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May 19, 2024

Algonquin Township- Attorney Kelly drops Road District representation…the rest of the story!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On June 7, 2018

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

The local media reported today that the Township Attorney James Kelly terminated services with the Algonquin Township Road District.

The reporting points to a legal drama coming to a boiling point during the budget hearing where the board cut $100,000.00 from the Road District legal line item.  As you will see, there is more to the story and it may point to problems for James Kelly.

May 9th, Andrew Gasser asks for a legal opinion regarding the charging station at the Township where people with electric cars can charge their car for free…while the taxpayers pay for the electric bill.  During our visit to the township last month we asked where the fuel pumps were as we needed to fill up before our trip home. Why not?  If people can get free energy for their car of choice why not those that choose a different type of vehicle?

To date, Kelly has not responded with an opinion on that matter.  Is this another Miller boondoggle that Kelly sat silently on while the taxpayers pay for a select few people to have free electricity for their car?

At 2:36 pm, Road Commissioner Gasser sends an email to James Kelly and directs him to not represent the Road District in the ECWd case against the Township Road District. Note this is in advance of the budget hearing.  He outlines that there is a clear and obvious conflict of interest and informs him he can’t represent a client when he is a witness.  He makes his demand on behalf of the Road District.

Approximately one hour before the budget hearing, Kelly responds and claims the conflict is not clear and obvious and then claims the interest of the Township and the Road District are identical.  He then claims that he will cease representation if the board does not approve his budget.

Then he confirms he only entered an appearance on behalf of the Township.  As we understand it, Attorney Hanlon had already informed them he was representing Gasser in this case because of the conflict.

We suspect Kelly’s termination of service was more of a push out the door in light of years of questionable actions by the past administration coming to light, which all took place while he was the attorney.

Additionally, the local reporting makes a claim their local sources have said Gasser has had trouble finding an attorney to help him navigate the legal maze of complicated road projects. We find that hard to believe because of two factors.  First, Gasser has confirmed he has not had any problem navigating the legal maze, nor any problems finding good legal advice.  Secondly, the law outlines a great resource is the County Engineer that is able to provide any needed advice when requested in writing.

(605 ILCS 5/5-205.3) Sec. 5-205.3. Advise the highway commissioners of the road districts in his county, when requested in writing, and direct, as otherwise provided in this code, the highway commissioners of the road districts in his county, as to the best methods of construction, repair, or maintenance of township and district roads. The grades of such roads in such road districts shall be constructed according to plans approved by the county superintendent of highways. (Source: P.A. 80-1444.)

Our sources tell us the Township is looking for another attorney.  We believe that is quite possible as Kelly has been shopping for another township to represent.  We understand he spoke with Maine Township about possibly representing them.  How ironic, we have busted them out for numerous problems as well.

We believe Kelly’s departure may well be the best thing for the Township Road District as well as the Township.

Gasser letter to Kelly May 14, 2018

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  • Dennis Finegan
    Posted at 22:17h, 07 June

    Kudos Edgar County Watchdogs. That’s one down anyway.

  • Keep following the money
    Posted at 10:25h, 08 June

    How much work would be involved with normal operations of a township functioning well that requires legal services totaling $100K? Pave the roads, plow when it is winter, and provide the TANF services–those should be on auto-pilot, without the need of legal services. If the billable hours are $300 per hour, $100,000 pays for 333 hours of service annually. What on earth is the township doing that requires a lawyer for an average of 6.5 hours per week?