that the Kane County State’s Attorney, Joseph McMahon, is from Dundee and that his father also worked with Braasch in the past, it was immediately assumed that Braasch had been let off the hook in the face of strong evidence. The Kane County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation after being given evidence by the Township, and they determined that money had been accepted by Braasch but there was no record of where the money went. Anywhere. Not in his account or the Township’s.

    If he was accused by residents of taking personal checks made out to him for culvert repairs, and he wasn’t really pocketing the money, then there would be a record of these transactions in Township balance sheets, but there isn’t. So we’re supposed to believe that Braasch has just been a horrible record keeper this whole time? Naturally, people are highly suspicious of the decision by the State’s Attorney’s Office to not take this case further.

    Being familiar with this case and the people involved, I asked Joseph McMahon for more information on this, and he put me in touch with the prosecutor that reviewed the Braasch case.

    I am in no way making an official statement on behalf of the KCSAO or the County Board, I am simply relaying my understanding of this situation because we are otherwise left to speculate.

    From what I understand, McMahon never saw this case and didn’t have any input on the decision whatsoever. Like any other case coming across their desk, Assistant Attorneys have to review the facts they have before them and determine if there is enough reasonable doubt to bring it before a jury and have a chance of winning. If McMahon had grown up in Aurora and never known Braasch at all, the prosecutors would have done everything the same and come to the same determination, so his history had no bearing on the decision.

    The Assistant Attorney reviewed the case like any other and determined that despite how it might look on paper, there just wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the case with enough reasonable doubt to get far.

    In this case they recognized that money had been taken in by Braasch, but that there was no record of it going to him directly, or into the Township coffers and that was the hangup. These attorneys have professional experience with judges and juries and the kinds of evidence they need to win each kind of case. The kind of logic that exists within a legal proceeding sometimes leads to results that go against what people think “should” have happened. As the prosecutor said, real cases are nothing like what you see on Law and Order.

    Although this may be unsatisfying to many following the case, we have to trust that our public officials and employees have a high level of integrity, and from what I gathered in my conversation, the prosecutor involved in the determination takes the job very seriously and did not even know who Braasch was before this.

    Braasch: you owe it to the people to show us where the money went!!!
    Braasch: you owe it to the people to show us where the money went!!!

    If it’s true that Braasch is in fact guilty of taking money from residents, then he is either very smart and knew how to keep the money from the eyes of investigators, or he just got some dumb luck on this one. We may never know what happened to the money, leaving many to speculate. You would think that if he was innocent, he would just come right out and show us the money, but to this date he has not done so and that is suspicious. Hopefully he reads this article and decides to do the right thing.

    Braasch is the same character accused of indecently exposing and fondling himself in front of young girls at Myrtle Beach where he vacations. He’s gotten continuance after continuance for something he claims he’s innocent of. Some would say a pattern is emerging here of a man claiming innocence despite eyewitness or record-keeping testimony telling us otherwise. A man given the public trust for decades.

    So, that is what I’ve learned about the case. Again, this is no official statement by anyone, this is just my understanding of the situation. I trust that our elected officials and staff have a high level of integrity in their work and that what was told to me was the truth.

  13. Rich Flood had nothing to do with Lakewood’s purchase of what became Red Tail, you can talk to the past Village Board about that fiasco.

  14. Pretty sure that all but three of the posters above are the same person.

    Time to wait for another election to visit McHenry County Blog.

    Apparently everyone has left.

    I miss Cindy.

  15. Jim, Flood was the Village Attorney.

    I do believe Jack Frothingham and Dick Zukowski sat on the Board At Home State Bank . . .the List of Bond Holders came from the Trust Department of HSB.

  16. It’s interesting that Victor voted yes to this useless resolution with the purpose of giving Lutzow complete control over hiring someone to do his job for him, without any Board approval.

    After Kelly said it was unnecessary during discussion at the meeting.

    Then ends the meeting with a list of reasons why she is disappointed in his lack of leadership, and performance.

    Then continues her expression of dissatisfaction by demanding his resignation publicly via social media.

    It brings to mind the movie Fargo.

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