McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
The attorney for Bob Miller, Thomas Gooch III, is no newcomer to inserting things in court records that lead to head-scratching. From concerns over a large breasted woman being a distraction, as covered by CBS to outright misinformation covered in this article, Gooch has once again created a head-scratcher.
"This use of gay citations having little or nothing to do with the subject matter...."
Can anyone explain to us what a "gay citation" is?
In his recent 18 page REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE he has proven once again he is well versed in providing head-scratching information.
There are numerous concerns with Gooch's recent filing, size, to begin with. We understand this response is to be limited to only 5 pages yet it totals 18. Within the filing are what we would consider troubling claims and we will discuss those in this article.
"This Court should take judicial notice of a subpoena issued in this case by plaintiff directed against an entity known as "me.net". That entity was the email provider for ROBERT MILLER. The return of that subpoena, which plaintiff seeks not to discuss in any pleadings, resulted in production of literally thousands of emails which plaintiff was finally required to distribute to all parties in this case pursuant to court order when they otherwise found it unnecessary. Seemingly, it is difficult to understand how, in view of the production of all of those emails long before the Fourth Amended Complaint was filed, that plaintiff can still argue there are emails that defendant has and plaintiff does not have."
Production of me.net emails has nothing to do with the emails from "[email protected]" and [email protected]" that we understand have not been produced. That being the case, it should not be hard to understand why the Road District has argued there are emails they don't have.
"The plaintiff maintains that the road district is not an entity under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. It stands to reason that plaintiff cannot here maintain that the local records act applies to plaintiff as the highway commissioner and to the road district"
Very Slick Mr. Gooch!
Gooch is a master at comingling matters that help confuse the court. In this case, he confuses FOIA with the Local Records Act, two distinctively different statutes. Note how he properly capitalized Illinois Freedom of Information Act and then fails to do so for the Local Records Act. There is a reason that is done, create confusion.
As it relates to the FOIA and OMA Act and its application to the Road District, our current General Assembly appears to agree with the Road District attorney Rob Hanlon. House Bill HB3136 has been sponsored to include "Road Districts" into the definitions of a Public Body. The fact the General Assembly took this step may indicate they recognize a Road District is not a public body as defined in the act.
As it relates to the Local Records Act, it absolutely applies to the Road District and for Gooch to imply otherwise is troubling.
"The plaintiff refuses to acknowledge that none of these purchases were paid for by MILLER using township funds."
When Miller uses the Township Road District credit card to make the purchases in question, he has, in fact, made a purchase. The merchandise purchased was paid for by the credit of the Road District and the vendor typically receives the payment in 24-48hrs from the credit card processing company. The fact the lender of that credit does not get paid until later through a bill auditing process does not negate the fact Miller made purchases.
"With the legislative body approving not only the individual purchases but the sick pay which was received by ROBERT MILLER then clearly the allegations of the Fourth Amended Complaint contradicting that are erroneous or the Complaint misses necessary allegations."
I think even the most uneducated can see the holes in that statement. When Miller pulled out the card, he was the one approving the individual purchases, not the board. To imply otherwise is nothing but the typical circus act we find being used routinely in this case.
"While plaintiff maintains the road district is not subject to the Township Act, such a position is incorrect."
"Therefore, the suggestion that the Township Act has nothing to do with the road district is simply not correct."
Great spin on the positions taken by the Road District, which was "The Township Code has nothing to do with the Road District’s claims in this case." Far cry from claiming the Road District maintains the Road District is not subject to the Township Act.
The second spin on the Township Act is negated by what was actually stated by the Road District, "The Township Code does not control what takes place in a Road District". I think an argument could be made that Gooch claiming what he did borders on making misrepresentations to the court. We have found no implication by the Road District in any filings that suggests the Township Act has nothing to do with the Road District.
"It would be impossible to allege necessary elements of conversion without some affirmative allegation as to how defendant himself took control of the road district's money without any authorization when, in fact, the bill is for items purchased which were submitted to the town board who approved payment, not ROBERT MILLER."
Defendant Bob Miller, took control of the Road Districts money every time he used the credit card to make purchases of items that had no public purpose, such as travel tickets for a grandchild. Not only is such purchase not for any public purpose, but it was also done well in advance of any claimed approval by the board. So to claim it would be impossible to do as Gooch claims are incorrect.
"The Highway Commissioner does not pay for anything. The Highway Commissioner, in a road district setting may order the purchase of various things, however, it is the Town Board that reviews and approves it."
So if the Highway Commissioner does not pay for anything, how did his grandchild get an airline ticket paid for by the Road District's credit card? Gooch confuses the actual act of Bob Miller making purchases with the "ordering" the purchase of various things. There is no confusion, Miller paid for purchases with a credit card and those purchases are in fact the use of public credit, an element clearly outlined in our State Constitution.
"Miller in all cases, followed the statute by submitting all expenses to the town board.
Confusing "submitting all expenses" to the town board does not negate the fact purchases were made in advance of any auditing or even approval of expenses by the board. In fact, using the word "expenses" would actually represent that a purchase was made, thus you have an expense. Our review of the Township meetings reflected two or three times where anything was approved. We covered that in this article.
"Plaintiff cites to no authority, that a Highway Commissioner is an Agent of a road district and without such principle agency relationship there, can be no fiduciary relationship in the Counts maintained by Plaintiff in the Fourth Amended Complaint."
Gooch implies without a citation to authority that a Highway Commissioner is an Agent of a road district the default is there can be no fiduciary relationship. Interesting to us is the fact he provides no citation to support such a position.
We are confident there is no citation needed for the courts to apply the common knowledge that the duly elected head of a public body has a fiduciary relationship and responsibility to the public body.
"GASSER wants to avoid actually proving his cause of action by asking the Court to take judicial notice of the Minutes of the township board. However, all the minutes show an audit of road district bills every month."
Gooch once again avoids the reason the Road District asked the court to take judicial notice of the minutes. It is because the minutes do not reflect the approvals as Gooch has claimed in the past. A fact he avoided addressing in this reply.
"GASSER fails to state how a trier of fact would be able to step into the shoes of the township board to determine which expenses were for a public purpose."
Are we to understand Gooch is of the opinion the Road District needs to state how a person can look at a credit card purchase for a plane ticket for a grandchild and be a trier of fact if that expense is for a public purpose?
"Also, because the board makes the final determination as to whether the bills are approved, the fact that MILLER's expenditures were approved must mean that they were considered for a public purpose."
This makes about as much sense as the Dixon, Illinois case where the auditor provided clean audits for 20 plus years, even though over $53 million was stolen from the city. More importantly, determining what bills are approved has nothing to do with purchases made in advance of any such approval for items clearly that had no public purpose.
"Miller must be shown to have breached the fiduciary duty he owed the Road District, and defendants must be shown to have known of the breach and accepted the fruits of the fraud."
This one is simple.
Miller, in our opinion, breached the fiduciary duty he owed the Road District when he purchased plane tickets for his grandchild. When he converted public cell phones to private accounts. When he purchased a laundry list of items that had no public purpose. If those actions don't show such a breach took place, we are done as a country.
"under this Court's Order, it is KAREN LUKASIK that is the Clerk who is the custodian of the records. The Township Clerk, not GASSER, has standing to sue if there are any records or documents missing."
Wrong answer in our opinion. Reason being is that one key law that covers records, the Local Records Act. The same one he conveniently chose to minimize in his brief rather than capitalize it. The fact the clerk is the custodian of the records does not negate the Road Districts obligations to protect those records under the Local Records Act.
"In addition to this Court's Order, the statute, 60 ILCS 1/75-5, gives the Township and Road District Clerk standing to sue, not the Highway Commissioner. Thus, again, GASSER is without standing as the Highway Commissioner."
A court order does not remove a state law that does, in fact, provide a Road Commissioner the power to sue and be sued. To imply a Road District has no power to sue is ludicrous in light of the very law providing such power 605 ILCS 5/6-107
"More importantly, GASSER fails to cite any cases that support his position that he has standing to sue on behalf of the Road District."
I guess Gooch missed the citation found on page 18 of the AMENDED RESPONSE TO MILLER’S 2-619.1 MOTION TO DISMISS that provided the very statute we did above.
The hearing for this matter was scheduled for March 6th, 2019 and we understand it has been continued until next week.