McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
We have legally obtained video that raises more concerns with the Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and now her husband. This video is of the Clerk, her husband, and her son in a basement room at the Township opening boxes and preparing records to be taken. It appears that parts of the video and audio are not synchronized. Other than blocking out the minor child's face, we have not edited this video.
We previously published a video of Lukasik allegedly removing public records and stating “I can do what I want” – (watch it here). The Township later attempted to force YouTube to censor that video; those letters between the township and YouTube are currently the subject of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit
The Township has denied our request for this video as well as other more recent requests claiming this video is under an order of protection. The fact that we now have legally obtained this video is going to raise several concerns for Lukasik, the Township, and the Township attorney James Kelly.
For starters, Lukasik had claimed that this particular video was taken illegally and she fought to protect its release because her family is in the video. Please note we blocked out her son with a red box throughout the video. As recently reported, the Illinois State Police declined to investigate the alleged crime stating, “The township property is posted as being under surveillance, therefore, limiting one’s expectation to privacy.”
Concerns identified in the video (click here):
- Seven "F" bombs dropped in front of the minor child she claims to want to protect from having the video put on the internet.
- Husband to "take" the records. - ("These are our records you're taking" - : 58-second mark of the video)
- Husband makes reference to going through stuff and getting rid of it. (21:10 mark of the video)
- Subpeona being selectively shared. (11:45 mark of video Lukasik's husband directs their son to go get the subpoena from the car)
- Reference to a Township employee as a "Dick", in front of the minor child. (Conversation begins at 4:21 in the video)
While we understand, sadly, that the use of the "F" word has become commonplace in many public sector operations, most adults tend to refrain from such language in front of a minor child. Not the case with the Lukasiks.
According to Lukasik, the records are being taken by her husband and she emphasizes the need for a receipt as they all need to be returned. Our concern is that the chain of custody of public records has been broken if a person other than a public official is the one providing them to the authorities. Who knows what may or may not have happened to those records from the time they left her custody and were received by the State's Attorney investigators if they were in fact taken by her husband.
The above concern appears to be valid in light of the comment made by Lukasik's husband. "We can go through this and get rid of whatever". Who does he think he is to go through anything, let alone get rid of "whatever"? Is this the reason Lukasik was so concerned about the video being seen by the world? While she continues to claim she has done nothing wrong, video evidence continues to disprove her claims.
It appears from the video that the records are being organized for a subpoena received. Lukasik's husband directs their son to get the subpoena from the car. We need to note, even though the State's Attorney's office provided case law to Lukasik and James Kelly on subpoenas being subject to FOIA, the Township has failed to provide the criminal subpoenas we requested. Additionally, even after being told the law on such a matter, Lukasik responds by stating: "The subpoena states I am not to share with anyone. I am not going to share with anyone..."
So it is clear from audio in the video, Lukasik has no problem sharing the subpoena with family but completely ignores the law and has failed to produce them under FOIA. We will assume the ignoring of the law was at the advice of James Kelly. This is based on Lukasik's claim to the investigator: "I will follow the directions of our attorney and hopefully will not get another lawsuit filed because I am trying to do what is right."
It appears that "what is right" is an elusive target for this Clerk.
Stay tuned for a multi-part series where over 30 videos will be shared that raise more questions about what really happen with records at the Algonquin Township.