McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Clueless public officials are the downfall of this once great state, and the Algonquin Township Clerk is yet another example of a failed public official bringing public distrust of their elected officials.
As if failed public officials are not bad enough, we have said for a long time, local reporting is failing the public on numerous fronts by their failure in reporting on local government's illegal actions.
As we have always said, "Says Who and With What Proof" are two questions that must be asked and answered in all reporting.
Reading the Northwest Herald article published last month, we once again have to point out the bigger story that they failed to report on. The one that directly affects your tax dollars and exposes violations of laws. Now I understand they sell papers and a squabble between one official and another may make a great headline and sell more papers, it does nothing to address the bigger problem, illegal acts.
It is clear, Karen Lukasik has no clue what powers are provided to her position and if she is getting legal advice for her actions, then the lawyer should be fired.
According to the local paper, Lukasik is of the opinion employees and contractors are not the responsibility of the Township Board, specifically the one she hired illegally to work in her office.
“Leave the employees and contractors alone,” Lukasik wrote. “They are not your responsibility. I have every right to say something. You need to know your role. You audit the bills. ... You do not oversee contractors or employees.
PERIOD. You will not speak to him anymore about what he is doing while at the township.”
“He has been hired to help in the clerk’s office,” Lukasik said. “The scope of his responsibility is not your decision or oversight. This is official township business that needed to be discussed. This is not unprofessional but ensuring you understand your role in relation to contractors and employees.”
Lukasik could not be any more wrong on this one. In fact, her powers are spelled out by statute and the ONLY person she could hire is a deputy clerk and even that can only be done with authorization by the Township Board.
60 ILCS 1/75-45 Sec. 75-45. Deputy clerk.
(a) The township clerk, when authorized by the township board, may appoint one deputy clerk.
She claims he was hired, but that too, is now yet another violation of the law as such hiring brings certain requirements that for some reason this Township Clerk has no record of.
60 ILCS 1/100-5 The township board may employ and fix the compensation of township employees that the board deems necessary, excluding the employees of the offices of supervisor of general assistance, township collector, and township assessor.
There is no exclusion for the Township Clerk. That being the case, the hiring of township employees is done by the Township Board, by law. That means there has to be an agenda item for action to hire and that would lead to minutes where the board voted to employ the person now working for Lukasik. Additionally, the board is the one that sets the compensation for the employee, not the Clerk. That too, as shown above, is by law and should have an applicable agenda and minutes where such action was taken.
In what may be the Golden FOIA award, my FOIA request today was received and responded to in just over two hours. Sadly for Lukasik, there are no records applicable to my request, which means she has a problem.
The law does not permit her to hire anyone and doing so is a clear violation of the law she took an oath to uphold. Considering there are no records of any board action pertaining to this hiring or setting his compensation, it's safe to argue the fact he should not be working there as he has not been legally hired!
Of additional interest is the fact the Clerk, who thinks she is in charge of this person, was unable to produce a job application. Makes you wonder, how did he know there was a job opening? Better yet, how do we know he was the best selection for the job if there is no application? Yep, your tax dollars hard at work in Algonquin Township.
We urge the McHenry County State's Attorney step up the pace on the ongoing criminal investigation and indict ALL the bad actors at Algonquin Township sooner, rather than later.
We also urge Karen Lukasik to do the right thing and resign as it is crystal clear she has not read the law as it applies to her powers and duties and she has proven to be incapable of complying with the most basic duties of her office.
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