Kankakee Co. (ECWd) -
Once again the ignorance of the law amazes me and once again it comes out of Limestone Township and the newly illegally hired attorney.
During this month's meeting, an attorney introduced himself and stated he was hired by Mr. Kramer to represent the Road District (17:35 mark of video). Mr. Kramer, the Road Commissioner who illegally purchased a truck and used it for personal purposes, seems to have an inability to read the law, which may also be the case for the attorney who said he was hired by Kramer, "to represent the Road District."
There is no confusion who this attorney claimed to be representing. I challenged that claim because the law is clear (19:24 mark of the video), of which it was evident when questioned, this attorney had no clue. The hiring of a lawyer in Township Government is spelled out quite well and the bottom line, the Highway Commissioner, cannot hire independent counsel without board approval and can only do himself under limited conflicts of interest, of which those do not apply in this case.
From the Township Officials of Illinois Handbook (hot links to the actual law highlighted in blue) rally, the township attorney serves as the road district attorney.
Generally, the township attorney serves as the road district attorney. However, the highway commissioner may be represented, generally, by a different attorney in non-conflict situations if the township board approves fit. 60 ILCS 1/I00-5(c). In the event of a conflict with the highway commissioner and the township, however, the highway commissioner has the ability to hire counsel without board approval, and to have that attorney paid out of the road fund. Section 201.19 of the Illinois Highway Code specifies that highway commissioners "have authority to hire legal counsel to perform legal functions for road districts where performance of such functions by the public official who would otherwise represent the highway commissioner would present a direct or potential conflict of interest." 605 ILCS 5/6-201.19. A township cannot prevent a highway commissioner from hiring an independent attorney when the road district has a conflict with the township by refusing to put funds for legal fees in the road district's budget. Newport Township Road District v. Pavelich, 2012 IL App (2d) 111317.
A reporter addressed my concerns with the attorney after the meeting and reported a rather interesting tidbit of information:
"Asked about whether he was representing Kramer as a private citizen or as road commissioner, Keyt said he and his client still were working out the details."
So after getting publicly punked for not knowing the law, this attorney tells a reporter that he and his client are still working out the details as to who he represents?
Wait, he already told the board he was hired by Kramer to represent the Road District?
LOL, You can't make this stuff up!
Enjoy the video!