McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
"Algonquin Township Objection to the settlement agreement and entry of the proposed agreed order is overruled and denied."
At the direction of Algonquin Township attorney James Kelly, an objection was filed to the settlement agreement the Road District entered into on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The Judge has overruled and denied Kelly's objection.
The order also requires the Road District to produce the records which appear to be a major sticking point as the Clerk has all but refused to turn over the very records she is the keeper of. Now with an Order to do so, it will be interesting to see what the Township Board will do next.
Of interest in the order is the Judge pointing out to Mr. Kelly that FOIA requests must be answered and complied with. A concept that most understand, but in this case, the Township has failed miserably in producing the records. Considering such instruction from the Bench, it will prove interesting to see what advice Kelly offers the Township in the suit against them, especially with the closing point made in the order:
"All of Plaintiffs claims against the Township remain unchanged by this Order."
Although our claims against the Township remain unchanged by the Order, it is clear the Order instructed the Township to comply with the law with the instruction that FOIA requests must be answered and complied with. Considering the township continues to violate FOIA by refusing to provide the records or even respond to our FOIA requests, it appears a case can be made for a willful and intentional violation of the law.
Will Kelly instruct the Township Board to follow the law now, or is the focus on billable hours?
You can download the Order at this link or view the text of the document below. The text below is provided since the document is very difficult to read.
The Court order reads:
This cause coming on to be heard on the objection of Algonquin Township as to the proposed settlement agreement and agreed order. The court having reviewed the parties briefs and considered oral argument, it is ordered:
1) Algonquin Township Objection to the settlement agreement and entry of the proposed agreed order is overruled and denied.
2) Nothing in this order serves to order Algonquin Township to perform any action beyond normal requirements imposed by operation of law (i.e. FOIA requests must be answered and complied with.)
3) Algonquin Township Road District and Plaintiffs having represented to the court they agree as to the following to dispose of Plaintiffs Claims against the Road District as follows:
- a) Judgment enters in favor of the Plaintiffs Kirk Allen, John Allen and Edgar County Watchdogs, Inc. in the amount of $45,000 in stanter.
- b) The Algonquin Township Road District is ordered to produce all road district records set forth in the parties settlement agreement and in its possession or control. the Road District to pay the costs of Production of Documents.
- c) Plaintiffs and Road District to pay its own attorney fees and costs of suit.
- d) All counts directed to the Road District are dismissed with prejudice. As to any count directed to both the road District and the Township, This order of dismissal impacts only those claims against the Road District and not the township. All of Plaintiffs claims against the Township remain unchanged by this Order.