McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
How many times have you watched people dig their own hole to a point they actually make the case against themselves? That appears to be the case with Bob Miller, former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner and former President of Township Officials of Illinois based on yet another court filing by his attorney, Thomas Gooch III.
In our past article on the conflicts with sworn documents and court filings by Millers' attorney found here, we pointed to key problems that are now confirmed by new court filings in a Motion to Correct the Record.
From the past article pointing out a false statement with the first filing:
Affidavit: “Exhibit A is a true and correct copy of the Highway Commissioner’s Annual Report, with Inventory attached, which I filed more than 30 days prior to the annual meeting conducted in 2017, and which bears my signature.
After pointing out this was a not an accurate representation before the Court, a Motion to Correct the Record was filed to address this specific item and one other.
Gooch now claims:
"Defendant also alleged in his Reply Brief that he had filed in April of 2017 the Annual Report and Inventory, more than 30 days before the annual town meeting. MILLER, in fact, filed the Annual Report and Inventory within the 30-day period before the annual town meeting, as required by statute."
First off, thank you, Mr. Gooch, for confirming we were correct about the first filing not being accurate.
Please permit us to once again point out why this new "corrected record" filing is not correct as well.
The second item Gooch listed (#2) in his Motion to Correct the Record is going to be a little more problematic, which is why we urge someone take away their shovel.
We pointed out in our first article this key statement that came from the first filing.
“Only because of unfamiliarity with the township code and the records of Algonquin Township the highway commissioner presently fails to understand that the liability he speaks of was a liability of the township for sick pay as the road district had never paid the highway commissioner’s salary or sick days, there is no reason such a liability would be listed in the annual report.”
After exposing why that claim holds no water, Gooch claims before the court the following as a corrected record.
"First, Defendant alleged that the sick pay raised in Plaintiffs Response was paid from the general town fund. Defendant should have alleged that the sick pay owed Defendant was a liability of the general town and erroneously paid through the road and bridge fund at the time of payment, for sick days earned when MILLER was not an elected official but was an employee."
We welcome Mr. Gooch to provide any evidence that they alleged the sick pay raised in Plaintiffs Response was paid from the General Town fund. We find no reference in his filing that any such allegation was made by them, thus this new corrected record might need to be corrected! The first filing only pointed to an allegation the liability was that of the General Township and is silent on where such liability was paid. Why would he correct the record when no such allegation was made?
More troubling is the fact he now takes the position that the liability is that of the general township and that it was for sick days earned when Miller was an employee, not an elected official, all while conveniently leaving out who employed him.
The very paper trail his own client submitted makes this corrected record inconsistent with the record Miller used to get paid.
"Please be advised that an audit was taken of your past employment with the Algonquin Township Highway Department."
Mr. Gooch, why on earth would this claimed liability for sick pay be an obligation of the General Town fund when your own client used a document claiming the sick pay was based on an audit of his employment with the Highway Department?
How can Gooch now claim to the court that it was erroneously paid through the road and bridge fund when in fact it was his own client that submitted the demand for payment to that very fund, which he was in charge of? Of interest is the fact there was no evidence provided by Miller and his attorney that supports his new position that this liability of sick days was that of the General Township. That would be because there is no such evidence. In fact, as referenced above, the very letter used to collect on those sick days points to a Highway Department liability, not the General Town fund as he now claims. We welcome the production of any evidence that supports this new corrected version of the court record.
According to our investigation, the only erroneously paid transaction was one for 263 sick days that have no documentation to support that it was owed outside of what appears to be a fabricated document. In fact, records point to it NOT being owed, which include bookkeepers documents, audits, and annual reports, not to mention a policy that forbids such an accumulation. The only document insinuating anything is owed is one document, two versions, that claim to be based off an audit, which the Township has claimed they have no such audit.
And for the final piece of the puzzle that points to the urgency of someone taking their shovel away, his very first claim in this "Corrected Record" states:
"Defendant recently filed a Reply Brief to his Motion to Dismiss due to Lack of Standing which contains two errors"
No, Mr. Gooch, your Reply Brief contained more than two errors. We appreciate the two you have addressed, one properly fixed and the other fixed in a fashion that does your client more harm in our opinion, but you forgot two more of great interest to the taxpayers in this case.
The record submitted reflects a sweeper in inventory that was sold prior to the date of the report, thus it should not be listed in the inventory, and the assigned value to that inventory item, which clearly can't be true and accurate based on the actions of your client. Those two claims are still part of the record and they are not correct. We do understand correcting those would be problematic in light of the criminal investigation that is, in fact, taking place.
Do the citizens of Algonquin Township want to get the claimed sick pay back?
(605 ILCS 5/6-204) (from Ch. 121, par. 6-204)
Sec. 6-204. If any highway commissioner wilfully refuses to perform any of the duties enjoined upon him by this Code, he shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $50 and may be proceeded against in the name of the district for the recovery of such forfeiture before any court of the proper county having jurisdiction.
In addition, willful failure to include in the annual report the determined or estimated amount of all liabilities incurred and not paid and to whom owed, as required by Section 6-201.15 of this Act, is a misdemeanor, on conviction whereof the highway commissioner shall be fined in the amount of the reportable liabilities excluded from the report.
(Source: Laws 1963, p. 3031.)
I would think the State's Attorney would be capable of gathering all these bread crumbs and making the case for a prosecution and if found guilty, a fine in the amount of the claimed sick days if those were in fact liabilities of the Highway Department as the letter used claimed. Those liabilities were excluded from the annual report and all indications are pointing to the above statute as a mechanism to recover those funds.
Stay tuned for more troubling evidence that points to willful records destruction at the Algonquin Township.
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