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May 20, 2024

Algonquin Township – No approval from the State to destroy records……..EVER!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 16, 2017

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

According to the Illinois Local Records Commission, Algonquin Township has provided an application for authority to dispose of local records one time in its history and that was in 1978.  The linked request is the record retention disposition, however, none of those records can be destroyed without a certificate for each one based on additional requests, which has never happened.

That being the case, we can only wonder why Freedom of Information Act requests are being ignored, denied, and improperly responded to.  Since they NEVER been given permission to destroy records, all records should be there!

To date, the Clerk has failed to provide key records that should be in her possession as the custodian of all records for the township.  In some cases, if such records are in fact not in their possession, it may point to a serious problem for past elected officials as some of those documents are connected to questionable acts by past officials.  Other records we know are in existence, yet they are not providing them, which will be problematic when we file our FOIA lawsuit against them.

  • Copy of Open Meetings Act Training Certificates for the elected officials – Ignoring the request
  • Payments to employees as a bonus – Claims no records exist
  • Copy of Bids received for the two trucks that were sold – Yet to provide any bids received from bidders. 
  • Copy of bids received for the Stree Sweeper that was purchased –Yet to provide any bids received from bidders. 
  • Copy of overtime records for Anna Miller – Attorney claimed they don’t exist
  • Copy of Bob Miller’s Annual reports – Improper denial, still don’t have the records 
  • Copy of the Audit referenced in the sick day payout document used by Bob Miller before leaving office. –Improper denial, still don’t have the records 
  • Copy of all payments to Bob Miller between February 1, 1993, and July 31st, 1993. – Claimed I need to provide the type of payment in order for them to fulfill.  Still, no records provided. 
  • Copy of the Records the Clerk removed from the Township offices – Claimed there are no records

For those not familiar with the laws that pertain to public records, FOIA is one with little to no teeth.  However, the local records act is not so friendly to those who knowingly alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record with intent to defraud.

50 ILCS 205/4 – Any person who knowingly, without lawful authority and with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony. 

I would urge compliance with the law.

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  • Dave
    Posted at 10:20h, 17 December

    You guys expect allot, do you really think you have a right to know what local govt does? They don’t have to follow the law, they were elected. You act like our govt is by the people for the people. My comment was for entertainment purposes only…

  • Jannie
    Posted at 08:27h, 18 December

    Just as an aside – this goes on all over – in dealings with a Park District – questions “why do you want to know” what is it for, I’m really busy – don’t have time to look for this”. However, you press them send me your denial in writing – it’s quiet. Because once they deny in writing there has to be firm information as to reasons why.

    It’s sad that elected officials or public bodies don’t believe they have to follow the law.