McHenry Co. (ECWd) –
Last November the Algonquin Township Clerk, Karen Lukasik, denied my request for a copy of all personal reimbursements made to the Township for purchases made on Township credit cards.
“Your request is denied pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/3(g) because the request for information is unduly burdensome to the operation of the public body. Locating, reviewing and scanning copies of any personal reimbursements made to the Township for credit card purchases since January 1, 2011, will require a great deal of time which will cause employees to dedicate such time to this FOIA and not to Township operations.”
For starters, the law does not allow her to deny a request as unduly burdensome without providing the requester the opportunity to narrow the request, which she did not.
Looking at her response one would wonder why a request for personal reimbursements for public credit card purchases would be so burdensome. Or is the truth of the matter such a reimbursement is proof of personal use of public credit, which constitutes Official Misconduct and would be a felony violation of Article VIII Section 1 of our State Constitution? Was she covering for someone?
Today I received credit card records that reflect a tip we received back in November was accurate. Public funds were used for private purchases and the person who used the public credit made a payment to the township.
Personal purchases were made with a public credit card with the name Robert Kunz. Records point to reimbursements for two of three confirmed personal purchase. We do not know who made the purchase.
- 4/30/2015 – Angie’s List -$56.76 -Ref. # 9266
- 4/30/2015 – Angie’s List -$56.76 -Ref. # 6358
- Microsoft Windows store – $2.11
Considering two of these purchases were reimbursed, how on earth is the collection of that unduly burdensome? Or is the truth of the matter point to confirming the personal use of public credit exposes yet another failure in the Algonquin Township checks and balances.
Use of public credit for personal purchases is a violation of law, no matter how small or even if reimbursed. We have filed another FOIA to see if there was any additional payment for one of Angie’s List purchases on the public credit card.
Of additional interest is the $974.58 dollars spent on the public credit card in 2016 for “D*J Wall Street Journal”. How is the Wall Street Journal tied to Township Assessor business? Anyone know of a statute that would permit this kind of expenditure? We have been told there were stacks of Wall Street Journal publications in the assessor’s office.
Considering a previous FOIA for credit card statements was denied as being unduly burdensome, we believe Clerk Lukasik should resign immediately as that previous request should have provided the very records we are exposing in this article six month later. Records that were in fact possessed and made available in a recent request.
Stay tuned for a laundry list of questionable transactions pointing to more malfeasance of the previous administration at the Algonquin Township and Road District. If you want to see the records we did get, although not complete to our request, you can download them at this link.