McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Timelines are an interesting thing to pay attention to with public bodies. The timeline for Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and Township Attorney James Kelly has possibly laid a foundation for sanctions against her and her attorney, similar to those outlined in this article.
While reviewing one of Lukasik's criminal complaints, which we covered in this article, another notch in the timeline jumped out at me.
- November 13, 2017 - A FOIA request for copies of the Open Meetings Act Training Certificates for the Elected Officials.
As covered in this article, she claimed she was contacting the AG's office to obtain those records, of which to date she has yet to provide them. At no time did she ever respond saying those records were stolen.
- May 16, 2018 (page 9) - Lukasik tells authorities that she does not believe there are any stolen records.
This is where the story gets most interesting.
- June 2, 2018, James Kelly, the Township Attorney files an answer in the courts to our FOIA complaint and makes a claim of records being removed without authorization. We covered that in this article.
"On information and belief sometime between May 5, 2017, and June 1, 2017, unauthorized access was made to the Algonquin Township Clerk’s office and records were removed."
So an official court filing regarding records of the Township, based on information and belief, between May 5 and June 1, of 2017, records were removed without authorization. Most would call that theft!
If that is the case, why on earth did Lukasik tell the investigators there were no records missing? While the no missing records claim came much later in the timeline one could assume the records were found, but if that is true, why have they not provided those records clearly subject to FOIA?
Better yet, when is Kelly going to correct his record claiming unauthorized access resulted in records being removed when the very person in charge has said there are no missing records? Should Kelly be sanctioned for allowing this false information to stand in the docket before the court?
It gets better!
- June 28, 2018, we filed this FOIA request after learning Lukasik was telling people records were stolen.
1. A copy of any statements or reports provided to the Police or Sheriff's Department regarding the theft of public records of the Township.
2. A copy of any statements or reports provided to the Police or Sheriff's Department regarding the theft of public records of the Township Road District.
3. A copy of any communications by any of the Township Officials regarding the theft of public records belonging to the Township.
4. A copy of any communications by any of the Township Road District Officials regarding the theft of public records belonging to the Township.
5. A copy of any police report provided to the Township regarding the theft of public records.
6. A copy of any police report provided to the Township Road District regarding the theft of public records.
- July 10th, 2018, the Township responds to the above request claiming they have no records.
What happened the day after my FOIA request for stolen record information hit Lukasik's inbox?
- June 29, 2018 - Lukasik files a criminal complaint alleging theft of public records that include the training certificates from May of 2017, which are the very certificates we asked for in one of our first FOIA requests. We believe this filing was nothing more than a way for her to provide cover for failing to comply with FOIA obligations.
What's in that report is yet another piece of the puzzle that is going to help prove up willful and intentional violations of FOIA.
"Lukasik advised it is unknown how Edgar County Watch Blog have obtained the files. Lukasik requested a report to document the incident. Lukasik had also given me a copy of emails exchanged over missing records."
The report shows that Lukasik requested a report to document the incident and that she also gave a copy of emails exchanged over missing records.
So how is it that on July 10, 2018, they have no records connected to my request but the day after my request she is providing copies of emails exchanged over missing records and those very emails fit the parameter of my request?
My request was specific.
- 4. A copy of any communications by any of the Township Road District Officials regarding the theft of public records belonging to the Township.
Are we to believe that she does not have the original emails on this matter? The report reflects she provided copies so where are the originals? Why were we told there are no records?
Are we to believe her request for a report to document the incident went unanswered and the officer did not provide her a copy?
Are we to believe Kelly knows nothing about her claim of no missing records? Considering she has told the Authorities she believes no records are missing in May of 2018, why have they not produced the records and corrected the false information in the answer to the FOIA complaint?
As you can see, the timeline exposes some real problems for Algonquin Township officials and their attorney in our opinion.
We will update as more information percolates to the surface.