McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
To get a real feel for what this article is exposing, it is going to require a printer and the printing of the two documents found here. We posted them below but it is not as clear to see the problems as it will be if they are printed and you use the old school investigative research tool of placing one over the other and then hold them up to the light. The differences are telling!
We will list the distinct differences in those two documents below that we found. Let us know in the comments if you find something we missed! We will call this one, Interactive Media! We understand that one appears to be tilted but that is probably from whoever scanned the document. Focus on lining up words, not the paper, and identify the differences.
- When you overlap the word "Algonquin", note that the end letters of the word DO NOT overlap the last letters. Shift it to line up the last letter and you see the "A" no longer lines up.
- When you overlap the word Township, note that the end letters of the word DO NOT overlap the last letters. Shift it to line up the last letter and you see the "T" no longer lines up.
- Line up the word "Memorandum". Just as outlined above, the same problem. When the first letter is aligned, ending letters are slightly off. Line up the last letters and sure enough, the first letter is no longer aligned.
- Overlap the address by perfectly overlapping the "3702" number and note how the rest of the address is slightly off and does not align.
- Overlap the right-hand list of public officials. Similar discrepancies.
- Overlap the Date, To, From, and Subject lines.........similar discrepancies! Things don't line up!
- Overlap the two paragraphs, same issue, things don't line up.
And now for the best part of it all, note the signature. The memorandum claims it was "From" Tom Schober. We have been told that Mr. Schober is no longer alive so there is no way to confirm he signed this short of a forensic handwriting expert. All that aside, note the location of the signature in relation to the last paragraph. You don't have to be an expert to see they are not the same.
And about now, someone is saying they just printed two copies and he signed it at a different spot on the paper. Now that sounds good but if it was two pages printed why does the printing not line up when you overlap the words?
Why does any of this matter? It appears this particular document is what was used by Robert Miller, the past Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner, to obtain a cash payout of claimed sick days. As we understand it, that payout was for $47,381.84.
Our question is simple: Is this document a forged document that was created to support a payout that may not have been legal? We say "may not have been legal" because elected officials only get compensated based on the compensation setting resolution and we have yet to have our FOIA request fulfilled for that resolution and we have reason to believe, no sick days are part of an elected officials compensation.
We also understand there has been an insinuation or claim made that these sick days were accumulated from when Miller was an employee. Anyone want to take any bets on whether or not we can prove it was not accumulated during that time?
The letter indicates an audit was taken of Miller's past employment. We have filed an FOIA request for a copy of that audit. It will be interesting to see what that audit says, if it even exists, compared to other records.
For those not familiar with what it means to make a false document or alter any documents and use it to obtain benefits, look no further than our Illinois State Statute on Forgery.
(720 ILCS 5/17-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 17-3)
Sec. 17-3. Forgery.
(a) A person commits forgery when, with intent to defraud, he or she knowingly:
(1) makes a false document or alters any document to make it false and that document is apparently capable of defrauding another; or
(2) issues or delivers such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or
(3) possesses, with intent to issue or deliver, any such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or
(4) unlawfully uses the digital signature, as defined in the Financial Institutions Electronic Documents and Digital Signature Act, of another; or
(5) unlawfully uses the signature device of another to create an electronic signature of that other person, as those terms are defined in the Electronic Commerce Security Act.
(c) A document apparently capable of defrauding another includes, but is not limited to, one by which any right, obligation or power with reference to any person or property may be created, transferred, altered or terminated. A document includes any record or electronic record as those terms are defined in the Electronic Commerce Security Act. For purposes of this Section, a document also includes a Universal Price Code Label or coin.
(c-5) For purposes of this Section, "false document" or "document that is false" includes, but is not limited to, a document whose contents are false in some material way, or that purports to have been made by another or at another time, or with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), forgery is a Class 3 felony.
(2) Forgery is a Class 4 felony when only one Universal Price Code Label is forged.
(3) Forgery is a Class A misdemeanor when an academic degree or coin is forged.
(e) It is not a violation of this Section if a false academic degree explicitly states "for novelty purposes only".
Update to follow when our FOIA requests are complied with.