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July 20, 2024

Algonquin Township – From “one afternoon a week” to false claims of stolen property.

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 28, 2018

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

If you want to know what is wrong with local government, you need not look any further than James Kelly’s answer to our FOIA lawsuit which contains a declaration by the Supervisor, under penalties of perjury, that everything in the Answer is true and correct, with a qualifier for certain statements. See Answer below or click here.

Within this Answer are some very telling points that we suspect the public might have an interest in knowing and although there is a books worth of material to write about, we are going to stick to two points from the filing and comments made by the Attorney at one of the hearings.

From the Answer to the Complaint:- 

  • The Township Clerk position has limited duties at the Township and was scheduled to be at the Township for the regular monthly meeting, bid openings, and one afternoon per week.
  • On information and belief sometime between May 5, 2017, and June 1, 2017, unauthorized access was made to the Algonquin Township Clerk’s office and records were removed.

Point #1:

The Township Clerk receives compensation of $18,492.88 a year for these “limited duties”.  Excluding bid openings which take little time, monthly meetings and one afternoon per week comes with a hefty price tag for a Clerk.  A review of board minutes during Karen Lukasik’s current term makes it impossible to figure out how much time is spent at Board meetings as she fails to record the time the meetings end in the minutes.

Reviewing past minutes it appears these meetings rarely take more than an hour and in some cases as little as 20 minutes. For the sake of this article, since Lukasik fails to record the time of adjournment, we used 2016 board meetings as a guide. In 2016, meetings took an average of fifty minutes per meeting for a whopping 10.86 hours of time at the actual meeting.

Add that to an assumed zero vacation time for the Clerk and 4 hours a week for the year, fifty-two weeks a year, she would have worked 218.86 hrs not counting bid openings. If she takes a vacation from that burdensome schedule of one afternoon a week, then even fewer hours are worked.

Is $84.50 an hour for a person that has limited duties fair to the taxpayer?

We ask because we see statewide, compensation being set for elected officials without any cost-benefit analysis at all.  They just look at what it was in the past and go from there.  Considering the Clerk has limited duties, where is the discussion as to what those limited duties are really worth?

Even more telling as to how bad things are in Algonquin Township, these so-called limited duties were so overwhelming for the Clerk that she contracted a person to help her, in violation of law, all with the Attorney’s assistance.  Once that was exposed, the board properly appointed a person to help her but is now paying that person in violation of the law as the resolution appointing him makes no mention of the pay, which is required to be set by the Board.  The attorney was present at the meeting during this action and failed to address the matter.

Assuming this hired Deputy Clerk makes $15.00 an hour, the taxpayers of Algonquin Township would be on the hook for right at $100 an hour for a position that has limited duties according to Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow.

I guess the Northwest Herald missed that story.

Point #2: 

The dates referenced by Lutzow are most telling because it covers a time frame when there were two different clerks.  Lutzow was the past clerk and Lukasik the current Clerk.

Unauthorized access points to either negligence or possible criminal action.  Considering both past and present Clerk’s were in charge of the records of the township, were they negligent in their duties by allowing unauthorized access?  If access was by key or access code, who had those keys and codes and who provided it to them?

Comments from James Kelly to our Attorney:

We must conclude this unauthorized access to records they now claim are missing was due to theft.  We conclude that because James Kelly, attorney for the Township, has made what we consider defamatory statements against us pertaining to public records.

According to our Attorney, Kelly has stated that we are in possession of stolen property as it relates to our current 16 Count FOIA case against the Township and Road District. Such a statement to our Attorney is going to be very problematic for Kelly.

When we were adviced of this false accusation we filed an FOIA request with the Township seeking everything related to stolen public records being documented and reported to the police. Considering Attorney Kelly stated we possessed stolen property, we wanted to ensure such an alleged theft was properly reported to authorities.

The response was most telling and going to prove to be very problematic for a certain attorney:

“The Township does not have any documents responsive to this request. The FOIA officer for this response is the Algonquin Township Supervisor, Charles Lutzow.”

So if the attorney is aware of stolen records and has the gall to claim we are in possession of stolen property is it out of line to ask why such a theft has not been reported to the police?

Considering the Township has no record of any such stolen property being reported to the police, is this yet another glaring example of incompetence by the Clerk, Supervisor, Board, and their attorney?

Who in their right mind does not report the theft of public property to the Police?

As we have mentioned in the past, we urge the Board to fire James Kelly as the attorney for Algonquin Township.  We continue to call for the resignation of Karen Lukasik as well as the Township Supervisor.

18.07.02.FILED Defendant AT's Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint Affirmative Defenses (002)

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  • Watching Township’s
    Posted at 15:25h, 28 July Reply

    Keep fighting! I hope all these delinquents are behind bars in just a matter of time. This is one of the worst cases of public corruption I have seen and I tgought the one in my community was bad. Praying for justice and that when Gods hand moves it will be swiftly.

  • jannie
    Posted at 17:00h, 28 July Reply

    This is just mind blowing – where do I sign up to get a job with such limited hours and great pay. It is how to unerstand how this continutes to go on, but I have come to believe that it’s much more about “who you know”, as to what you can get away with and not what’s right or wrong.

  • A. Lincoln
    Posted at 19:01h, 28 July Reply

    “ 1. Pursuant to fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government it is the public policy o f the State o f Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees consistent with the terms of theIllinoisFreedomofInformationAct(“FOIA”). 5ICS140/1.”

    Tell Mr. Kelly to read the U.S. Constitution, and particularly Article 4, Section 4:

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    We have a U.S. Constitution and a Bill of Rights which memorialize the Separation of Powers doctrine and the limitations on what the government can and cannot do.

    Tell Mr. Kelly we do not have a constitutional form of government.

    We have a Republican form of government.

    republic n 1 : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and is usually a president; also : a nation or other political unit having such a government 2 : a government in which supreme power is held by the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives governing according to law; also : a nation or other political unit having such a form of government.

  • ang
    Posted at 20:28h, 28 July Reply

    Actually, lots of people are terrified of the police.

    If you file FOIAs in LaGrange Park, IL seeking info on the patterns and practices of the twice sued local police (two as far as has been widely reported by news media, that is, including one lawsuit over alleged excessive force and another over wrongful arrest of brothers who were cleared by video evidence), or if you criticize the PD for being “racalcitrant” about providing records, they come shine a silly little spotlight at your windows just after midnight. Nice guys. I’d call them instantly about a theft (not!!!). Shining lights??? Really? How juvenille! Oldest intimidation tactic ever. But I digress.

    But seriously, in this case, it does sound rather shady to invent an alleged theft excuse. Being that it is about government documents and the PD is also a government entity, why would they be afraid of their own police? No records the theft was ever reported indeed! It’s probably a lie.

    Go Watchdogs. Fight the good fight.

    And please, if you think you want to run for a LaGrange Park leadership post, many residents will help work on your campaign. The leadership is responsible for its bad PR generating police department.

  • Gert Flinder
    Posted at 17:05h, 03 August Reply

    Kirk Allen for Governor! Algonquin Township is a rats’ nest of brazen corruption, and the State’s Attorney in McHenry County is compliciy

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