Will Co. (ECWd) -
We were the first to report on Lincoln Way School District 210 and their day care center contract with a local day care provider in which a private business reaped great benefit on the backs of the taxpayer in this article.
Since that article was published, numerous uninformed readers have taken the position that having the Day Care is critical to the operations of the school and getting rid of it would hurt the community. We have never spoken to the need of a day care at the schools nor have we implied that they should get rid of it. We simply questioned the legality of the action taken by the former Superintendent.
After an additional FOIA to the School District, we now have our answer to the key question on any contract. Was it approved?
The answer is NO!
Language in the contract states:
"Each of the signatories to this Agreement are the duly authorized representatives of their respective corporate entity and each such person has signed this Agreement pursuant to the authority duly granted to him or her by corporate authorities of said corporate entity, who have directed the representatives to sign this Agreement."
In order for former Superintendent Wyllie to sign a contract "pursuant to authority duly granted to him", it would in fact have to be granted to him. Who grants such authority? The School Board. Who DID NOT grant such authority to Wyllie? The School Board!
In addition, the contract states, "who have directed the representatives to sign this Agreement". A FOIA response has confirmed that no such direction to sign an agreement took place.
- #1. Copy of names of all persons currently leasing, renting, or using public facilities for private purpose.
- #2. Copy of all current lease/rental agreements for anyone using public property for private purpose.
- #3. Copy of minutes approving the above referenced lease/rental agreements.
Response: "In response to your FOIA request below – parts 1 and 2 – please see the attached document. Please note that you will need to scroll to the end to see the names and address requested."
"For #3, based upon the way that your request is worded: We are denying your request. The reason for this denial is that we have no documents that meet your request."
Note how Asst. Superintendent Ron Sawin attempts to play games with my FOIA. "Based upon the way that your request is worded" ? Who does not understand a request for a copy of minutes approving the above referenced lease/rental agreements?
Considering the requests referenced produced a copy of the contract with Nancy's Day Care it is clear he knew what we were looking for and since the name of the contract is different than my request, he can't claim he didn't know what we wanted.
Title on the agreement provided: "INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT"
Since he provided a copy of the contract, he clearly knows my wording was sufficient to obtain the contract provided. His response is clear that they have no records of any board approval of the agreement with Nancy's Day Care.
Just because a contract is signed does not make it a legal contract. A public body has laws they must follow and when they don't, their actions can be overturned in the courts. In this case, it is clear with this contract the school is expending money in support of this Day Care facility.
(105 ILCS 5/10-7) (from Ch. 122, par. 10-7)
Sec. 10-7. Secretary or clerk to record official acts - yeas and nays on expenditures. The secretary or clerk shall keep in a punctual, orderly and reliable manner a record of the official acts of the board which shall be signed by the president and the secretary or clerk, and submitted to the treasurer having custody of the funds of the district for his inspection and approval at such times as the treasurer may require. On all questions involving the expenditure of money, the yeas and nays shall be taken and entered on the records of the proceedings of the board. The secretary or clerk shall keep the minutes and, if the district is not required to employ a superintendent, keep or cause to be kept the financial records of the school district.
(Source: P.A. 96-998, eff. 7-2-10.)
According to the FOIA response, there is no record of any vote on the signing of the contract with the Day Care center, which expends school funds as a form of subsidising a private business. Thus, the signing of a contract by an employee of the district who did not have the authority given to sign such a contract makes the contract invalid and many legal minds would argue Void Ab-initio.
This is just one more example of how negligent the board members were at Lincoln Way District 210. They have failed to do their jobs once again and those sitting board members during this debacle should resign immediately. As if that is not bad enough, these same people failed to ensure the Day Care Center was propertly insured as reported in this Tribune article.
It is also another indicator the Lawrence Wyllie has no place in public service as this is yet another example of his inability to understand public employees only have the power granted by law, and in this case, granted by Board Members. His actions have proven to be without approval of the board and he must be held accountable.
I suggest the concerned citizens of this district draft a formal criminal complaint and take it to your County Sheriff and the Illinois State Police and demand a criminal investigation.
With 5 seats available at the next election I hope the citizens wake up and realize that the establishment people running this operation are destroying your community.
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