Algonquin Township Attorney Jim Kelly Hauls in $180,747.85 in Legal Fees

Reprinted with Permission:

Algonquin Township – Attorney James Kelly – $180,747.85 in legal bills and counting

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –While much attention has been devoted by the local media to the legal bills of the Algonquin Township Road District, little has been shared regarding the actual Township legal bills and what is causing James Kelly’s bills to be almost equal to the Road District in 2018.Since May of 2017 through the end of 2018, according to the provided records, James Kelly has billed the Township $180,747.85.Kelly’s 2018 billing totaled $146,007.60, only $3,992.40 shy of the Road District legal budget of $150,000.00 that has been an obsession of the local press. A review of the legal invoices can be found here and here.

Bob Miller

It should be noted that there are additional separate legal bills for the Clerks’ attorney and Bob Miller’s attorney.

Records for the other attorney’s billing that we have obtained do not include all of 2018.

What we do have, at this link, reflect an additional $129,899.66 in legal bills the Township has incurred.

That would bring their total legal bill expenditure, excluding any billing since May 1, 2018, for the other attorneys, to a whopping $310,647.51.

Keep in mind the Road District was involved in a collective bargaining case with Union 150, which was the primary contributor to their legal bills to date.

Considering the Township is not a party to the Union 150 case, is it out of line to ask why the Township Trustees are approving legal bills for James Kelly to review pleadings in a case that has nothing to do with the Township?

Or a better question, why would an attorney bill a client for reviewing pleadings that have nothing to do with his clients?

We have requested the other attorney billings for the balance of 2018 and will update the article when we receive those.

We suspect the Township’s total legal expenditures for 2018 will far exceed that of the Road District, even though they are not a party to the Union 150 case.

Karen Lukasik

Of additional interest is the billing pertaining to the Freedom of Information Act matters the Township is dealing with.

It is pretty clear the elected officials, specifically the Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and the Supervisor, Charles Lutzow, have delegated their FOIA obligations to the attorney, James Kelly.

According to billing, Kelly is charging the Township for receipt of FOIA’s, review of FOIA request, drafting responses to FOIA requests.

According to the Open Meetings Act, the FOIA Officer and the Public Body are the designated people to receive FOIA requests and respond to them.

The law also outlines the FOIA officer is required to be an official or employee designated by the governing board. In the case of Algonquin Township, Lukasik refused to perform the duties of FOIA officer even though she was appointed by the Board.  Currently the Supervisor, Charles Lutzow is the designated FOIA officer.

(5 ILCS 140/3.5) 
    Sec. 3.5. Freedom of Information officers. 
    (a) Each public body shall designate one or more officials or employees to act as its Freedom of Information officer or officers. Except in instances when records are furnished immediately, Freedom of Information officers, or their designees, shall receive requests submitted to the public body under this Act, ensure that the public body responds to requests in a timely fashion, and issue responses under this Act. Freedom of Information officers shall develop a list of documents or categories of records that the public body shall immediately disclose upon request.

If Lutzow and Lukasik were to simply do their job and respond to FOIA requests, a vast majority of their legal bills would be reduced.

We have not found any legal bills from the Road District attorney for receiving, reviewing, and responding to FOIA, which indicates a non-lawyer is fully capable of responding to FOIA’s if properly trained, a requirement by the law.

The only purpose for a lawyer to be involved in an FOIA request is to give legal advice pertaining to that law.

It appears with Kelly’s billing, he is doing a whole lot more than just advising his client.

Chuck Lutzow

Why should the public pay a salary for a Clerk, the keeper of the records, and a Supervisor and then also pay an attorney to perform the very functions they were elected to perform and mandated by law to perform?

While some will point to the requesters as the problem, they should realize there are other Townships that receive FOIA’s as well and they respond to them without spending money on attorneys.

In fact, in Plainfield Township, not only have they managed to take care of their own FOIA’s, they just provided records that were found and not included in requests from November.

Had they not provided those records I would have never known they existed, and rather than hiding or ignoring FOIA, they went the extra mile to comply.

The FOIA revolving door for attorneys

We have a specific record we requested which resulted in the Attorney responding to our FOIA request and claimed the record does not exist.

However, this same attorney, in court filings, confirms he was the one that created the very record we were seeking.

So by improperly denying the existence of the record, it opens up the door for a lawsuit of which the lawyer gets to once again charge the Township.

In this case, he gets to defend the denial of a record he has now told the courts he created and denied its existence.

We confirmed there was no authorization from the Downstate Local Records Commission to destroy the records requested.

So if there is no permission to destroy it, why would the person who created it, the Township Attorney, deny it’s existence?

Stay tuned for future updates as our FOIA case against the Township moves through the courts.
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Algonquin Township Attorney Jim Kelly Hauls in $180,747.85 in Legal Fees — 31 Comments

  1. So since you’ve been requesting files by FOIA from Alg twh, how many records have been requested, filled, or not filled?

  2. If this Attorney denied the FOIA request then it’s found to have actually existed hasn’t that Attorney committed fraud and / or perjury ?

  3. This is not a defense of Kelly by any means.

    he should be fired.

    This is how Kirk likers to play with the facts.

    How much of this was just in response to dogs?

    How much of this is in response to the dogs fair haired boy, Mr Pink.

    “Within $3992.40 of the road district budget” What is the expenditure for the road district.

    False comparison.

    “We suspect the Township’s total legal expenditures for 2018 will far exceed that of the Road District, even though they are not a party to the Union 150 case.” What about last year?

    “According to billing, Kelly is charging the Township for receipt of FOIA’s, review of FOIA request, drafting responses to FOIA requests.”

    Where do most of these come from, the dogs?

    “Why should the public pay a salary for a Clerk, the keeper of the records, and a Supervisor and then also pay an attorney to perform the very functions they were elected to perform and mandated by law to perform? First valid point, Lukasik and Lutzow need to go,

    It is costing us a lot of money trying to prove that Lutzow, Lukasik and Kelly are incompetent. For that matter so are the rest of the board and Gasser.

    Point proved.

    Why is it still costing us money?

    Nothing is this article about Gasser and Hanlon appealing the fact that the township shouldn’t be bound by FOIA laws, after they settled with the dogs.

    Sure brings up a lot of questions in my mind about that relationship with the dogs.

  4. First it’s all Hanlon’s fault. If he would just roll over and let local 150 pound the tax payer on a $5MM agreement we could avoid all these fees.

    NWH reported on local 150’s position on the appeal now pending.

    Interestingly, those beacons of truth failed to report on what’s in the appeal.

    It’s been over a year since Local 150 claimed victory and NWH reported former union employees go back to work.

    “Mission Accomplished”!

    Steven P. – you didn’t comment on Jim Kelly billing for the local 150 case even though he doesn’t represent anyone in that dispute. Why no comment on that?

    It’s such BS that the nobites don’t read what really at play here.

    So let me explain it to you before you dream up more BS.

    Kelly decided what not to provide.

    Kelly created the dispute for no reason the people give a crap about.

    Then because he created the sh..storm he gets to defend the whole shi* show.

    Why it’s time to complain about the Road district Atty.

    The Fn fools on that board don’t even pay attention to Jim Kelly’s fees exceeding the 2017 budget by more than $100,000.

    That’s right Stephen, let’s here you wisdom on that one.

  5. Great question Paul.

    We intend on getting to the bottom of several denied request that we KNOW Kelly had knowledge of their existence and in two cases he was the one that created the document and billed the township.

    Releasing them would have proven several other points and we believe that is why they were either denied as ever existing or they simply ignored the request.

  6. As suggest by a AT board member, the Highway Commissioner is playing games with the records, that makes for FOIA problems and higher legal bills also.

    Kelly is probably glad Gasser/Hanlon are suiting everybody, it give him the chance to pile on also.

    The Dog’s love mess the records are at AT, it’s payday for their FOIA piling on.

  7. Frank

    I am by no means defending Kelly and his incompetence. guess you didn’t read the first line.

    My point is the way the dogs use the “facts” to support there narrative, to down play Gasser and Hanlon’s expenditures.

    Kelly is a POS, but you can’t compare Kellys expenditures to Gassers Budget.

    It means nothing. If Kirk want’s to prove anything he has to compare Kells expenditures for the last 5 years as compared to the townships own legal budget.

    Then to be fair do the same comparison with the road districts legal budget to actual over the last five years.

    My bet it won’t support the dogs narrative to the extent he claims. Hanlon’s actual would still exceed Kelly’s.

    This does not in any way signify approval that Kelly is justified in his practice and billing for the township.

    The dogs always want to down play Gasser and Hanlon. Now with the latest round of lawsuits how much legal fees has Gasser encumbered that hasn’t even hit the books yet?

    In the beginning of this, I actually supported what the dogs were doing because we have a states attorney with no balls.

    But now it has gone beyond reasonable and the dogs have become part of the problem.

    The taxpayers are paying for all this and there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

    Kelly needs to be fired, ASAP that is for sure.

    But Kirk and the boys piling on is not accomplishing anything but adding to the problems.

    The dogs just perpetuate an atmosphere of antagonism which Gasser feeds off.

    If they are truly into “good” Local government, as they say, maybe they would have a better tack if they promoted some kind of atmosphere that everyone could come to some kind of agreement.

    They prefer to be Woodward and Bernstein.

  8. Who is playing games with the records?

    Letting random public, not only in the room but having physical access to rifle through and read records,
    is Lukasik’s method of protecting the records?

    How do we know records didn’t “walk” out of the room then?

    Or did records “go missing” as the old regime left, similar to the union contract final hour lame duck tactics?

    Or are any records missing at all and hence the game?

    All who are party to approving Kelly’s improper billing and approving Miller’s bills/spending should be held accountable.

    It appears nearly everyone BUT Gasser need to resign immediately! Or would resigning get them off the hook?

    Maybe, not let them leave.


    Perpetual Algonquin Township he!!.

    Citizens are owed justice and restitution.

  9. James Kelly has a boat on Lake Geneva and accounts in the Cayman Islands.

    He owns quite a lot in various mutual funds.

    The Township corruption has been very, very good for Kelly

  10. Let’s see, video evidence of the Clerk walking out with records and when we asked for those records, none exist.

    How do you dispute they existed in the video? What did she take out of the office?

    Video evidence of her taking pictures of certain records she is rifling through in an office.

    She denies any such electronic records exist.

    How do you dispute their existence when she is on video taking pictures of them?

    There is plenty more but the point is, there is a reason behind our suit and when this all plays out it will be clear.

    The simple solution is to provide the records that we requested.

    Amazing that a few what to pile onto our FOIA requests but have little to nothing to say about the Union’s FOIA request for, what was it nob, 1300 records?

    Yeah, right, were the problem.

  11. How on earth would you know where Jim Kelly keeps his money?

    And what difference does it make?

  12. The Union has standing, the Dog’s are outsiders interfering by piling on and driving up the cost of business.

    The Dog’s aren’t helping, they’re lining their pockets with our tax $$$$ by playing games.

  13. How many records have you FOIA since getting involved with AT Kirk?

    Come on pal, be transparent.

  14. “Amazing that a few what to pile onto our FOIA requests but have little to nothing to say about the Union’s FOIA request for, what was it nob, 1300 records?”

    Amazing, that if the big pinK idiot hadn’t fired union employees with out due cause most of this would not be happening.

    But the dogs don’t ever talk about that.

    Blind loyalty.

    Yes you have become “part” of the problem. You always seem to twist the narrative.

    I’m not defending Lukasik, she is a POS.

    Her “midnight raid” was totally inappropriate even possibly damning.

    But Kirk, seriously.

    You see her taking pictures.

    Can you determine from the video what those pictures are actually of?

    You seem to know?

    Everyone else saw portions of the video and you can’t really determine what those records consisted of.

    It was pretty dark.

    Electronic records, those are different from hard copy records. H

    ow do you actually know what records she is taking out?

    When did you file your FOIA?

    Was it prior to or after the midnight raid by Lukasik.

    Lot of questions?

    You seem certain of the answers but no real proof.

    If you saw more of the video that we did that would have to have come from Gasser.

    Is that a Quid Pro Quo?

    In the Herald article it says that Union officials can’t understand why Gasser would appeal the Road District being bound by FOIA laws when the union has already received those requests.


    the union gets the records and you get $55000. in settlement money from the road district, not the township.

    Why is that?

    Sure makes me wonder about your relationship with Gasser and Hanlon.

    Lots of questions, LOTS OF QUESTIONS, but I’m sure we’ll get the usual circle jerk narrative, you know, the one about how dare we question you.

  15. The Nob once again pushing misinformation to support his narrative.

    Fact, anyone has standing in FOIA.

    Fact, FOIA violations cannot be resolved by a Writ of Mandamus.

    Fact Nob lies.

    Fact, an FOIA request is not an indicator of how many records have been FOIA’d.

    If Nob has any real interest in transparency and the truth, I suggest he FOIA the Township for ALL FOIA requests they have received.

    I understand the Road District is now getting piled on with FOIA’s from a trustee and the NWH.

    We hear this same BS from every area we work in.

    Only after the resolution of these types of things will people truly understand the purpose.

    Shelbyville Township was no different.

    The same BS from people there as the Nob is spreading here.

    Now those same people have received their money back.

    $734,000.00 paid back to the taxpayers and it all started with exposing each and every violation of law we could identify.

    Algonquin is no different and you will see either resignations or people that will not run or ever win another election because they have been exposed.

    No matter what we write about there will be a select group that provides more BS as to what should have been covered or was not, all while having no clue why certain things were not included.

    The information we have withheld as to avoid hindering the state in their work is pretty shocking and far worse in our opinion that the stuff the SA let them off the hook for.

    And for those that have all these questions, you might try reading the actual documents that are linked in the articles because they are provided so all can answer their own damn question.

  16. “Yeah, right, were the problem.” do you mean “Yeah, right WE’RE the problem.”

    Again reading composition and comprehension not your strong suit is it.

    You have become PART of the problem.

  17. Sorry that should say reading comprehension and writing composition.

  18. Stephen since you have such an interest in the chain of events, why not submit a FOIA for all our FOIA’s and emails from trustees and highway commissioner and get answers to your own questions.

    I would bet we got more info on matters from a particular trustee than we did gasser but I know that blows your bs theories.

  19. $734,000.00 paid back to the taxpayers and it all started with exposing each and every violation of law we could identify.

    What did it cost?

  20. “And for those that have all these questions, you might try reading the actual documents that are linked in the articles because they are provided so all can answer their own damn question.”

    They don’t answer any of my questions.

    Circle jerk response received.

    Right on cue

  21. “I would bet we got more info on matters from a particular trustee than we did gasser but I know that blows your bs theories.”

    You as much as just admitted you got info from Gasser.

    And don’t deny you got the video from him.

    Does not blow any theory.

    BS logic from the dogs.

    If you’re going to BS people you should try to keep track of it.

    Just like your Shelbyville example.

    With out a Cost Benefit Analysis that statement in and of itself means nothing.

  22. Shelbyville did not violate FOIA and provided the requested records, unlike Algonquin.

    As far as getting information from public officials, most could learn a thing or two from Gasser as he has not tried to hide stuff and was willing to answer questions and take corrective steps to fix things, like the mosquito BS contract miller signed with no legal authority.

    You know about that though right?

  23. They don’t answer ANY of your questions?

    Then maybe you should look again and if you still can’t figure anything out, go ask someone who will give you the answer you want, like the township.

    Most of your questions show how little you really understand about the work we do and how we do it.

    Yeah, were (WE ARE) the problem.

    Apostrophe left out on purpose.

    You can always tell the size of a man by the size of the things that upset him. ‘

  24. How many files have you requested from AT and the AT road dist since getting involved with AT Kirk?

    No waltzing, no lip service, just put the number on where it says Leave a Reply.

  25. Number of requests dont tell us how many files so take your game playing question to the township

    Ask Kelly, he billed the township for a such an item if I recall, or foia the township since you dont believe anything I say.

  26. Nob, kirk will not answer your question.

    These type of outfits love to bury public organizations with request looking for mistakes and anything that they can turn into a wink and nod conspiracy that will support their antigovernment agendas.

    I have observed their BS for a long time.

    It is truly a way to convince the public that all agencies are pulling the publics chain.

    Although I have never seen this type of collusion with an elected official acting a partner.

    I have said before that a lot will be exposed as these activities continue.

    gasser asking if he needs to provide FOIA. Hmmm.

    I am no big fan of the NW Herald, but they are seeing this BS for what it is.

    kirk will continue to work blogs to stop them, but it’s a matter of time before the facade of this group falls.

    Blowhards and liars who wink and dodge questions always are found out.

    Like I say, thieves in the daylight.

  27. You are a.

    Complete idiot, were is not the same as we’re or we are.

    The size of the problem? That is what you focused on.

    Don’t care the Shelbyville didn’t violate FOIA.

    The money recouped means nothing with out the cost.

    You always seem the focus on the little things and never on the big questions.

    You can measure the size of a man by what he avoids you hack.

    You present arguements based a “facts” you don’t understand, then present an illogical argument that you makes no sense.

    I ask questions that you avoid because you have no response.

    Then circle jerk you way to deflect your deficiency.

    I understand more logic than you and that bothers you.

    Keep flaunting you lack of critical thinking andI be here to shoot it down.


  28. Every question I ask is from the material you present and you can’t even defend it.

    So who is full of BS. False narrative indeed.

  29. Elect Stephen to Algonquin Township!

    He knows all, but dispute anything he says and be ready to be called names like some 5th grader would do on the schoolyard.

    Yep, the size of the things that upset a man tells you a lot.

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