Algonquin Township

Algonquin Township Road District – Former Road Commissioner Bob Miller invokes fifth amendment right.

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

The former Algonquin Township Road District Commissioner plead the fifth amendment against self-incrimination in the criminal investigation into his actions during his term of public office according to the McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally.

“Further complicating this task is the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This is especially true in cases where the one person responsible and presumably apprised of the thousands of expenses paid over the course of many years is under suspicion and asserts that right, as Miller did in this case.”

In a 52-page press release, Kenneally makes his case for his exercising his authority of prosecutorial discretion in choosing not to prosecute Robert Miller at this time.

There is a long of list matters that are bound to be part of future articles as other matters move through the court system and we suspect those matters will tie right back to things found in this 52-page report.

One item of interest in the report is there was no mention of any Grand Jury returning a no bill for indictment. As a comparison of that process, you can review the former LaSalle County State’s Attorney felony charges for use of public funds, of which much of it we wrote about and linked to in this article.  Additional parallel information on what was found to be a chargeable crime in LaSalle County can be found at these links here and here.

And since we are not attorneys, we thought it would be of value to have two opinions from those who are attorneys as it relates to Township Officials duties and the law.

Keneally discussed the Township and Highway Department laws and made this statement:

“We are skeptical that anyone involved, whether a highway commissioner, trustees, or electors, can reasonably acquire a straightforward understanding of their duties and responsibilities under these disjointed and sprawling statutes.”

Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer and Stewart H. Diamond of Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer, P.C. appear to have a much different perspective on those same duties and laws.

“If a township official does not easily despair, however, he or she can quickly command a manageable grasp of the concepts and laws relating to township business.”

I raise this point as a clear example that just because an attorney says something it does not mean it is right.   In this case, one attorney’s position (Kenneally) points to skepticism of Township Officials being able to understand their duties while two others clearly say those who do not despair can “quickly” command a manageable grasp of the concepts and laws relating to township business.

Regardless, ignorance of the law is no excuse!

Kenneally has confirmed that there are still ongoing criminal investigations pertaining to Alqonquin Township and Algonquin Road District but has not elaborated as to what those matters involve.

.
Our work is funded entirely thru donations and we
ask that you consider donating at the below link.

8 replies »

  1. of course it’s impossible to know the official duties include ‘no using public funds for a private purpose’ when that private purpose is not defined. Everything should be listed beginning with, “no purchase of toilet paper for any elimination occurring in the private property residence of the official, except when other officials are on that same property, for public business purpose discussipons or busines, and should facilities be used, the total yardage of those respective toilet paper sums shall be authenticated as to the amount used with a signed affidavit by both the using official and private homeowner, public official and then duly submitted to the village clerk for the appropriate reimbursement with the original receipt for the toilet paper purchase and detail in order to provide the prorata reimbursement of cost per proforated sheet, per inch. And then we proceed to list every worldly available item. OR, “there is no allowance for using public funds for anything that could be deemed personal use and any debate or dispute will automatically be construed as personal use and prosecuted.”

  2. How about reducing the number of units of government in Illinois to at least cut down on the numbers of units that might become prone to corruption and/or incompetance?

    Referendums should allow voters to consider consolidation, thus abolishing some units of local/municipal government entirely.

    Got a local police department that has been sued multiple times and had to pay out costly settlements? Got an overpaid, six figure salaried village manager who can’t figure out how to replace a police chief that grew through the ranks of (and thus through the culture of) a department that has repeatedly gotten itself into hot water, legally? How about a referendum to “throw the bums out” altogether, vote for consolidation and thus save taxpayers money?

    Illinois has TOO MANY units of government and thus too many government posts for incompetent and/or corrupt people to attain leadership positions in. Too much is too much. Referendums pertaining to consolidation would save oodles of taxpayer dollars.

    There is one solution related to fiscal affairs that is well within the power of voters, directly.

    Referendum time, folks!

  3. Funny that the rest of us who are township officials don’t seem to have a problem interpreting our responsibilities. Oh and BTW TOI also holds numerous educational training as well. I say McHenry County needs to elect a new SA

  4. He’s sounding more like James Comey…”Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Sounds like there should be some background checking on Mr. Kenneally. Follow the money…who in McHenry County is paying him to back off???

  5. From page 3 of Kenneally’s report:

    “United State Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, pondering the question of what makes a good prosecutor, observed further: The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which make a gentleman. And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway. A sensitiveness to fair play and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizens’ safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes and who approaches his task with humility.”

    At page 5 of his report Kenneally seems to put partial blame on the Fifth Amendment of the U.S Constitution (Bill of Rights) by stating: “…Further complicating this task is the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This is especially true in cases where the one person responsible and presumably apprised of the thousands of expenses paid over the course of many years is under suspicion and asserts that right, as Miller did in this case.”

    Let’s look at what Justice Jackson said about the so-called complication of the Fifth Amendment:

    “…any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances.”

    Watts v. Indiana,
    338 U.S. 49 (1949)

  6. Kenneally discussed the Township and Highway Department laws and made this statement:

    “We are skeptical that anyone involved, whether a highway commissioner, trustees, or electors, can reasonably acquire a straightforward understanding of their duties and responsibilities under these disjointed and sprawling statutes.”

    Spoken like a good criminal defense attorney. But, not a good States Attorney. Very foolish words that Kenneally may, and should, regret memorializing in a public document. They will come back to haunt him very much like the words “what difference at this point does it make?“ have haunted a recent presidential candidate. Also an attorney who should have known better.

  7. I should have thought there was some sort of audit, or oversight of this Commissioner during the years. Even if the statute is in someway difficult to understand as the one attorney stated – some of the examples in previous articles, to me, show an abuse of this persons position & personally I believe just plain wrong!

  8. Wow, so he is essentially giving him and any other public official a license to steal. I hope this can be taken to someone further up the food chain to prosecute.

Leave a witty comment