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.
Now tell me how this $55,000 settlement benefitted good government in Algonquin Township.
What is to keep them from doing this again?
Certainly not Lukasik.
Jim Kelley aren’t you paid to help protect the township from this.
If the board doesn’t fire this guy they are seriously breaching their duty to run this township competently.
Steve, the FOIA law allows piling on by the Dog’s, there isn’t much a gov agency can due except fill the requests no matter the costs.
The Dog’s play the game is very well.
You know the Township board is so smart!
They get their advice from Jim Kelly!
Most of us adults understand that laws exist for a purpose.
If we violate the law, we must suffer the consequences.
What has gone on in Algonquin Twp (as well as other places) is not ignorance nor harassment.
The settlement agreement was made because the township attorney saw the handwriting on the wall and knew that the game was over:
Settle now and limit the damages or wait for the judge to hand them their heads along with a much heftier bill.
What happened after that was that $15,000 was added to the bill due to the township’s continued stonewalling.
No one should or could have expected less from the clown show.
The only sad part of this is that Lukasik and the rest of the merry band of idiots on the Algonquin Twp board are not PERSONALLY liable for the damages.
It’s not coming out of their pockets so why should they change?
It’s now up to the voters to throw each and every one of them out on their a** at the first available opportunity.
Stephen what is to protect Alg Township from their own inept and remiss board??
Kelly should have (and may have) advised useless slug Lukasik to do her job and honor those FOIAs but something tells me her sole purpose for even running for Clerk was to help keep Bob and Anna Mae Miller and Klan’s secrets from their long and unethical rein!
Taxpayers lose again!
But at least they know that they should clean house and get rid of the whole lot of them.
These idiots are a drain on the residents.
No amount of ‘free chair yoga’ is worth this crap!
When someone submits FOIA requests, you don’t thumb your nose at them.
YOU WILL LOSE.
Like Alg Township just did!
Greg- I get it. I am not solely blaming Kelly for this.
The whole damn board is also culpable, but they can’t be fired.
Kelly can, the man who is paid to know the law.
All we can do is wait for the next election to oust these idiots.
In the interim they should fire Kelly and replace him with someone that is competent.
The biggest problem going forward is finding people to elect, who wants to get in the middle of this bullshit.
The people that are intelligent enough to do this are smart enough to know they don’t want any part if it.
Could the current Clerk and Supervisor survive a Quo Warranto procedure?
Jim Kelly should be made to pay it!
But he brags about his Cayman Islands accounts.
Quo warranto is used to test a person’s legal right to hold an office, not to evaluate the person’s performance in the office.
For example, a quo warranto action may be brought to determine whether a public official satisfies a requirement that he or she resides in the district; or whether a public official is serving in two incompatible offices.
Quo warranto is not available to decide whether an official has committed misconduct in office.
A person who commits misconduct in a public office may be penalized or even removed from office, but quo warranto is not the proper forum for those cases.
Other processes are available for that purpose.
We seem to be on the same page, Stephen.
‘questioning’, it looks like they could stand a Quo Warranto procedure unless you know something we don’t. https://www.oag.ca.gov/opinions/quo-warranto
This brings to mind something off topic of this article but more to do with Quo Warranto- what’s the latest with Grafton Township’s Hwy Commissioner Tom Poznanski and the full time job he has with IDOT?
Maybe Algonquin is a good place to start?
“All the attorney general candidates are hopeful that they can do more to address public corruption, even without changing state law. For example, Harsy said he believes that an existing law called the Quo Warranto Act gives him the power to fire county state’s attorneys who are not “properly enforcing anti-corruption laws.” Quo warranto is Latin – or lawyer speak – for “by what warrant” and the act, common across the country, sets up a process to test a person’s legal right to hold an office. While Illinois’ act does give the attorney general the power to start that process, we know of no attempts to use the act in the way Harsy describes.”
LuKasik needs a writ of mandamus action to force her to do her job.
Kirk start another round of lawsuits.
I hear there is extra cash.
What the hell.
Get another feather.
$55k, yup the Dog’s hobbies are paying off, feathers indeed.
The citizen can file a Petition for Writ of Mandate to a court to enforce an action required by law. The applicant must state his name (or his organization’s name), date, court with jurisdiction, legal decision case citation and any other writs concerning this action. The applicant must identify his interest in this matter.
The petitioner must state why the actions of a court or administrator violate the law, clearly state which law is applicable. Show why the actions are mistaken, unlawful, fraudulent or unfair.
Applicants must describe the remedy or relief they are seeking under the Writ of Mandate. The citizen can suggest which type of mandamus should be issued also. Using words, such as “just,” “proper” and “lawful” is standard practice.
My guess, this wouldn’t have generated a monetary settlement for the dogs.
How did that $55,000 benefit the Algonquin Township?
Stephen do you have any clue how many law suites we have been involved in and resulted in not one penny of monetary value to our organization but did, in fact, change the way public bodies do business?
There is no need for us to file a writ as I suspect that will come from the Road District.
Our OMA case in Clark county cost us over $10K and although the lower court ruled against us, the Appellate court ruled in our favor 3:0, making our case new case law on OMA matters regarding agendas.
That case was settled by them paying $9K if I recall, less than what we had in it.
You can continue to push your false narrative if you like but rest assured it is just that, a false narrative.
This is not nor ever has been about money.
Sorry you can’t accept that.
Why do you think I care about your costs?
I care about what Algonquin Township is involved in.
Really, what is false?
You got 55,0000 of tax payer money.
Now you tell us a writ of mandamus could have been used, but that wouldn’t have generated a cash bonanza for you.
What did we get as taxpayers for that payout?
No circle jerk talk about what you do and your collection of feathers.
We got another lawsuit from the big pink idiot.
You keep dragging us down the hole.
Other than a name on the account what fraud was committed there?
You and your attorney started this round of bullshit.
You talk in circles.
Who is spreading the false narrrative?
What Cayman Islands accounts had Jim Kelly bragged about?
What source do you have for this cowardly anonymous slander?
Stephen, I did not say a writ was a path for FOIA.
I said, LuKasik needs a writ of mandamus action to force her to do her job.
Do you know what her statutory duties are?
That is all a writ can address.
A writ is directly tied to statutory duties for the Clerk and the statute for her duties says NOTHING about FOIA.
The Clerk needs a writ for her failure to perform her duties outlined in the statute and I suspect that will be next from either the Road District or a taxpayer as she is not complying with her obligations under the law.
FOIA is an appointed position and violations of FOIA have ONLY the remedies listed in that law and a Writ is not one of them.
False narrative – we did not get $55K of taxpayer money as the attorney has to be paid.
If you are so concerned about the dollar figures, why not go to a meeting and demand the FOIA officer do their job and stop farming it out to Kelly who has billed a fortune for a job most other public bodies handle internally.
It appears you just need a target to be pissed at.
If it makes you feel better making our organization that target then so be it.
Again, no circle jerk false narrative. I could care less about your costs. You incur them. We seem to have to pay them. What specifically do we get. You talk in circles about what you do. What specifically did we get. Simple question. Again the writ of mandamus would not have gotten you a payout. False narrative? You got a payout of 55,000. Fact. All you do is circle jerk the narrative with BS. You just find it unbelievable that some isn’t buying into the BS.
Stephen your own words represent the accomplishment.
You point to an incompetent board, attorney, etc. and say they all need to go.
How did you come to that conclusion?
It sure wasn’t from reporting done by the NWH on the Township as their focus has been the Road District.
Algonquin Township is informed of the facts with documents to back them up so that the next time they go to the polls they don’t do it with such little information.
People make better choices when informed.
You also now have a LOT of people reading the law and applying it to Township actions.
That is a good thing.
While you insinuate I find it unbelievable that someone isn’t buying into what you call BS, let me be clear.
You appear to be the one that finds it unbelievable that anything good has come from the work we have done.
While I understand you will never accept that, there are quite a few folks sending us messages all the time thanking us for what we do, both in Algonquin Township and throughout the rest of the state and several other states.
Lukasik or Lucre-sick?
Stephen, your points and commentary are right on the mark.
This outfit steals our tax dollars to pay for their costs to steal more money.
Their foolish circle jerk responses are so predictable.
“we are the good guys” BS is not flying with many folks in the neighborhoods.
I think that the Northwest Herald really ask some intelligent questions regarding this outfit.
Why all the love from them to gasser and his sketchy lawyer?
Why the blind support for incompetence and unbalanced behaviors?
We will all learn more about this unholy alliance before this show ends.
Again you avoid the question. What did we get for $55,000.
I new this was going south long before I even new who you were.
The day Gasser fired the employees I knew there was going to be trouble.
And yes I got that from the NWHerald.
And have been following it since.
Yes the NW Herald is a crap publication.
I have Known the Millers most of my life and also knew what they were about.
You didn’t give us anymore than the Herald.
You became part of the problem, not the Heald.
You forced yourself into this.
You have exposed nothing that wasn’t already know.
Again another circle jerk answer.
Pat yourself on the back. Your services certainly weren’t worth 55,000.
The board should have done a forensic audit when Gasser wanted to.
There was no excuse other than board incompetence.
This was long before you started the FOIA bullshit that has garnered nothing.
So where is my “false narrative”.
We got screwed and you think of it as a win.
Spare me the sanctimony.
You just can’t believe that someone disagrees with your assessment.
You are doing more harm than good.
This will prevent good people from trying to get involved.
Who wants to put up with the likes of you. Thanks for nothing.
It is also very presumptuous and pompous for you to believe that I didn’t follow what was going on prior to your involvement.
So why is it that the Township forks out Emergency Assistance to the tune of over $61K yet the Township Board has NOT set the Emergency Assistance limit as mandated by law?
Yeah, we are the ones to blame for such a poorly run government!
You are an idiot, when did I say you are the blame for “poorly run” government.
I said you are know part of the problem to the tune of 55,000.
So know change the subject.
You get a feather.
One factoid that wasn’t otherwise reported.
Oh yeah and mistitled bank accounts that were discovered satisfying a settlement to you.
If you are are so law an order why didn’t you call out Gasser instead of making an excuse.
Seems a little hypocritical to me.
So since your so informed, what matters are in the hands of the state awaiting a decision on prosecuting?
Blah, blah blah.
The Township Supervisor is the Treasurer for the Road District, not the Road Commissioner.
And you will remember that the bank denied money was on deposit, apparently because the account was not in the name of the Road District.
That last argument of a man who has no argument left.
You now have descended from presumptuous and pompous to pompous hypocrite.
Yes it was in the name of the highway department.
Wrong by law, probably.
Constructive Fraud, I doubt it.
Change the name.
Maybe Gasser working with the board to remedy this instead of filing another lawsuit.
Hardly worth filing another law suit.
Kirk was ever so quick to excuse Gasser for his “mistake”.
Why not Lutzow?
Please don’t construe this as approval for Lutzow.
But hardly worth the effort for Gasser and his side kick Sancho Panza to file a lawsuit.
More billable hours to pay for.
Hypocrisy by the dogs, how about consistency when applying there standards.
Stephen, am I to understand that since we have yet to write about Lutzow and the bank issue you take that to be hypocritical?
If so, maybe you should get all the facts before taking such a position.
How many accounts was the money put into?
Why did the bank REFUSE to cooperate and insist on denying any funds belonging to the Road district existed, when we now know they knew damn good and well they had funds.
So far the Township has yet to produce the resolution for the transfer of such funds from one bank to another.
They have also not yet produced the bank statements that we asked for.
Nore have they produced the mandator documentation required under the Illinois Investment act.
So while you take a position I am a hypocrite for not writing about Lutzow, know that I am actually trying to gather all the facts so that the whole truth can be shared, just as I did with the BS Salt issue.
Sorry if that bothers you.
Also, while I don’t believe a judge would ever award money in this case, I do believe they will confirm a violation of law took place and force Lutzow to correct it.
Had Lutzow followed the law, to begin with, none of this would be taking place.
I guess that is Gassers fault?
Reading comprehension not your strong suit is it.
Hypocritical because you excused Gasser for not following the law.
I fully expect you to make a huge deal about this. You need you feathers.
The bank played by the rules.
There were no funds in the name of the Road District.
You also presume to know what the bank is thinking.
Again very presumptuous on your part.
Presumptuous on your part as I know what was said to our attorney during this process and theeir later amending of the record.
If they played by the rules why amend the first denial?
I could care less who gets the credit for fixing this crap.
Kirk likes to argue, it’s his hobby, the FOIA is just a tool.