McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
With ongoing criminal investigations, lawsuits that involve unfulfilled requests for records, and reports of record destruction by Township officials, we have to admit we never thought we would find what we found today.
We first exposed the record destruction issue in Algonquin Township in December of 2017 in this article. What is important to note is the fact the Local Records Commission's response to our FOIA reflected no Certificates of Destruction for Algonquin Township, meaning they have not been given the authorization to destroy records. The document provided is a record disposition approval from 1978. Once a disposition is approved, a certificate for destruction must be requested and issued prior to actual destruction. The state had no Certificates of Destruction.
Is someone lying?
Recently obtained Township Minutes dated June 11, 2014, reflects a much different tail than the one provided by the Secretary of State's Local Records Commission.
According to the minutes, former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner, Bob Miller, informed the board of two very interesting things during that meeting. The first item dealt with records destruction and it appears clear, either Miller lied to the Township Board or the Secretary of State Local Records Commission lied to us?
- "The Township received a Certificate of Destruction for the shredding event held June 6th."
How is it that the state had no such record of issuing Certificates of Destruction yet Miller claims they received them?
Now for the mind-blowing revolution
- "Six tons of paper was shredded."
Yes, six-tons of paper, 12,000lbs!
One can only wonder what incriminating evidence was destroyed that day. Of interest is the fact it was Miller providing this update to the Board and not the keeper of the records, the Township Clerk, now current Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow.
How do that many records get destroyed without any input from the keeper of those records?
For those that are not aware, it can be a felony to destroy public records.
(50 ILCS 205/4) Sec. 4. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Section, all public records made or received by, or under the authority of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of any officer or agency shall not be mutilated, destroyed, transferred, removed or otherwise damaged or disposed of, in whole or in part, except as provided by law. Any person who knowingly, without lawful authority and with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony.
And for those that will try to say there is no evidence these were public records, can you provide a reason why Miller would claim to have a certificate of destruction, an item not needed for non-public records?
Don't take our word for it. Read the minutes for yourself by downloading them at this link or view below.
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