McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
We received our request for records regarding two John Deere tractors that Bob Miller purchased in 2015 and have forwarded the information to the State's Attorney.
- "A copy of the bid announcement/publication for the purchase of a John Deer 4066R Utility Tractor purchased on June 19, 20 11 on PO 1101 from the Road District."
- "A copy of all bids received pertaining to the purchase of the John Deer 4066R Utility Tractor"
- "Documents responsive to this request are enclosed."
So when the Clerk informs me that the responsive documents are enclosed that would indicate bid announcement/publication would be provided as well as all bids received.
The Clerk should resign from office for her complete inability to respond to a simple FOIA request truthfully because neither of what we asked for was provided.
Since there was no bid announcement/publication provided we must conclude there was no announcement or publication for the purchase of close to $100,000 worth of equipment.
What was provided was nothing more than the proposal/quote provided by the seller, invoice records, a purchase receipt and other John Deere billing records that had NOTHING to do with this request and the original purchase order.
This is where it may get even more problematic for Bob Miller, the former Algonquin Township Road District Commissioner.
605 ILCS 5/6-201.7 - Except for professional services, when the cost of construction, materials, supplies, new machinery or equipment exceeds $20,000, the contract for such construction, materials, supplies, machinery or equipment shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder after advertising for bids at least once, and at least 10 days prior to the time set for the opening of such bids, in a newspaper published within the township or road district, or, if no newspaper is published within the township or road district then in one published within the county, or, if no newspaper is published within the county then in a newspaper having general circulation within the township or road district, but, in case of an emergency, such contract may be let without advertising for bids. For purposes of this Section "new machinery or equipment" shall be defined as that which has been previously untitled or that which shows fewer than 200 hours on its operating clock and that is accompanied by a new equipment manufacturer's warranty.
We have been unable to identify if this equipment was ever put out for bid as is required under Illinois law and considering the Township was unable to produce such records we must assume that to be the case. A safe assumption in light of an emailed proposal that matches the purchase information.
A couple other issues have jumped out on this matter. There were documents included that point to a contract with the Illinois Association of County Board Members (IACBM). Is this a feeble attempt to imply they did not have to bid it out? Feeble because even if the IACBM had a state contract for this particular piece of equipment, they are not a public body so using their bid, if they ever had one, is not applicable.
Miller made the purchase on June 19th, 2015 with a typed PO on Algonquin letterhead. As confirmation this was not a proper bid, we also have the emailed proposal, which clearly is not a proper bid process, similar to what happened with the Miller Sweeper purchase.
As our investigation continues with this group, we must bring everyone back to the 2017 Annual Report filed by Miller. You know, the one that had no liability for sick days that he paid himself for? Well, he also failed to report one of the two mower decks he purchased with these tractors. He purchased two MX5 Lift-Type Rotary Cutter - 540 RPM PT - $2,824.00 each with serial number's 1POOMX5CCFP042366 and 1POOMX5CEFP042365
We did find the purchased tractors listed but much like sick leave liability missing from the Annual Report, the rotary cutter, serial number (POOMX5CCFP042366), is not listed on the Annual Inventory. Please don't take our word for it, look for yourself!
If you're wondering why this information was sent to the State's Attorney look no further than Limestone Township in Kankakee and what happened there when the Road Commissioner purchased a vehicle without putting it out for property bidding. He was facing prosecution by their State's Attorney had the matter not been resolved and the vehicle returned. Should Miller be any different in McHenry County?
View Annual report below or download at this link.