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April 24, 2024

DuPage Township’s improper expenditures, attorney hiring without board consent –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 13, 2018

DuPage Township, IL. (ECWd) –

While reviewing DuPage Township’s payables for August 2018, we noticed a few items that didn’t look right.

  • Membership in the Romeoville Chamber of Commerce (page 5)
  • Membership in the Bolingbrook Rotary Club (page 6)
  • Driving Testing, Illinois Secretary of State (page 22)

After bouncing these off of the Township Code, we found no authorization for a township to pay to become a member of any Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club. We cannot find any authority to pay for “driving testing.”

The Township Code permits a township to join TOI or another similar organization. It is silent on joining other organizations, and thru applying Dillon’s Rule, the silence is a de facto “prohibition by law.”

(60 ILCS 1/85-15) 
    Sec. 85-15. Township Officials of Illinois. The township board may provide for joining the township in an association of townships or a not-for-profit corporation with membership consisting of, townships and may provide for the payment of annual membership dues and fees. The member townships, acting through the instrumentality, may provide and disseminate information and research services and perform other acts for the purpose of improving township government in Illinois. The instrumentality may be known as the Township Officials of Illinois or another appropriate name as the member townships may determine. 

Additionally, it has come to our attention that the township supervisor fired their previous attorney in April 2018 (which he has the power to do), and hired a new attorney at the May 2018 meeting (which he does not have the power to do of his own accord). This came without any advice or consent of the board of trustees as required by the Township Code, Moore v Grafton Twp (2011). Any assumption by the Supervisor that since he now has a conflict with the board (laugh at page 4 of the May minutes) he can hire his own legal representation as Supervisor is false and defeats the legislative purpose of obtaining advice and consent of the board.

(60 ILCS 1/70-37) 
    Sec. 70-37. Township attorney. The supervisor, with the advice and consent of the township board, may appoint a township attorney. The township attorney's compensation shall be fixed as provided in Section 100-5. 

Additionally, there has been no board action setting the compensation of this attorney, and therefore no such compensation may be paid.

Sec. 100-5. Township attorney and other employees; compensation. . .The township board shall fix the compensation of a township attorney appointed by the township supervisor under Section 70-37. 

Any work already completed cannot be paid using township or any other public funds and the supervisor has no authority to pay this attorney out of the General Assistance funds either. In short, this attorney should have known he cannot perform work, with the expectation of receiving compensation, unless and until the township board, first, advises and consents to the hiring, and second, fixes the compensation. Franks v Township of Riley (1977).

We have not noticed any attorney payments from the attorney improperly appointed yet, but suspect they will be submitted. We urge the Board to refuse payment.

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1 Comment
  • Dave
    Posted at 07:47h, 14 August

    The attorney hiring procedure couldn’t be more clear…. it make me believe they never bothered to read the OMA