McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? In Algonquin Township that is a question they may want to answer.
In June of 2018, we published this article which included legal billing for the Clerk. We reported then that the Township Board took action June 14th, 2017 to appoint independent counsel for the Clerk in case #17CH00435. We focused on a bill that reflected legal bills had been incurred by the Clerk in advance of the authorization of independent counsel and that there was billing taking place for matters not connected to the very case David McArdle was authorized to work on.
Turns out the Township board was aware of the Clerk having independent counsel before she was ever authorized to have it, and did nothing about it. The month the board approved independent counsel, Trustee Rachael Lawrence stated: "Trustee Lawrence stated that the Clerk has Gummerson who is the former partner of Becca Lee", (see page 3 of the minutes). The legal bills created prior to approval of such counsel were approved and paid.
Considering her office can not sue or be sued, what authority allows her to have independent counsel? Could all the legal bills she racked up be recovered through a civil action? Could those outside the approved case be subject to a civil action for recovery? We believe the answer to both questions is yes.
You would have thought after being exposed for billing the Township for matters not part of #17CH00435, such billing would stop. Not the case with McArdle.
As can be seen in the 2019 legal bills from McArdle, there are plenty of billings for work unrelated to #17CH00435. We understand there is a current ARDC complaint against this attorney and now wonder if these billings will become another element to that complaint?