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June 19, 2024

Algonquin Township & Road District – Legal Bills

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On January 31, 2019

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Legal bills in the Township of Algonquin and its Road District have been a point of interest to residents and the local paper. In fact, today a comment was made by the local media that triggered us getting this article up today.

“I am also interested in the lawyers who are making money (you bring up the township one – why would that be singled out? I think you sued them, right? – but what about The other 2 lawyers involved. Do you have any accounting of that? Why or why not?) off all of this. All of them.”

The comment implies that since we wrote about one attorney, James Kelly, we were singling him out, which is far from the case as we simply have not had time to compile ALL the records we have been gathering.  He mentions the other 2 lawyers involved and I believe that number misses the total.

Regardless of the number, I must admit confusion when it is stated they are interested in the lawyers who are making money yet they are asking us if we have an accounting of it.  If it is truly of interest, why have they not taken it upon themselves to look at?  Should we ask the same question regarding their reporting on Rob Hanlon, why was that one singled out?   Or is a better question, why haven’t you written about any of the other attorneys?

As we stated, for us it’s about time. I wonder why the local media has not written about the other attorneys?

How many attorneys are billing the Algonquin Township? 

We have identified five that are providing representation to the Township, and one to the Road District, for various services and have obtained numerous invoices to support that with the exception of the TOIRMA attorney involved in tax objection cases.

Reviewing the billing, which we have been doing for some time, has revealed numerous questionable billing and it appears the Township Auditors have had no concern with any of them except those of the Road District.  We know of one particular case where the attorney actually billed for work a trustee claimed to have authored.  We understand an ARDC complaint was filed but to date have not heard of any hearing dates scheduled by the ARDC.

1 -James Kelly – Representing the Township (includes Road District billing before he was terminated) 

2 -Thomas Gooch – Representing Bob Miller –  Quote of interest found in a Road District public record bio for Mr. Gooch:  “The proper care and feeding of the Town Board but who really runs the Road District?  The Township Attorney does what you tell him to do and how to be sure he knows that. “

3 -Steven Brody – Representing Anna May Miller 

As we understand this situation, TOIRMA has declined to cover this expense and/or representation and the bill is being paid for by the Township. During a recent meeting, the subject was raised regarding having this bill pushed onto the Road District to pay.  Considering the Road District has never authorized such an expenditure we find it difficult to understand how the Township thinks they can turn this into a Road District obligation. The board discussions on this can be found at this link.

4 -Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle – Representing Township Clerk Karen Lukasik

Of interest, this attorney bills for – “telephone call from Attorney Kelly to coordinate FOIA responses; – .25 hrs.  (see page 23, October 30, 2018 entry.  Of interest, because Kelly’s billing shows that James Kelly is not only responding to FOIAs, a duty of the public body, but calling other attorneys to coordinate the responses which drive up the legal bills for the Township.   An FOIA officer is supposed to be designated by the board and be an employee or official of the Township.   Why would Kelly need to “coordinate FOIA responses“?

5 – TOIRMA – We have no records as to what bills they have for services but can FOIA that information if the local paper would like us to.

6 -Rob Hanlon – Representing the Road District

What the local residents may not be aware of is the legal bills for the Road District are just a few clicks away, unlike the Township.  Andrew Gasser, the current Highway Commissioner has been putting his bills online for some time.    Considering the local paper has covered the legal bills of the Road District maybe they can publish the link where people can access those records, which can be found at this link and then scrolling through the folders and opening the files that are named Hanlon Law.

We have to admit, we were surprised to have the local media claim they have an interest in this matter in their questions to us.  Algonquin Township is in their back yard so one would think they would have already had this information at their fingertips.  We know they have it now as it appears they are playing catch up because the local “reporter” has FOIA’d our FOIA and all the responsive documents.  Doing that ensures they get everything we have.

It will be interesting to see what they write about next as there is plenty of malfeasances yet to expose.

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