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April 12, 2024

Algonquin Township – The Circus tent is alive and well…ok, not so well

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 28, 2018

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Algonquin Township Attorney James Kelly has provided some interesting information to the Road District’s Attorney Rob Hanlon regarding our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Township.  Interesting because it appears to contain false information.

“It is my understanding that the Supervisor and Highway Commissioner, the parties, have discussed how to structure a settlement with the Plaintiffs. The conclusion of the discussion was that Mr. Gasser “volunteered” to attempt to negotiate a global settlement of this lawsuit. The parties are free to talk between themselves.”

According to email communications we have obtained, it was not Mr. Gasser who volunteered to attempt to negotiate any settlement. How Kelly came to such an understanding tells us he is either being lied to or making up talking points to satisfy the communication.

“I never agreed to unilaterally start negotiations on behalf of the Township.  I was asked by Trustee David Chapman over the phone to see if Mr. Hanlon would be also willing to negotiate for the Township.  I stated to Trustee Chapman that it was a possibility, however, only after getting approval from the Supervisor.  Supervisor Lutzow called me and said he would appreciate this.” Andrew Gasser

What is rather comical in this matter is that it appears at least one trustee and the Supervisor have little faith in their legal counsel James Kelly.  This perception comes from their seeking a different attorney to negotiate the FOIA suit they are involved in.   Most telling!

More concerning is Kelly’s reference to a “global settlement”.  Considering the date of this communication is after our signed settlement with the Road District, we have no clue what “global” settlement Kelly would be referencing.

“The Supervisor will consider any thing presented by Mr. Gasser.”

One can only wonder why an attorney for the Township would think Mr. Gasser is in any position to discuss a settlement on behalf of the Township.  All that aside, why on earth would we ever negotiate with anyone other than the very entity we are in litigation with?

To date, there has been no discussion from the Township or its Attorney pertaining to any resolution of our FOIA case.  All indications are Kelly is more interested in fighting transparency and charging fees for the obstruction being done by his client.

A good starting point of resolving the FOIA suit is to provide the records requested.  You would think Kelly would have instructed his client to provide those records to avoid further expense.

Failure to provide public records is the norm for Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Miller Lukasik, who spent a small fortune of taxpayer dollars to have the courts rule that yes, she is the keeper of the records.  Now that the world knows Lukasik is the keeper of “all” the Township Records as well as those of the Road District, why is no one on this board demanding she turn over the requested records?

I think Hanlon’s comment to Kelly pretty much sums up the situation.

“This isn’t rocket science from the Township’s legal perspective. It was caught with its pants down, and its time to zip up.” 

Once again we urge the termination of James Kelly as the attorney for the Township and ask that the Clerk resign immediately for her failure to follow the law and release the requested public records.

You can download the comical communications between James Kelly, Rob Hanlon, and Andrew Gasser at this link or view below.

settlement emails kelly-hanlon

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